A Little Night Music
The Philly POPS honor an American legend.
David Charles Abell, Music Director & Principal Conductor READ BIO
Born in North Carolina, David grew up in the Mt. Airy Neighborhood of Philadelphia. At the age of fourteen, he turned his attention to conducting and went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger. He earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive study of viola, piano, and composition. He has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Bryn Terfel, Matthew Morrison and Michael Feinstein. Previously, as Guest Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor of The Philly POPS, he conducted Cole Porter’s Broadway: Too Darn Hot, Lenny’s Revolution, Blockbuster Broadway, and A Philly POPS Christmas in 2013, 2014, 2015, and again for the record-setting run of A Philly POPS Christmas in 2019 and the streamed performance in 2020. David has appeared regularly on television, most notably conducting the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts of Les Misérables. He has conducted five times at London’s BBC Proms, including a live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Recordings include the musicals Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre and Man of La Mancha, Something’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenleyside, Forever with soprano Diana Damrau, and highlights from La Bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic.
In the UK, David recently conducted his own critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North. He has conducted many of the premier British orchestras, including the London Symphony, City of Birmingham, Bournemouth, and Royal Philharmonic. His work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra includes a centenary concert honoring his mentor Leonard Bernstein in 2018. A much-respected artist in London’s West End, David conducted the Olivier Awards ceremony for four years and was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s personal choice to lead the world premiere of Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre. David’s recent projects have included a series of Gershwin concerts at Kyiv National Theatre of Operetta in Ukraine, Carousel at the Vienna Volksoper and Sweeney Todd at the Zurich Opera House. David also conducted Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute at Opera Philadelphia, West Side Story at the Glimmerglass Festival, and Silent Night, Kevin Puts’ acclaimed opera about the World War I Christmas Truce, in Kansas City, Cincinnati and Detroit.
Liz Callaway, Vocalist READ BIO
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.
Damian Humbley, Vocalist READ BIO
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).
The Philly POPS Festival Chorus READ BIO
The Philly POPS Festival Chorus is a 180-voice ensemble that performs with the Philly POPS under the direction of Jeff Kern, Head of the Vocal Division for University of the Arts.
The Philly POPS Festival Chorus began performing in 2002 and performs with the POPS orchestra during the annual Christmas concert series and Broadway series. The chorus has performed with many professional artists including Faith Prince, Capathia Jenkins, Ashley Brown, Lisa Howard, Lauren Kennedy, Rachel York, Alice Ripley, Ann Hampton Callaway, and The von Trapp Family Children.
The Festival Chorus is an auditioned, volunteer organization composed of singers ranging from high school students to retired professionals.
A SONDHEIM CELEBRATION
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.
Stephen Sondheim won a record eight Tony awards, eight GRAMMYs, a Pulitzer Prize, and an Academy Award. A preeminent Broadway composer and lyricist, Sondheim famously began his career as lyricist for West Side Story, in a memorable collection 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: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
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.
Fanfare, Invocation, and Instructions to the Audience from The Frogs
Overture from Follies
Broadway Baby from Follies
Too Many Mornings from Follies
Giants in the Sky from Into the Woods
Children Will Listen from Into the Woods
Sunday in the Park with George from Sunday in the Park with George
Move On from Sunday in the Park with George
Night Waltz from A Little Night Music
Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music
Company from Company
Being Alive from Company
Prologue: The Ballad of Sweeney Todd from Sweeney Todd
Not While I’m Around from Sweeney Todd
Merrily Overture from Merrily We Roll Along
Franklin Shepard, Inc. from Merrily We Roll Along
Not a Day Goes By from Merrily We Roll Along
Our Time from Merrily We Roll Along
Sunday from Sunday in the Park with George
No upcoming events.