POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia and More... | The Philly Pops

POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia and More...

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Nov 17-21, 2021
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David Charles Abell, Conductor

Rajaton, guest artists

Mamma Mia — it’s time to get your dancing shoes on again! Hear the POPS’ signature sound on the hits of one of the greatest-selling bands of all time, ABBA! 

The sensational Finnish vocal group Rajaton brings their boundless energy to the POPS for a night of ABBA’s best — boogie along to “Dancing Queen,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” and “Chiquitita.” Rajaton has released 16 different albums. In 2017, Rajaton celebrated 20 years of music-making with one double platinum, three platinum, and eight gold records in Finland, as their worldwide record sales have hit over 400,000 copies altogether. 

Performance repertoire:

• ABBA Medley
• Dancing Queen/Money, Money, Money/ One of Us
• Head Over Heels
• S.O.S.
• Take a Chance on Me
• Chiquitita
• Mamma Mia
• People Need Love: An ABBA Symphonic Medley
        • Angeleyes
        • Eagle
        • Lovelight
        • I Wonder (Departure)
        • People Need Love
• When All is Said and Done
• Knowing Me, Knowing You
• Fernando
• Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!
• Does Your Mother Know/The Winner Takes It All/Thank You For the Music

Guest Artists

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor


Born in North Carolina, Music Director & Principal Conductor David Charles Abell grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia, attending Germantown Friends School through the sixth grade. A gifted musician from a young age, his study of trumpet, viola, piano, and composition eventually led to a concentration on conducting. He attended Yale University, the Juilliard School, and the Conservatoire Américain in France, where he studied under Nadia Boulanger. At age 13, David met Leonard Bernstein while singing in the world premiere of Bernstein’s Mass in Washington, D.C. Ten years later, David assisted his teacher John Mauceri in the tenth anniversary production of Mass, leading to a close association with Bernstein—as both a conducting student and as an editor of Bernstein’s music.   

David made his debut with The Philly POPS in 2013’s Christmas Spectacular, returning again in 2014 and 2015. He has since conducted Blockbuster Broadway in 2017, Lenny’s Revolution in 2018, and will lead 2019’s A Philly POPS Christmas and 2020’s Hammerstein: The Song Is You! In addition to his work with The Philly POPS, David conducts concerts, opera, and theatre performances around the world. He has performed with such distinguished artists as Dame Judi Dench ,Dame Emma Thompson, Heather Headley, Idina Menzel, Petula Clark, Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Matthew Morrison. He has conducted many prominent orchestras, including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Atlanta and Cincinnati Symphonies, and Boston Pops.

David is widely known to TV audiences for the 10thand 25th anniversary Les Misérables concerts, both of which have become PBS fund-raising perennials. In the UK, he has performed many times on television, most notably as conductor of the immensely successful Sondheim 80th birthday Prom and as the conductor for four years of the Olivier Awards, the UK’s equivalent to the Tony Awards. Recently, he made his Zurich Opera debut with Sweeney Todd, starring Sir Bryn Terfel.

David currently lives in London.

Rajaton, vocalists


Rajaton is the world renowned Finnish a capella ensemble founded in Helsinki in 1997. The group’s name, meaning “boundless,” is a perfect fit for this group of six who, as their name states, knows no bounds. They are a bona fide pop phenomenon, successfully bridging the gap that often exists between classical and mainstream convention on the world stage. While Rajaton performs primarily in Finland, they have toured 25 other countries as well. They have released 12 albums since 2000, eight of them reaching gold record status, one reaching platinum (Rajaton Sings ABBA with Lahti Symphony Orchestra), and their most successful reaching double platinum (Jouluyo). Both their talent and accomplishments make them a phenomenon on the world stage.