SPRINGFIELD — MOSSO, the Musicians of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, will celebrate the music of legendary composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim on June 23, at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield Symphony Hall.
The Sondheim Celebration, conducted by Tim Stella, will feature Broadway stars Hugh Panaro and Lisa Vroman. Joining the cast are Ron Raines and Florence Lacey, who recently co-starred in the Broadway revival of Sondheim’s Follies.
“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,” said Stella. “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.”
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.
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.
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.
Raines is a Tony and Grammy Award nominee for the acclaimed 2012 production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. Ron has also starred on Broadway as Daddy Warbucks in Annie, Joseph Pulitzer in Newsies, Billy Flynn in Chicago, Gaylord Ravenal in Show Boat, and Nick Longworth in Teddy & Alice. He has delighted audiences around the country in A Little Night Music opposite Leslie Uggams. He has appeared on four PBS “Great Performances,” and was a three-time Emmy nominee for his role as the nefarious Alan Spaulding on CBS’s longest running daytime drama Guiding Light.
Lacey was last seen on Broadway in the critically acclaimed Kennedy Center production of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies. She made her Broadway debut as Irene Malloy in Hello Dolly! for which she won the Theater World Award. And her biggest role was Eva Peron in Evita, a role she played on Broadway and on tour around the world. Her other Broadway credits include Les Misérables; The Grand Tour; and An Evening with Jerry Herman (Mac Award). In regional theater, she appeared in Pal Joey at Goodspeed Opera House and A Little Night Music at Connecticut Repertory Theatre. At the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C., she performed Sunday in the Park with George, Follies, and a concert version of My Fair Lady.
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.