New York Festival of Song Unveils 2019-20 Season

By David Salazar

The New York Festival of Song has announced its 2019-20 season which will feature four concerts between October 2019 and March 2020.

“NYFOS’ fall season packs a lot into a few months: the profound elegance of Shakespeare, the fire of Kurt Weill and Marc Blitzstein, and the flamboyant swing of Harlem’s gay subculture,” stated Steven Blier, the organization’s Artistic Director noted in a press release. “All three programs speak directly to the hot-button issues of our times, offering perspective, wisdom, and some much-needed joy. As for the singers and players, they are musical royalty. Come join us—we’re planning on raising the roof.”

The season kicks off with “Lyrics by Shakespeare,” which will feature music by Quilter, Kabalevsky, Dankworth, Dick Hyman, and many more. Mezzo-soprano Naomi Louisa O’Connell, bass Matt Boehler, actor Kathleen Chalfant, and Blier.

Performance Date: Oct. 16, 2019

Marc Blitzstein’s “No For An Answer” and Kurt Weill’s “Der Silbersee” will be on the program for the second performance of the year. It will feature soprano Sari Gruber, mezzo Rebecca Jo Loeb, tenor Alex Mansoori, baritone John Brancy and Blier alongside pianist Michael Barrett.

Performance Date: Nov. 19, 2019

In time for the holiday season, audiences will hear “Tain’t Nobody’s Business If I Do: Songs From Gay Harlem.” It will feature music from Harlem’s gay underground by such compsoers as Bessie Smith, Billy Strayhorn, Porter Grainger, and songs popularized by Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters, and “Ma” Rainey. Mezzo Lucia Bradford, tenor Joshua Blue, baritone Justin Austin, Blier, and pianist Joseph Li will perform.

Performance Date: Dec. 12, 2019

The season ends with “The Art of Pleasure” which will feature music by Montsalvatge, Rachmaninoff, Jonathan Dove, Tom Lehrer, and The Kinks with performances by Caramoor’s 2020 Schwab Vocal Rising Stars.

Performance Date: March 17, 2020