Springfield, MA: MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the music of legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim on Thursday, June 23, at 7:30 PM in Springfield Symphony Hall. The Sondheim Celebration, conducted by Tim Stella, will feature Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Also appearing are Ray Hardman and Kathleen Callahan-Hardman.

The program will include:

  • Orchestral Suite arranged by Don Sebesky, “Joanna,” and “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd
  • Being Alive,” “Side by Side,” and “Not Getting Married Today” from Company 
  • “Broadway Baby,” “Too Many Mornings,” and “Losing My Mind” from Follies
  • “Send in the Clowns,” “Now/Soon/Later,” and “The Glamorous Life” from A Little Night Music
  • “Comedy Tonight” from A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum 
  • “Not A Day Goes By” from Merrily We Roll Along 
  • Orchestral Suite arranged by Don Sebesky from Into the Woods  
  • Finishing the Hat” and the Act 1 Finale from Sunday in the Park with George 

According to conductor Tim Stella, “Stephen Sondheim has been a Broadway legend as both composer and lyricist, and his string of hits include the lyrics to West Side Story (which was recently remade as a film), Company (currently a sell-out on Broadway), A Little Night Music (headed to Barrington Stage this summer), Encore’s Into The Woods transferring to Broadway, and more. I’m so looking forward to hearing his great melodies performed by a full orchestra, and showcased by some of the best names on Broadway.”

Tim Stella conducted The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and before that, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, Guys and Dolls, The Most Happy Fella, Hello Dolly!, and Legs Diamond. He served as vocal coach to Emmy Rossum and Gerard Butler, who portrayed Christine and the Phantom respectively, in the movie version of Phantom. Stella has also served as the resident music director of Goodspeed Musicals, and a conductor at Radio City Music Hall.

Hugh Panaro is best known for having played the role of the Phantom in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera over 2,000 times. He made his Broadway debut as Marius in the original production of Les Misérables, a role he originated in the First National Company. He created the roles of Buddy in Side Show, Julian Caster in The Red Shoes, the title role in the American premiere of Martin Guerre, and the title role in Elton John’s Lestat.    

Lisa Vroman, who made her Broadway debut in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love, starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. She also starred as Rosabella in New York City Opera’s The Most Happy Fella. Some of her notable roles are: Charlotte in A Little Night Music with Michigan Opera Theatre; Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with both Glimmerglass Opera and the MUNY Theater of St. Louis; and Marian Paroo in The Music Man at the Bushnell. She was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Misérables. She appeared as Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony’s Emmy Award-winning Sweeney Todd in Concert, with Patti Lupone and George Hearn.

Ray Hardman has performed with the West Hartford Symphony, with Chorus Angelicus and Gaudeamus as bass soloist in Fauré’s Requiem, and with Broadway stars John Cudia and Kathy Voytko in an evening of Broadway songs at the Hill-Stead Museum. He has performed lead roles with the Producing Guild, Simsbury Light Opera, and the Theater Guild of Simsbury. Ray, who fronts a 60’s garage band called The Radiation, is Connecticut Public Radio’s Arts and Culture reporter.

Lyric soprano Kathleen Callahan-Hardman performs opera, oratorio, and popular song repertoire. Most recently, Kathleen sang the lead role in Hartford Opera Theater’s Total Spiritual, as well as being the guest soloist at the West Hartford Symphony’s Holiday concert. Before the pandemic, she sang Violetta in Northampton (MA) Panopera’s La Traviata. She is the cantor at St. Brigid’s Church in West Hartford, CT.

MOSSO’s Summer Concerts continue with the return of Maestro Kevin Rhodes on July 21, in a MOSSO Benefit Concert of light classics and music of John Williams. Violinist Yevgeny Kutik, whose two prior solo appearances in Springfield were met with great acclaim, will perform select pieces.

Tickets for both concerts, priced $60, $45, $25, and $10, are on sale at: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com.

MOSSO sponsors (to date) include: The Republican/MassLive, BusinessWest and Healthcare News, WWLP-22News & The CW Springfield, the Sheraton Springfield at Monarch Place, New England Public Media, the Musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bolduc Schuster Foundation.

MOSSO is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, which is not a subsidiary of nor affiliated with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra Inc. MOSSO has presented their musicians in performances with local ensembles including the Springfield Jazz and Roots Festival; in a full orchestral performance with Maestro Kevin Rhodes and MOSSO’s Virtuosos in Symphony Hall; and in a series of chamber ensemble concerts in Longmeadow and at the Westfield Athenaeum. For further information about MOSSO’s programs: SpringfieldSymphonyMusicians.com

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