A Sondheim Celebration | The Philly Pops
 

A Sondheim Celebration

David Charles Abell, Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center for Performing Arts

300 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
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Apr 21-23, 2023
See All Dates & Times
Fri, Apr 21, 2023
8 PM
8 PM
Sat, Apr 22, 2023
3 PM
3 PM
Sun, Apr 23, 2023
3 PM
3 PM
Featuring

Liz Callaway, vocalist
Damian Humbley, vocalist

Stephen Sondheim famously began his career as lyricist for West Side Story, in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein and Jerome Robbins. He went on to compose the incomparable music of A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Follies, Company, and Sweeney Todd.  

David Charles Abell, who premiered a new Sweeney Todd in Zurich in 2019, brings the best of Sondheim in a celebration of the great man’s career. The program features student soloists from the School District of Philadelphia’s All City Choir.  

Guest Artists

Liz Callaway, vocalist

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Tony nominee and Emmy winner Liz Callaway made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. She has gone on to star in Baby, Miss Saigon, The Look of Love, The Three Musketeers, and for 5 years appeared as Grizabella in Cats.  Off-Broadway credits include The Spitfire Grill (Drama Desk nomination), Marry Me a Little and Brownstone.  She also appeared in A Stephen Sondheim Evening, the legendary Follies in Concert at Lincoln Center, and Inside the Actor’s Studio: Stephen Sondheim. Regional and international credits include the one-person play Every Brilliant Thing, Dot in Sunday in the Park with George, Eva Peron in Evita, Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard, and the European premiere of Sondheim on Sondheim at London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Liz sang the Academy Award-nominated song “Journey to the Past” in the animated feature Anastasia. Other film work includes Jasmine in the two Aladdin sequels, The Swan Princess, Beauty and the Beast, and The Rewrite with The Hugh Grant.

Her extensive concert and symphony career has included appearances in London, Paris, Iceland, Vietnam, Australia, China and nearly every major city in the U.S. She performs regularly with her sister Ann Hampton Callaway, as well as composer Stephen Schwartz, and has had the great pleasure of singing with Jimmy Webb, Paul Williams and the legendary Johnny Mathis.

Liz has seven solo recordings including her newest CD, Comfort and Joy—An Acoustic Christmas. www.lizcallaway.com

Damian Humbley, vocalist

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Damian studied Theatre at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Theatre includes: Local Hero (Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre), Merrily We Roll Along (Huntington Theatre Company, USA & Harold Pinter Theatre), Life of The Party (Bay Theatre Award - TheatreWorks SV, Menier Chocolate Factory) Lend Me A Tenor (Gielgud Theatre, London), The Woman In White (Palace Theatre London), Fiddler on the Roof (Savoy Theatre, London), The Last 5 Years, Spamilton (Menier Chocolate Factory), Forbidden Broadway (Vaudeville Theatre) Dicken's Abridged (Arts Theatre), Putting It Together, Songs For a New World (St James Theatre), Hedda Gabler (Salisbury Playhouse), Company (Sheffield Crucible), Little Shop Of Horrors (UK Tour).

David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor

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Throughout his distinguished career, conductor David Charles Abell has excelled in a wide range of musical genres, from contemporary opera to worldwide TV broadcasts of Les Misérables. He has appeared four times at the BBC Proms and has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Lea Salonga, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Petula Clark, Bryn Terfel, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison, Michael Ball, Michael Feinstein and Stephen Hough.

David was appointed Music Director of the Philly POPS a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began. He helped the organization pivot by planning and conducting one of the first US orchestral streaming events in July, 2020. The subsequent Christmas celebration he conducted was broadcast to half a million US servicemen and women by the American Forces Network.

Born in North Carolina, David earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive viola, piano and composition studies. Turning his attention to conducting at the age of fourteen, he went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger.

Recent projects have included a new production of La bohème at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Francesca Zambello’s Porgy and Bess at Atlanta Opera, Barrie Kosky’s Die Zauberflöte at Opera Philadelphia, and Tomer Zvulun’s Eugene Onegin at Hawaii Opera Theatre. He is a regular guest conductor at Cincinnati Opera, where he has led Die Fledermaus and Kevin Puts’ Silent Night among others. In the UK, David made his debut with English National Opera in Sweeney Todd (starring Bryn Terfel and Emma Thompson). subsequently returning for an equally-acclaimed Carousel. He recently conducted his own new critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North and the Théâtre du Châtelet.