What a great night at the preview party for In This Blue Room last night! Lyric Fest held it at the Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Center City Philadelphia, and the co-directors performed: mezzo-soprano Suzanne DuPlantis sang four of the songs, accompanied by pianist Laura Ward.
A special treat for me was meeting two of the four poets for the first time. Julia Blumenreich and Donna Wolf-Palacio were there, and read their poems that Suzanne sang. I spoke some, Lisa Schaffer photographed, and John Thornton videographed.
Questions flew back and forth before and after the preview performance, and it was wonderful to see old friends and make new ones.
More rehearsals for now, and the premiere performances are Friday March 13th at 7:30 pm at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, and Sunday March 15th at 3 pm at AVA.
In This Blue Room is a song cycle commissioned by Lyric Fest, on poems by Julia Blumenreich, Susan Fleshman, Siobhan Lyons, and Donna Wolf-Palacio, which were based on the batik artwork of Laura Pritchard. The 17 songs were composed by Kile Smith in 2015 for mezzo-soprano, baritone, and piano. It premiered 13 and 15 March 2015 with Suzanne DuPlantis, Daniel Teadt, and Laura Ward.