featuring Liz Callaway, vocalist Rosena M. Hill Jackson, vocalist Damian Humbley, vocalist
With credits to 1,589 unforgettable songs and 5 ground-breaking musicals, including Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, and South Pacific, Oscar Hammerstein 2nd shaped both American musical theater and the careers of his successors, particularly that of his neighbor and protégé, Stephen Sondheim.
Newly appointed Music Director David Charles Abell brings the Golden Age dazzle of Broadway to this enchanting tribute. Hammerstein, who lived the final 20 years of his life in Doylestown, was an extraordinary luminary, and his monumental achievements earned him 2 Oscars, 8 Tonys, and 2 Pulitzer prizes.
Here's The Philly POPS Festival Chorus @ Home singing Edelweiss from The Sound of Music! Video editing provided by Festival Chorus member Jeffrey John Masino.
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About David Charles Abell:
David Charles Abell is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of The Philly POPS.
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, Josh Groban, 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, as well as the streamed performance of A Philly POPS Christmas 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.
About Liz Callaway:
Liz Callaway is a Tony nominee and Emmy Award-winning actress, singer, and recording artist. She made her Broadway debut in Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along, received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in Baby, and for 5 years, won acclaim as Grizabella in Cats. She has also starred in the original casts of Miss Saigon, The Three Musketeers, and The Look of Love, with many off-Broadway credits to her name, as well. An accomplished concert and recording artist, she created the award-winning show Sibling Revelry with sister Ann Hampton Callaway, with whom she collaborated again on Boom!, a celebration of the music of the '60s and '70s recorded live at Birdland and currently touring performing arts centers around the country. Recently, she had the pleasure of singing Chances Are with the legendary Johnny Mathis in Vancouver, co-starring with Jimmy Webb and Paul Williams in their engagement at Feinstein’s in New York, and joining Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, and Stevie Wonder at Hal David’s 90th Birthday Celebration Concert in Los Angeles.
Her extensive U.S. symphony work includes appearances at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Ravinia, and The Hollywood Bowl. Worldwide, she has performed in China, Australia, New Zealand, Iceland, France, South Korea, and Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, where she premiered a new concert featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim. Liz sang the Oscar-nominated Journey to the Past in the animated film Anastasia and performed the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in Disney’s Aladdin and the King of Thieves and The Return of Jafar. She received an Emmy Award for hosting Ready to Go, a daily, live children’s program on CBS in Boston.
About Rosena M. Hill Jackson: Rosena Hill Jackson has performed at Carnegie Hall with The New York Pops; Teatro di Massimo Symphony Orchestra in Palermo, Sicily; Teatro di Lirico Symphony Orchestra and chorus in, Sardegna; Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Florida Sunshine Pops, Long Island Philharmonic, Sarasota Symphony, Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Wheeling Symphony and in the cast of Carousel with the New York Philharmonic for PBS “Live at Lincoln Center.”
On Broadway, Rosena stepped into the role of Nettie Fowler in Carousel, after the departure of Renée Fleming. Mrs. Jackson was chosen by Harold Prince to be a part of the principle cast of Prince Of Broadway, produced by the Manhattan Theater Club. She has performed with Patti LaBelle, Tony Braxton, Baby Face, K.D. Lang, Vanessa Williams, Gladys Night and Fantasia in After Midnight, Come Fly Away (Featured Vocalist); The Color Purple (Church Lady) with Fantasia; Monty Python’s Spamalot (Lady of the Lake) with Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria, Christopher Sieber; Imaginary Friends (Mrs. Stillman) with Swoosie Kurtz and Cherry Jones; Oklahoma (Ellen) 2002 revival with Patrick Wilson, Andrea Martin and Shuler Hensley; Riverdance on Broadway (Amanzi soloist); Marie Christine (Ophelia) with Audra McDonald and Vivian Reed and Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend) with LaChanze. On the 1st national tour of Ragtime (Sarah). Off-Broadway in Cotton Club Parade (Trio) at City Center with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Lost in the Stars (Mrs. Mckezie) at City Center; Tin Pan Alley Rag (Monisha, Miss Lee, the Librarian and Nedda) at the Roundabout; and the In Gathering. Regional credits include in And the World Goes Round (Woman 1) at Pittsburgh Public Theater, Man Of La Mancha (Aldonza) at White Plains Performing Arts Center, Baby (Pam) at Papermill Playhouse, Dreamgirls (Michelle) at San Jose Repertory Theatre, Sacramento’s California Musical Theatre, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre and North Carolina Theater, Lucky Stiff (Dominique du Monaco) at the York Theatre, Imaginary Friends (Soloist) at the Globe Theatre; Cinderella, Chess, Gypsy, Kiss Me, Kate, and La Cage aux Folles with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Ballad of Baby Doe (Meg) with the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Aint’ Misbehavin (Armelia) at Playhouse on the Green, Brief History of White Music at Hanna Theater Cabaret , 1001 Nights (Sophie) at George Street Playhouse, Mandela (Winnie Mandela) at Crossroads, Carmen and La Boheme with the Sarasota Opera. Rosena has performed internationally for three seasons with Queen Esther Marrow and the Harlem Gospel Singers & Band touring in Austria, Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Hungary and the Netherlands as a featured soloist. Rosena Hill Jackson is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University holding a BFA in Music.
A native of Sarasota, Florida, Rosena’s CD If You Believe, combines jazz, gospel, and show tunes in honor of her late father.
About Damian Humbley: Damian studied Theatre at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts. Theatre credits include: 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).