Scott Speck, conductor
Lisa Vroman, soprano
Doug LaBrecque, tenor
Friday March 15 at 7:30 pm
Two dynamic Broadway artists join your WMS for an extraordinary evening of classic songs from Broadway’s Golden Age and beyond. With unforgettable melodies and lyrics by Porter, Gershwin, Berlin, Hamlisch, Lloyd Webber and more, these incredible vocal talents will make this a night to remember.
Lisa starred for several years on Broadway as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. As Christine, she garnered Theatre Critics' awards for the role in a record breaking run in San Francisco, and did a return engagement at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Ms. Vroman starred as Rosabella in The Most Happy Fella, making her New York City Opera debut with Paul Sorvino playing the title role. She played the role of Charlotte in A Little Night Music with Michigan Opera Theatre, starring Leslie Uggams and Ron Raines. She starred as Lili Vanessi in Kiss Me Kate with both Glimmerglass Opera and the MUNY Theater of St. Louis, and played Marian Paroo in The Music Man with Shirley Jones (Mrs. Paroo) and Patrick Cassidy (Harold Hill) at The Bushnell Theatre in Hartford CT. Lisa sang the role of Birdie in Regina with Utah Opera, conducted by Keith Lockhart; made her New Jersey Opera debut as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus (directed by Ira Siff); and premiered and recorded two Comic Operas by composers John Musto (Bastianello) and William Bolcom (Lucrezia) with the New York Festival of Song.
Her Broadway debut was in Aspects of Love, and she was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in Les Miserables. For PBS she was featured with Colm Wilkinson and Michael Ball in Cameron Mackintosh's Hey, Mr. Producer! at the Lyceum Theatre in London, a Royal Gala attended by Queen Elizabeth II. She sang the role of Johanna in the San Francisco Symphony's Emmy Award winning Sweeney Todd in Concert, with Patti Lupone and George Hearn. Both are available on DVD. Lisa starred as Laurey in Oklahoma, filmed live in concert for the BBC Proms Festival at Royal Albert Hall in London, and starred as Mary Turner in Gershwin's Of Thee I Sing/Let 'em Eat Cake in concert with Michael Tilson Thomas conducting the San Francisco Symphony and Chorus, directed by Pat Birch. Other roles have included Lucy Brown in Threepenny Opera at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco with Bebe Neuwirth, Nancy Dussault, and Anika Noni Rose; Laurie in The Tender Land at the Cabrillo Music Festival, with Marin Alsop, conducting; Maria in The Sound Of Music with Tulsa Opera; Josephine in HMS Pinafore and Yum-Yum in The Mikado with the Utah Opera; and Anna 1 in The Seven Deadly Sins with the Utah Symphony, Florida Symphony, Portland Symphony, and Parnassus Symphony. She has sung Maria in West Side Story, Guenevere in Camelot, Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel, Christine in Maury Yeston's Phantom, Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, and Amalia Balash in She Loves Me, as well as many other well known musical roles.
Her many performances have included a multi-city concert tour of China; concerts of Cole Porter's 1928 La Revue des Ambassadeurs with L'Opera de Rennes in France; and playing the role of Maria Callas in Terence McNally's award winning play, Master Class.
Lisa is a George London Competition Grant recipient and a 1999 Minerva Award recipient from the State University of New York at Potsdam. She received an Undergraduate degree in Music Education from the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam, a Masters degree in Fine Arts, Opera Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and was recently awarded an honorary Doctor of Music from SUNY Potsdam. She has become an active mentor and sought-after clinician with many colleges and universities across the country and around the world.
With a repertoire that ranges from Stravinsky to Weill to Broadway, Lisa is a frequent guest soloist with theater and opera companies, and orchestras including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, the National, Malaysia, Seattle, Hong Kong, Cleveland, Nashville, Pacific, Utah, Dallas, the Boston Pops with Keith Lockart, the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and the Philly Pops with Peter Nero. She made her debut at The Hollywood Bowl in Disney's 75th celebration, singing and dancing with legend Dick Van Dyke in a medley from Mary Poppins, (John Mauceri, conductor). She guest starred with SONY artist Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis in his NYC debut concert at City Center; and has performed many times with the New York Festival of Song, including a tribute to Broadway director Harold Prince. Lisa has sung in concert with composer Stephen Schwartz, organist David Higgs, and the Empire Brass Quintet. Her solo CD, Broadway Classic, features Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and 47 of San Francisco's finest orchestral players. Lisa had the honor of singing at the Profiles in Courage Award dinner in Boston at the JFK Library, as a guest of the Kennedy family. She has also sung on separate occasions for Queen Elizabeth, former presidents Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, and former Vice President Al Gore.
Lisa is part of an ongoing multimedia symphony project produced by Music Unwound and the Kurt Weill Foundation which features the work of Kurt Weill, Berthold Brecht and Marc Blitzstein. Her upcoming season includes celebrations of the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein with the Philly Pops and Santa Barbara Symphony.
Lisa lives in Pasadena, CA with husband Patrick O'Neil and their beautiful dog Barber.
Doug Labrecque thrilled theatre audiences as The Phantom and Raoul in the Harold Prince production of The Phantom of the Opera. In addition, Mr. LaBrecque has starred on Broadway as Ravenal in the Hal Prince revival of Showboat, a role he also performed in Canada and Chicago. He was featured in Oscar Hammerstein’s 100th Birthday Celebration on Broadway at The Gershwin Theatre, and toured nationally with Les Miserables. Regionally, Mr. LaBrecque has performed leading roles in Candide, A Chorus Line, Man of LaMancha among many others. A graduate of University of Michigan he was also featured in the world premiere of A Wonderful Life, written by Sheldon Harnick and Joe Raposo, and starred in the premiere revival of Kurt Weill and Alan Jay Lerner’s Love Life.
One of the most prolific concert performers of his generation, Mr. LaBrecque has been a soloist with some of the world’s finest symphony orchestras including The National Symphony, The Israel Philharmonic (Tel Aviv), The Chicago Symphony, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Atlanta Symphony, The San Francisco Symphony, among many others. In the last few years, Mr. LaBrecque’s U.S. appearances have included Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Houston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, The Utah Symphony and with Marvin Hamlisch both at the Ravinia Festival with The Chicago Symphony, and with The Pittsburgh Symphony.
In a tribute to Richard Rodgers, Mr. LaBrecque recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the New York Pops, the same season he debuted with The Boston Pops. Alongside Jeff Tyzik, he appeared with both the St. Louis and Seattle Symphony’s for their Holiday Celebrations as well as numerous performances with The Naples Philharmonic. With Peter Nero he was featured in “Broadway Showstoppers” a live recording with Mr. Nero’s Philly Pops. Other special engagements have included singing with Carole Bayer-Sager at Feinsteins’s in Manhattan and the Cinegrill in Los Angeles, performing alongside Broadway legend Jerry Herman with the Naples Philharmonic, and appearing onstage with Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch (singing together!) at Hickory Hill, the legendary home of Ethel Kennedy.
International engagements have included The Korean National Symphony in Seoul, Korea, The Shanghai Radio Orchestra in China, The Hong Kong Philharmonic, The Vancouver and Calgary Symphonies in Canada, The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra in Rio De Janeiro, The Jerusalem Symphony, and numerous return engagements with the Israel Philharmonic. Mr. LaBrecque recently appeared in Alba Italy as the guest soloist in an all Bernstein concert and returned to the International Music Festival in The Czech Republic.