Monday, April 30, 2012
Tom Principato: The Wolf Trap Interview by Wolf_Trap
Friday, April 27, 2012
Here is more information on each of these exciting performances:
Tuesday & Wednesday, June 26 & 27
Take a trip around the world with a three-time winner of the Parents' Choice Award. Inspired by their international backgrounds, this New York City based group incorporates both English and Spanish lyrics, blending Latin and Afro-Caribbean beats with a mix of jazz, rock and pop. Come explore the rhythms of the world- no passport required!
Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance
Thursday, June 28
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the Emerald Isle! Dressed in beautifully ornate Irish costumes, this large group of young dancers puts on a breathtaking display of rapid-fire footwork performed in perfect unison, accompanied by the energetic rhythms of Celtic music that will have your whole family tapping along.
Friday & Saturday, June 29 & 30
Drawing inspiration from nature, this Nashville duo presents gentle country melodies and charming lyrics from their 2011 GRAMMY-nominated album, I Love: Tom T. Hall's Songs of Fox Hollow. This creative revitalization of a classic children's album inspires compassion, mindfulness, and preservation and is guaranteed to delight both children and parents alike.
Tuesday, July 3
Travel back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the land with this GRAMMY-nominated audience favorite. In this interactive production, giant colorful puppets present an engaging story that teaches as well as entertains. Characters such as Stella Stegosaurus and Tootsie the tap dancing Triceratops are sure to inspire your imagination during this unforgettable journey into science, nature and history.
Thursday - Saturday, July 5 - 7
Celebrate the simple joys of nature as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings artist Elizabeth Mitchell performs classic melodies alongside her husband and young daughter. Led by Mitchell's delightfully appealing vocals, these sweet, inspiring songs will remind you of the warmth and cheerfulness of a sunny day. "Whether she's singing in English, Spanish, Japanese, or Korean, she embodies the spirit of folk music. Guthrie and Seeger would be proud" (Cookie Magazine).
Tuesday & Wednesday, July 10 & 11
All aboard! Pulling in from Nashville, Tennessee, this hip ensemble takes children and families into the delightful and playful world of jazz. Parents and critics agree that their newest CD, Coal Train Railroad Swings!, "is musical, smart, and most importantly fun" (ZooGlobble.com). This quirky, feel-good collection of songs is written from a child's point of view and sung by sassy jazz vocalist Katy Bowser. Coal Train Railroad is one train you won't want to miss.
Thursday, July 12
Aaron Nigel Smith's reggae-rock beats infuse a fresh sound into children's classics such as "Muffin Man" and "Simon Says." Designed to get kids moving, his live performances are high-energy, interactive shows that invite the audience to jump, play, sing and dance through a collection of exuberant songs. Smith is well-known from the PBS KIDS Emmy Award-winning show Between the Lions.
Friday & Saturday, July 13 & 14
Kindie-rock queen Ashley Albert and her band bring edge, sophistication, humor and style to the kingdom of kid's music. Named one of 2011's Best Children's CDs by The Washington Post, The Jimmie's new album, Practically Ridiculous, "is like a delicious sugar-filled dessert: it will make you giggle with delight." Their wildly energetic performances prove this group has no shortage of crazy ingenuity with catchy, upbeat songs.
Tuesday & Wednesday, July 17 & 18
A fiddle, a guitar, a bass- and a cookie tin? Named "one of America's most inventive string bands" by The Boston Herald, this dynamic group will charm families with their vivacious persona and their unique blend of blues, swing and country. This award-winning roots quartet introduces children to a whole new sound and incorporates everything from a ukulele and banjo to a cardboard box and suitcase.
Thursday, July 19
Guitarist from folk-pop group Eddie From Ohio and host of Sirius XM radio's Kids Place Live, Robbie Schaefer delivers Songs for Kids Like Us, a collection of "catchy, clever and slightly cheeky tunes that take you on a romp through musical styles and colorful arrangements" (CDBaby). Sing along to "Cowboy Bob" and shout out with "Chicken Lips." It's a concert that reminds the whole family just how fun it is to be a kid.
Friday & Saturday, July 20 & 21
Dance lovers will delight in the extraordinary talents of these young dancers. Through a series of beautifully designed vignettes, the Kirov Academy reveals the secrets, techniques and history of one of the world's most elegant art forms. The show culminates with a performance of an enchanting Russian ballet that is filled with ornate costumes, breathtaking balances, and gravity-defying leaps.
Tuesday - Saturday, July 24 - 28
Enchanting hand-made puppets come to life in this magical rendition of a Brothers Grimm fairytale. Internationally acclaimed German puppeteer Mathis Kuchta uses life-size puppets to share the story of seven little goats that let a wicked wolf into their home. Full of heart with a touch of humor, this old world classic is sure to awaken the imaginations of children ages six to 60.
Tuesday - Thursday, July 31 - August 2
The Okee Dokee Brothers are a modern-day Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer who travel down the Mississippi River looking for adventure and writing songs along the way. Their nature-inspired lyrics and catchy bluegrass melodies encourage kids to have fun in the great outdoors through songs such as "Bluegrass for Breakfast" and "Woody the Apple Tree." The Minnesota-based duo is winner of the Parents' Choice Award for their 2010 album Take it Outside.
Friday & Saturday, August 3 & 4
Discover the importance of sharing and friendship as the musical Before the People Came unfolds. Hit by a terrible drought, a group of animals must overcome their differences and work together to survive. Based on an African fable, the production features a combination of poetry, dance, and delightfully imaginative costumes accompanied by an eclectic blend of jazz, blues, pop and African rhythms.
Friday & Saturday, August 10 & 11
GRAMMY-nominated pop-rock star Justin Roberts has been hailed by USA Today as "the Paul McCartney of kids' music." Known for his cleverly insightful lyrics that touch on all aspects of childhood, his recordings take listeners on a journey through iconic experiences that kids will relate to and parents will remember. Backed by his band The Not Ready for Naptime Players, Roberts delivers an unparalleled interactive performance.
All performances go on sale tomorrow, Saturday, April 28. Tickets are $8 or $10. Children under two are free. To purchase tickets or for more information, please visit here.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
You formed in McLean, VA. What was your first Wolf Trap experience?
Nerissa: Playing "Twinkle" variations on violin, age 8 on the outside stage in 1976. I was thrilled!
You’ve performed at the Filene Center and The Barns. What do you like best about each venue?
Nerissa: I love being in the indoor/outdoor space, where there is that magical combination of focused, seated listeners and then the loungers with their picnics under the stars. Our performance at the Filene Center was one of the high points of my performing career. I also love to come see shows there! But the Barns is incredibly special. Both venues are so gorgeous, and the audiences are so intelligent and excellent singers-along.
What is it like making music as sisters? Is there ever sibling rivalry?
Nerissa: We get asked this a lot. We've been singing together all our lives and together as professionals for 21 years. So it would seem stranger NOT to sing together. We had tons of sibling rivalry before the band. Sometimes I think forming the band was some kind of therapeutic venture. We work very hard at making things fair between us. Katryna lobbied me for years (age 2-16) to get me to play with her. I lobbied Katryna for years (age 16-22), trying to convince her to "go for it" musically. She finally said, "Yes, as long as no one ever thinks I'm your Art Garfunkel." If one of us feels she isn't getting to sing enough songs per show, or per album, she speaks up and we rectify it. She's the visionary; I am the workhorse. She is the muse; I am the poet.
In what ways are you most different? In what ways are you most similar?
Nerissa: Well, we're both worriers. The big difference is in how we manage our worry. When she gets anxious, she hibernates. When I get anxious, I get frantically busy. We used to confuse each other that way. Now we speak each others' language.
What do you admire the most about the other?
Katryna (laughing): Nerissa wishes she could hibernate more, and I wish I could frantically get more things done! But seriously, I admire her wisdom and intellect and ability to guide and energize me.
Nerissa: She is really present for spontaneous joy. She knows how to make things fun. She has such a big, warm heart and so much empathy. Plus she is a really excellent reader/listener.
Nerissa published a young adult novel, Plastic Angel, and the band released an accompanying soundtrack This Town Is Wrong. Tell us about how this artistic process was different than simply recording and releasing an album.
Nerissa: It's hard to write a novel! You have to keep track of so much in your head, and you have to constantly be reading and re-reading what you have written, making sure it's consistent. John Gardner in his famous The Art of Fiction said that a novel should be like a seamless dream, and in order to do that, one has to be extremely careful not to let the seams show. That was hard for me. I am much more of a poet than a storyteller, where I project a tableau, or bring the listener through a series of snapshots. Writing a novel (and I have written 2 1/2 now) requires much more concentration. The characters need to evolve but not lose what makes them themselves. On the other hand, I could do the work anywhere in the world. I wrote on planes, boats, cars, vans, my bed, the dining room table, other peoples' couches. Making a record marries us to the studio. I am glad I get to do both kinds of work.
What’s on heavy rotation on your ipods right now?
Katryna: The Decemberists, and songs my children pick, which sometimes I like (Adele) and some I don't (Maroon 5)
Nerissa: Dar Williams' new CD, In the Time of the Gods!
Any pre-show rituals that will be taking place at The Barns?
Katryna: Vocal warm up and making the set list. We always do a unique set list for every show. I am the writer of the set list. It's bad luck if Nerissa does it!
Nerissa: Freeze dance in the dressing room! And one sun salutation.
Did you ever consider a band name besides The Nields? What else was on the short list?
Katryna: Atticus, The Wheel, Cartoon Kids (UGH!), Sam, Bangs & Moonshine, Odd Man Out, Katryna and The Daves, The Blister Sisters. See why we had to name ourselves the Nields?
In an arm wrestling match, who would win?
Nerissa, but only because Katryna would let her.
What didn’t we ask you that you wish we had?
We're going to vote for Obama. We loved paying our taxes this April. We grew up inside the Beltway, and we believe there is no greater love we can show for our country than to pay our taxes with joy and gratitude.
The Nields will appear at The Barns at Wolf Trap on Saturday, April 28. Tickets are available here.
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
“The sun’s ‘gonna shine through the shadows, when I go away." Larry Campbell composer, sung by Levon Helm on Electric Dirt 2009.
It was 1978 when I first saw The Last Waltz, a film which documents the “last” concert of The Band. It was playing in a second run theatre in south Denver. Lots of guests in the film: Dylan, of course, Emmylou, Clapton, Mavis Staples, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters and others. It was directed by Scorsese. It captured a pivotal moment in American music, and it still holds up today. Levon Helm was a key element of that film.
Fast forward 30 years to 2010, Levon Helm is touring again and we have the chance to bring him back to Wolf Trap. (He performed with The Band at The Filene Center in 1994 & 1996.) And what a night it was! John Hiatt & The Combo were special guests, and the concert was exquisite.
To hear Levon sing again was a gift even though his bout with throat cancer and subsequent radiation treatments had ravaged him during the past decade. Levon was back on our stage in 2011. This time with moe. It had the same energy, the same magic.
So as the news of Levon's passing circulates through the music world, we at Wolf Trap are glad that we played a small part in bringing Levon’s music to the people. However fleeting life may be, it’s what you give, not what you get that defines a person’s legacy. As Levon said, “We’re here to play for the dance, we play what we like and we hope you like it too”.
Although Robbie Robertson was writing about romantic love when he penned this song for The Band, it certainly applies:
It makes no difference where I turn
I can’t get over you and the flame still burns
It makes no difference night or day
The shadow never seems to fade away
And the sun don’t shine any more
And the rain falls down on my door
Levon leaves behind a caring family and our hearts go out to them.
Aaron Sorensen, bass
Hometown: Omaha, NE
Training: Glimmerglass Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, Yale University, University of Houston
Roles for WTOC 2012: Masetto in Don Giovanni, Father Trulove in The Rake’s Progress
“When not singing (opera), Aaron Sorensen can most often be found in the kitchen whipping up something delectable and sinfully delicious. Taught by his grandmothers and mother, he is a foodie at heart and is infamous for his desserts. He is also an avid fan of hiking and the outdoors. It doesn’t happen often, but when time allows Aaron also enjoys watching movies and pointless television. So far, the best movie he has seen this year is, without a doubt, The Muppet Movie!”
Marcy Stonikas, soprano
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Training: Seattle Opera, Sarasota Opera, Oberlin College Conservatory of Music
Roles for WTOC 2012: Donna Anna in Don Giovanni
“Considering that I was at Wolf Trap last summer until I was 37 weeks pregnant, and since then, I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with the new man in my life, baby Henry. Motherhood has been a wonderful addition to an already full and satisfying life! When I can steal a second for myself, I can be found swimming laps at the local athletic center. My husband Brian, an actor with an equally busy schedule, and I can often be found having dates at home with rented movies, take-out, and a bottle of wine.”
Olivia Vote, mezzo-soprano
Hometown: St. Mary’s City, MD
Training: Academy of Vocal Arts, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Yale University, North Carolina School of the Arts
Roles for WTOC 2012: Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, From Bel Canto to Can Belto Recital
“I love food... too much probably… and I am very excited to be in the DC area to try out some amazing restaurants that my brother (a local) has told me about. I enjoy traveling whenever possible and actually like living out of hotels. At one point I thought it might be possible to go to school and double major in political science and opera, while also playing competitive lacrosse... that was too ambitious. And I love being a member of my local art museum, in Philadelphia, at the moment I am most inspired by Chagall and Juan Gris.”
Corinne Winters, soprano
Hometown: Frederick, MD
Training: Academy of Vocal Arts, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Lake George Opera, Peabody Conservatory
Roles for WTOC 2012: Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Vocal Colors, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the NSO
“I am a vegetarian and am very interested in natural health and wellness; however, I'm also a first-rate foodie and love cooking! Other hobbies/interests include photography, yoga, spirituality, reading, languages, and art – especially Henri Matisse. (I’m particularly excited about the chance to create and perform on a Vocal Colors concert at the Phillips Collection!) I’m native to the DC area, and my family in Frederick, MD is looking forward to coming to The Barns this summer.”
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Broadway/Cabaret star Jeri Sager has racked up a pretty impressive list of accomplishments over her career, prompting us to compile a few highlights so our readers could learn a bit more about the multitalented actress/singer coming to The Barns this Saturday.
She's worked with the best...
Sager has an remarkable resume of Broadway roles and has worked with some of the most important names in musical theater history. She’s worked under such famed directors and choreographers as Jerome Robbins (The King and I, Peter Pan, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof) and Trevor Nunn (Cats, Les Misérables), as well as with playwright Rupert Holmes (Drood, Curtains). She’s been a part of several Tony Award-winning productions with the legendary artists mentioned above, which can be attributed to her versatility and adaptability.
She's played the best...
In addition to working alongside top professionals in her field, she’s held some of the most coveted roles in the business, including her Broadway debut as Fruma-Sara in the Tony Award-winning 25th Anniversary production of Fiddler on the Roof, as well as Fantine in Les Misérables, Eva Perone in Evita, and Grizabella in Cats. Despite having held all of these critically acclaimed roles, she’s also found time for quite a few other endeavors in both music and acting.
She's done it all...
Not only has Sager racked up quite a few Broadway roles to her name, but she’s dabbled in acting and singing off the stage. A few fun facts about her acting resume include a part in Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong and playing Martina McBride’s mother in her music video for “Concrete Angel.” Sager has also recorded four solo albums of cabaret music, with her most recent release being Jeri – Live!
...And now she’s back!
Sager is a Northern Virginia native—having gone to high school at West Springfield High School and attended college at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. After making it on Broadway with her unique voice and captivating stage presence, be sure not to miss her hometown return at The Barns this Saturday at 7:30!
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Get The Led Out: The American Led Zeppelin
Thursday, June 7
It's not an incredibly common thing for Wolf Trap to present tribute bands at the Filene Center, so when we do, you know it's going to be the pinnacle (see RAIN—A Tribute to the Beatles as an example). This is not a dress-alike Led Zeppelin impersonator show; this is a group of talented musicians, all Led Zeppelin fanatics, who make it their mission to bring the sound of Led Zeppelin's recording to life on the stage. The NY Hard Rock Examiner says, "Note for note, the group recreated the sound and fury of 30 year old songs with a fresh, perfectionist drive." You can't see Led Zeppelin perform live ever again, but you can catch Get The Led Out in their Wolf Trap debut.
Saturday, June 9
Gavin DeGraw is all over the place right now. His single "Not Over You" is in heavy rotation on pop radio; he's currently appearing on Dancing with the Stars; and he was set to appear at DC's Shamrock Festival in March (but cancelled due to illness). Now is your chance to see him up-close and in person at the Filene Center.
Colbie Caillat is the quintessential California girl. She's a gorgeous blonde and her songs are evocative of laying on the beach watching surfers ride waves. You know her hits "Bubbly" and "Realize," but did you know that she was also on the GRAMMY-winning team behind Taylor Swift's Fearless? You've seen her on the Filene Center stage before performing as the Special Guest to Sheryl Crow in 2010. Now, you get to see her co-headlining which means more time, more songs, more Colbie.
Thursday, June 28
Mark my words: if you miss this show, you will regret it. Quite simply these are two of the best singer-songwriters making music today. Their lyrics are pure poetry; their melodies are pure beauty; their voices are golden. They are both a blend of folk-rock, alt-country, and Americana. You know Brandi Carlile's heart-wrenching "The Story," "All of these lines across my face tell you the story of who I am..." and you will quickly fall in love with Josh Ritter's narrative songs. This is a show you simply can't miss.
Special Guest: Macy Gray
Tuesday, July 10
He is tall, dark, handsome, and speaks with a British accent. (I haven't even gotten to his singing yet.) Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel thankfully goes simply by Seal. He is best known for "Kiss From a Rose" which was included on the Batman Forever soundtrack, and his international hits include "Crazy," "Prayer for the Dying," and multiple reinterpretations of classics including "Let's Stay Together" and "Lean on Me." His last Wolf Trap performance in 2005 sold out- so get your tickets now.
with Bebe Winans
Special Guest: Average White Band
Wednesday, August 22
Sometimes smooth jazz gets a bad rap. The best antidote to naysayers is Dave Koz. His most recent album, Hello Tomorrow, debuted at No. 1 on both Billboard’s Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart and iTunes’ Jazz Album chart. The record features a diverse array of high-profile guests from Jonathan Butler, Brian Culbertson, and Sheila E. to Boney James, Keb’ Mo’, and Christian Scott. This man made being in high school band cool.
The Fresh Beat Band
Tuesday, August 28
Music and television have gone together long before MTV ever launched. The Monkees and The Partridge Family are just two examples of made-for-tv bands who went on to have touring careers. Now, Nick Jr. brings us The Fresh Beats. Shout, Twist, Marina, and Kiki are best friends who go to music school together and love to sing and dance. We're taking them out of your TV set and bring the band to our stage in their Wolf Trap debut for a family-friendly performance your kids will be begging you to take them to.
The Box Office opens at 10 am on Saturday, April 14. You will be able to buy tickets to 80 performances including these.
As a special public service announcement, the following show are LAWN ONLY- A Prairie Home Companion (Saturday performance), Bonnie Raitt, Norah Jones, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Alan Jackson. If you want tickets before they sell out, get your tickets now.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Craig Irvin, baritone
Hometown: Waukee, IA
Training: Ryan Opera Center at Chicago Lyric Opera, Orlando Opera, Knoxville Opera Studio
Roles for WTOC 2012: Don Giovanni/Leporello in Don Giovanni
“I enjoy comic books (I still collect them weekly!) and coffee, so whenever I work with a new company I look for a comic book shop and coffee shop. I can't wait to get back to Wolf Trap because I found a great comic shop (Big Planet) and coffee shop (Caffe Amouri). I also play too many video games and I love watching TV series on Netflix Instawatch (I'm working through Battlestar Galactica).”
James Kryshak, tenor
Hometown: Baldwinsville, NY
Training: Ryan Opera Center at Chicago Lyric Opera, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Des Moines Metro Opera
Roles in WTOC 2012: Sellem in The Rake’s Progress, Vocal Colors Recital
“I love cooking and try to make use of my kitchen in every spare moment and I have a small addiction to the store Sur la Table. I also really enjoy knitting. I started knitting last year and recently made my first sweater. I also love to travel; one of my goals is to get to as many countries as I can, not only to sing, but to see these places for what they are, to enjoy the different cultures and all that life has to offer.”
Ryan Kuster, bass-baritone
Hometown: Chapin, IL
Training: San Francisco Opera Adler Fellow, Academy of Vocal Arts, Boston University
Roles for WTOC 2012: Don Giovanni/Leporello in Don Giovanni, From Bel Canto to Can Belto Recital, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the NSO
“I am an avid reader and really enjoy having a Kindle. I have recently enjoyed exploring San Francisco and getting to know the West Coast a little better, even though the East Coast is really home to me. I am currently enraptured by the cool California nights, and I love to relax by building fires. I have a miniature panther named Grendel, who is currently residing at my childhood home, terrorizing my parents with his ample affection.”
Jason Slayden, tenor
Hometown: Plano, TX
Training: Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Texas State University
Roles for WTOC 2012: Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, From Bel Canto to Can Belto Recital, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the NSO
“I enjoy cooking, photography, science fiction novels (I'm partial to Philip K. Dick), hiking, movie dates with my wife, BEER, making furniture with my dad... and then I love to eat. A lot. Usually I like to put eating in between every one of the aforementioned activities. In fact, my ideal day would be doing all of the above, but I'm never quite that efficient. I also just started a photoblog... check it out at iamanopersinger.wordpress.com.”