CLARE MALONEY and NICOLE ZURAITIS at LEHMAN COLLEGE

*****

Join us Thursday, November 7, 12:30pm at Lehman College when Charles R. Hale Productions in conjunction with Lehman College’s City and Humanities Program presents “From Opera to Jazz to Pop,” featuring two gifted singers, Clare Maloney and Grammy nominated, Nicole Zuraitis. Both Nicole and Clare began their musical pursuits as aspiring opera singers but segued from opera to jazz and pop. Their show, which they recently performed at the Cell in NYC, will highlight their many talents, including the performance of well-known arias and their jazz and pop tune adaptations.

A big thank you to Professor Joseph McElligott, head of the City and Humanities Department, for his continual support of local artists.

Clare Maloney’s photo by Vinnie Nauheimer. Nicole Zuraitis’ photo by Mel Taing Photography

 

 

FROM CARNEGIE HALL TO THE CELL


Which performances stand out in Carnegie Hall’s storied history? Which famous musicians, singers  and speakers have presented there? What great works have been debuted in one of the most revered music halls in the world? Join Baron Fenwick/piano, Jiin Yang/violin, Clare Maloney/vocals, Robert Anthony Mack/vocals/ theatrical and historian Charles R. Hale at NYC’s Cell Theatre to find out. 

Friday, December 13, 7:30pm. (Please note that the date has changed from the original date of 12/6 to the new date, 12/13.)

For tickets and information CLICK HERE

CLASSICALLY EXPOSED: FROM OPERA to POP…NICOLE ZURAITIS & CLARE MALONEY by VINNIE NAUHEIMER

“From Opera to Pop”

by

Vinnie Nauheimer

Could Charles R. Hale and Seunghee Lee (Sunny), the producers of the series “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to the Cell,”  have imagined that they would create an event as mesmerizing as Thursday’s, when they booked Clare Maloney and Nicole Zuraitis to perform “Classically Exposed: From Opera to Pop” at The Cell.  The dictionary defines mesmerizing as: “holding the attention of (someone) to the exclusion of all else or so as to transfix them” and to mesmerize, you need just the right ingredients….these two performers provided that perfect mix.

Matt Baker, Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney

Both Nicole and Clare were classically trained in opera, but each has found her niche in other musical fields: Clare’s focus is on pop, rock and folk music, while Nicole’s is jazz, for which she was nominated for a Grammy earlier this year. Their singing, humor and interaction with the audience–and each other–made for a magnificent evening.

Both women describe themselves as “recovering opera singers” so it was no surprise that they opened the program with an operatic burst, “O Sole Mio,” accompanied by pianist Matt Baker with Clare adding a unique touch…an electric guitar.  (As a side note, Clare mentioned she would prefer singing opera while playing the guitar. Interesting choice and consistent with Clare’s musical direction.)  “O Sole Mio” was an interesting way to open the show, since it had all the qualities of a “show-stopping-tune.”  There was, however, no stopping these two fabulous singers. The pace only picked up.

Matt Baker

In keeping with one of the show’s underlying themes–opera’s influence on pop music–Clare sang “It’s Now or Never,” a song popularized by Elvis Presley in 1960 and taken directly from “O Sole Mio.” Clare was followed by Nicole, who performed a splendored rendition of a 1930’s Larry Clinton song, “My Reverie.” Clinton wrote the lyrics, but the music is based on an 1890 piano piece composed by Claude Debussy. After Pianist Matt Baker was introduced he performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” which was enhanced by Nicole’s vocalizations. A musical masterpiece.

Enrico Caruso was arguably the greatest tenor—Pavarotti’s fans might think differently—but certainly one of the greatest. Clare honored this great singer with the song “Caruso,” written by Lucio Dalla in 1986. The song has been covered by many including Lara Fabian, who inspired Clare’s stirring interpretation of the tune.  

Clare and Nicole then introduced singer Elizabeth Tasch who sang a clever rendition of “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. Singing the song in full operatic voice, complete with amusing theatrical expressions, she created a humorous montage, switching effortlessly between “Summertime” and a number of popular songs.

Matt Baker, Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney

Nicole and Clare followed with one of the most famous duets in the operatic repertoire and one of the evening’s many highlights, the “Flower Duet” from Leo Delibes’ “Lakme.”  The evening was moving into high gear.

Clare then chose to honor two women who had a great influence on her and for whom opera was an inspiration early in their careers, Joan Baez and Linda Ronstadt. Clare began the tribute with a song that Baez sang at Woodstock, “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” beautifully sweeping into Ronstadt’s “Blue Bayou.”

Returning to the theme of opera’s influence on popular song, Nicole, with Matt’s accompaniament, performed “Stranger in Paradise,” from the 1953 show Kismet. The melody is taken directly from Alexander Borodin’s opera Prince Igor and known as “Polovtsian Dances.”

The program closed in grand fashion with Clare, Nicole, Matt and Elizabeth reprising “Summertime.”

It was an exceptional night of song, musical innovation and interaction between the performers and the audience. Thank you, Charles and Sunny for producing the series “Classically Exposed From Carnegie Hall to the Cell.” Last night created a new bar for this series.

Matt Baker, Nicole Zuraitis, Charles R. Hale, Clare Maloney, Elizabeth Tasch and Seunghee Lee (Sunny)

Photos by Vera Maura and Tom Myles. 

 

THANK YOU to “CLASSICALLY EXPOSED’S” EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS

A special note of gratitude to the generous Executive Producers who have made “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to The Cell” possible. Thank you Tom Myles, Gail and Joseph McElligott, John Moran, Michael Fletcher, Chris Grygon, Seunghee Lee, Clarinet/Sunny Kang, and David S. Goldman.

Featuring the Verona Quartet, Manhattan Chamber Players, Renato Diz, Yuri Juárez, Clare Maloney, Nicole Zuraitis, Jiin Yang, Wayne Weng, JP Jofre, and Empire Wild  

Next Show: From Opera to Pop to Jazz, June 28, 7:30pm at The Cell featuring Grammy nominated Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney. For tickets and information CLICK HERE

To PURCHASE TICKETS for: “CLASSICALLY EXPOSED: FROM CARNEGIE HALL to THE CELL”

“Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to The Cell,” beginning on March 27. Tickets for each of the series’ shows will be $20. You can click on the link of an individual event for tickets:  

March 27:  Season Opener…Seunghee Lee and the Manhattan Chamber Players with special guest, JP Jofre. Works by Mozart, Weber, Brahms and Jofre 

April 26:  Yuri Juarez and Renato Diz: “From Classical to Jazz”

May 10:  Verona Quartet “An Outstanding Ensemble…” New York Times

June 28:  Clare Maloney and Nicole Zuraitis: “From Opera to Pop”

September 27:  Ji in and Wayne Weng, “From Classical to Pop to Hip Hop.”

October 18:  Empire Wild “From Bows to Beats

December 6:  “From Carnegie to ‘the cell with narration by Charles R. Hale and live music, featuring historical Carnegie Hall performances 

OPENING NIGHT: “CLASSICALLY EXPOSED: FROM CARNEGIE HALL TO THE CELL”

Thank for this wonderful review and write up by Vincent Nauheimer:

“Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to the Cell”

Last night, 23rdStreet in the Chelsea section of Manhattan was filled with magical sounds emanating from the Cell Theater…a preview of Charles R. Hale Productions and Musica Solis’ “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to the Cell.”  If last night was a glimpse of what is to come in this seven-event series, which will explore classical music and its relation to pop, jazz, and other musical genre, one word comes to mind for the rest of the season: Anticipation.  

Nicole Zuraitis, Mitch Lyon, Seunghee Lee, Brandon Ilaw, Clare Maloney and Ken Kubota

Charles R. Hale and Seunghee Lee (Sunny) have a common interest, which was clearly established last evening: They both seek to promote young and upcoming musical artists. Their unique ability to both find and attract superb talent was clearly demonstrated in this preview of their 2019 series.  

CLICK HERE FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL EVENT.  

Charles R. Hale

Renato Diz/piano and Yuri Juarez/guitar performed the evening’s opening set. Renato, who has performed throughout the world and who be can be heard on over twenty albums and Yuri, who has recorded a number of albums, and has received the  Latin Jazz Corner Award for album of the year, “Afroperuano” were sensational. Watching the finger work of these two enormously talented musicians was special. Their performance included “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Joaquin Rodrigo and “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla, which they arranged with improvisational references to jazz and other musical genres. Brilliant.

Renato Diz and Yuri Juarez

Sunny, a renowned international solo clarinetist and recording artist, led the trio Empire Wild in  “Another Day of Sun” from the movie LaLa Land. The superb performance highlighted the fact that what would normally be considered a classical ensemble—two cellos, a clarinet and piano—is equally at home performing pop tunes. Empire Wild, which consists of cellists Mitch Lyon and Ken Kubota and the multi-instrumentalist Brandon Ilaw captivated the audience with their virtuosity. Ken played his cello in ways that would have made Casals proud. He played it across his lap like a guitar, plucked the strings and played it with a bow. Mitch Lyon has an affinity for folk music and arranged a beautiful piece with Brandon and Ken’s accompaniment. The versatile Brandon sang a number of tunes, played the piano, cajon, and kept time with a band of bells around his ankle. The three Julliard graduates performed brilliantly and have bright futures. 

Brandon Ilaw, Mitch Lyon and Ken Kubota

Capping off a mesmerizing evening with a grand performance were Clare Maloney and Nicole Zuraitis, who will, from my point of view, be forever known as the “Cell Sopranos.” Both Clare and Nicole were classically trained and have branched out to become versatile performers. Nicole, nominated for a Grammy in 2019, is a singer songwriter and Clare has been hailed by audiences around the world for her magnificent voice and range. Clare led off with the flirtatious “Musetta’s Waltz” (Quando m’en vo) from Puccini’s La Boheme.  Each lady in turn sang a popular song with its roots in opera and then Nicole did a solo rendition of “O Solo Mio.” The evening ended with a stirring performance of the “Flower Duet” from Delibe’s opera Lakme. Dame Joan Sutherland would have enjoyed listening to these two women sing.

Clare Maloney and Nicole Zuraitis

It was a beautiful evening of musical entertainment made more memorable by the interactions of the artists with the audience. The “cell” is a cozy intimate theatre, where there is little space between the artist and the audience  Does that work? It certainly does. The audience came to their feet several times during the performances. In addition, spontaneous applause broke out in the middle of a number of the instrumental solos. 

Anticipation for the future shows in this series was palpable and I, and I’m sure the entire audience, anxiously await the next performance.  Thank you to Charles, Sunny Lee and all of lasts night’s performers for a memorable evening.  

CLICK HERE FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS AND TICKETS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL EVENT.  

All photos by Vera Maura. 

“CLASSICALLY EXPOSED” PREVIEW at THE CELL, FRIDAY, FEB 22nd

Seunghee Lee, Clarinet “Sunny”and I have assembled an outstanding group of musicians for our 2019 series “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to The Cell.”

This Friday night, Feb 22nd, 7:30pm, you can get a sampling of four of the shows when Sunny, Empire Wild, Renato Diz, Yuri Juárez, Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney will be performing at The Cell, located at 338 West 23rd St in the Chelsea section of Manhattan.

This is a free event but you must reserve a seat by emailing me at charles@crhproductions.com

emailing me at charles@crhproductions.com

Hope to see you there.

“CLASSICALLY EXPOSED: FROM CARNEGIE HALL TO THE CELL” FRIDAY, FEB 22

Please join us at the cell theatre on Friday, February 22nd, 7:30pm when clarinetist and international recording artist Seunghee Lee (Sunny) and I will be showcasing a number of fabulous artists in a preview of our upcoming 2019 concert series “Classically Exposed: From Carnegie Hall to The Cell.”( The doors and bar open at 6:45.)  

During the evening you will be able to sample the music of four of the upcoming shows and mingle with the performers after the event. This is a free event but you must reserve seats by contacting me at info@charlesrhaleproductions.com 

Tickets for each 2019 show are $20. A subscription for all seven shows is $100, which, I’m sure you’ll agree, considering the talent we’ve assembled, is a great bargain. (Ticket and subscription sales will begin shortly.) We will also be looking for people who would like to become executive producers or co-producers of the series or perhaps produce one of the shows. Our goal is simple: To present outstanding music at a great value and pay the artists commensurate with their talents. 

Program for February 22nd:

  • Grammy nominated Nicole Zuraitis and Clare Maloney will perform works from their show, “From Opera to Pop” 
  • Yuri Juarez and Renato Diz will perform works from their show, “From Classical to Jazz”
  • Empire Wild (2 cellos & percussion) will perform a sampling of cover songs, which they will be featuring in their show. (All of these artists mentioned in this post have appeared in my shows before except Empire Wild.  This phenomenal trio of Juilliard graduates teamed up in 2018 after discovering a shared interest in musical styles.  They bring their virtuosic technique to far reaching genres.)
  • Seunghee (Sunny) will perform a few works with Empire Wild, as well as music she will be playing with the Manhattan Chamber Players during her show. 

 

Reserve your seats now. I hope to see you there.

Charles R. Hale

 

ARTISTS WITHOUT WALLS’ HOLIDAY SHOWCASE AT THE CELL, DECEMBER 19

Looking forward to Artists Without Walls’ Holiday Showcase this Wednesday, December 19 at The Cell Theatre.  

Performers include:
Clare Maloney
Hyland & Brunnock
All My Friends are Stars
Jack O’Connell
David Goldman
Charles Hale
& a few Surprise Guests!!

Doors at 6:45pm, performances begin at 7:30pm. It’s a free event and we’ll have a few surprise guests popping by!

Montage by: Mitch Traphagen​