There is a litany of stories and circumstances that carve out a person’s musical preferences. If you’re anything like me, you listen to a wide array of music. It’s this quality of appreciation for different musical styles that energizes the spirit of Broadway Meets the Met, as presented by the Courthouse Center for the Arts on November 21.
Recently, popular culture has started to reflect the long-held diversity that people gravitate towards. The soundtrack for Iron Man 2 is made up entirely of well-known AC/DC songs, and it hit number four on the Billboard charts. And Peter Quill’s mix tape from Guardians of the Galaxy, comprised of hits from the ‘60s, held the number one spot for 11 weeks. It is surprising when songs from 50 years ago come back to dominate the charts, but hearing these songs positioned in popular movies cast them in a new light, and people love it. In kind, the audience for Broadway Meets the Met will be equally enlivened with the variety of musical styles and genres performed together, enabling an original experience of well-loved songs and compositions in a completely new way.
Broadway Meets the Met will feature music that runs the gamut from rock to Broadway to opera as performed by the South County Chamber Singers. The artistic director of the production, Dr. Enrico Garzilli, has chosen songs from the Beatles’ catalog and West Side Story, as well as popular songs from Broadway, arias and choruses from Carmen and pieces from other well-known operas. Additionally, Dr. Garzilli will be supplementing the set list with some of his original pieces, contributing to an overall confidence that audiences will leave with “a smile on their faces and a song in their hearts,” according to the production team at the Courthouse.
“Basically, I spoke with members of the group and we talked about pieces that they really liked. It seemed that West Side Story was one of their favorite musicals – as it is mine – and [coming] up with a choral medley was fun,” Dr. Garzilli says. “The Beatles medley was another terrific one that people would love to listen to.” In fact, with so much going on in the production, it would be hard to choose a favorite.
“I think each piece on it’s own has such wonderful merit,” he says. “People will be able to identify with one or the other, and find it entertaining from beginning to the end. It is a diverse concert with a lot of variety.”
Handling the vocal duties for the production are Sharon Key, Paula Redd Rollins, Georgette Ross Hutchins, Michael DiMucci and Tim Hoyt as soprano, mezzo-soprano, alto, tenor and bass, respectively. Backing them up are Phillip Martorella on piano, Jean Maxon Carpenter on keyboard, Manuel Morales on trumpet and Rich Brownell on percussion. “I started with the chamber singers when they were an ensemble in 2007. I thought working with them on these other new pieces would be really great.” Dr. Garzilli previously recorded some of his original music with Michael Ball, who famously portrayed Marius in the original London production of Les Miserables, and will be including it in the show. “In fact, Michael DiMucci, who is singing a few of my pieces, has a beautiful tenor voice and I’m really thrilled that he’s going to do them,” he explains.
The home of this performance, the Courthouse Center for the Arts, is a non-profit organization that creates and distributes year-round programs in the arts. Since 1988, they have provided gallery exhibits, musical events and artistic educational opportunities to the Rhode Islanders. Broadway Meets the Met lends a voice – truly – to the celebration of their 32nd season. In doing so, they remain in line with the artistic variety, versatility and adaptability that has made them a staple of the arts, and the community as a whole.
Broadway Meets the Met
The Courthouse Center of the Arts’
3481 Kingstown Road, West Kingston