Symphoria rolls out the red carpet for ‘A Night at the Oscars’ and puts Jillian Honn in the spotlight for ‘Water Music’
By nature and by nurture, Syracuse native Lizzie Klemperer comes to her career as a Broadway musical singer quite inherently. Her mother, Christine Klemperer, is an opera singer, and her father, Fred Klemperer, a violinist. They met at Ithaca College, and they have spent their professional careers performing with Syracuse Opera, Symphoria, and a host of regional organizations.
Lizzie, who will headline the Feb. 10 Symphoria Pops Series concert, “A Night at the Oscars,” grew up in a home filled with music and began her own career singing in the Syracuse Children’s Chorus and participating in area community theater.
“My parents were always practicing for their various projects, and my finding a chamber music ensemble rehearsing in the living room was a common experience,” Lizzie says. “All of that in addition to their individual teaching studios with around-the-clock schedules just made music a natural part of life for me. I realize more and more how lucky I was.”
After earning a BFA at the University of Michigan, Lizzie went to New York City, where she was most recently in the cast of Steve Martin’s Tony Award-nominated “Bright Star.” She has spent the last year touring with a revamped production of “The Secret Garden,” which is Broadway bound. Back in NYC now, she is creating her own cabaret show to debut this spring at a new venue in midtown Manhattan.
From singing at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Broadway venues, Lizzie comes back to Crouse-Hinds Theater, where she last sang more than a decade ago with Syracuse Symphony for a production of “The Snowman.” She says she’s eager to return and is happy her schedule has meshed with that of Symphoria so she can perform again with her father and her many friends in CNY’s professional orchestra.
“I look forward to collaborating with Pops Conductor Sean O’Loughllin, and I think the program for this concert is simply wonderful,” Lizzie says. “I get to sing a huge variety of music that is really great, but I think I’m most excited about ‘Colors of the Wind’ because it is a gorgeous song, timeless.” She recalls singing the Menken and Schwartz song in a community theater production of “Pocahontas” and is feeling nostalgic now for that youthful time.
Lizzie is also looking forward to being part of a show in which the orchestra will play selections from the 2016 movie musical “La La Land,” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. “They were my schoolmates at Michigan, and it’s been such a treat to see how huge their success has been over the past few years,” she says.
With Lizzie in the spotlight and O’Loughlin on the podium, “A Night at the Oscars” features two local artists who are national figures in the music world. O’Loughlin tours with Josh Groban and was the conductor for NBC’s “A Very Pentatonix Christmas;” Groban’s holiday appearance on Good Morning America, and the CBS special, “A Home for the Holidays.”
“A Night at the Oscars” will include winning selections by Mancini (“Moon River”), Bernstein (“West Side Story), Arlen (“Over The Rainbow”) and the late Syracuse musician Calvin Custer’s arrangement of music from “Forest Gump.” The audience will find a few surprises, including choreography on some selections from the Ballet and Dance Center and an opportunity to strut in style on the requisite Red Carpet.
Water Music at the Casual Series
Symphoria’s February offerings end on the 18th when Music Director Lawrence Loh will conduct and principal oboist Jillian Honn will be the soloist for “Water Music” at St. Paul’s Syracuse, 2:30 p.m.
The concert opens with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 in C major. Following intermission, Honn will be featured on Mozart’s Concerto for Oboe in C major, 1777, a piece the composer adapted for his second flute concerto in order to quickly fulfill a commission, a move that has created a mysterious and winding path for the original work.
Program notes explain that Honn, a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and a founding member of the Eclectet Wind Quintet, will blend elements from several editions of the concerto and add much of her own interpretation in the cadenzas, virtuoso flourishes in solo passages within a work.
Selections from the first suite of Handel’s “Water Music” conclude the program.
Tickets for both concerts are available at experiencesymphoria.com and 315-299-5598.