New York Festival of Song to Perform ‘Eros and Co’

By Francisco Salazar

New York Festival of Song concludes its 2023-24 Mainstage season with “Eros and Co.”

The concert will be presented on March 19, 2024 at Merkin Hall, featuring Caramoor’s 2024 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars.

The concert will showcase soprano Shan Hai, mezzo-soprano Sophia Baete, tenor Scott Rubén La Marca, baritone Michael Hawk, and pianist Amber Scherer in songs that promise to refract the chaos and the delight of Cupid’s arrow, including works by Saint-Saëns, Granados, Serge Gainsbourg, Sondheim, and more.

Residency artistic directors Steven Blier and Bénédicte Jourdois will join them as pianists and hosts.

In a statement Blier said, “It all began when the pianist and coach Bénédicte Jourdois, my collaborator for NYFOS’s annual residency at Caramoor, sent me a rather salacious song by the French chansonnier Serge Gainsbourg. Why don’t we base a whole program around this song?’ I fired back. ‘We can call it Eros & Co. There must be a ton of material about the god of love. “And his mom, Venus,” she answered. Well, of course there is—fabulous art songs by Granados, Strauss, and Milhaud, lighter fare by Sam Cooke and Cole Porter, theater songs and jazz tunes.

“Obviously, we would need a quartet of singers who could run the gamut from bold to sensual, and a dextrous, versatile pianist. Our prayers were granted (what a superb group of musicians we found) and we’re all looking forward to our precious week with the Schwab Vocal Rising Stars Program. As for that Gainsbourg song… actually, we cut it early on, after thanking it for inspiring what promises to be a barn-burner of a concert.”