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'Christmas for Two'

Kevin Cole & Sylvia McNair In Concert at State Theater

December 14, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: Mike Bacigalupo - State Theatre

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Kevin Cole & Sylvia McNair In Concert
State Theatre, Dec 19-20, 2008

State Theater presents 'Christmas for Two' with Kevin Cole & Sylvia McNair. Show sponsored by: Catholic Federal Credit Union & Serenus Johnson.

  • Thursday, December 18, 2008 @ 7:30 PM
  • Friday, December 19, 2008 @ 7:30 PM
  • Saturday, December 20, 2008 @ 3:00 PM

  • America's pianist and Steinway Artist Kevin Cole has delighted audiences with a repertoire that includes the best of 20th Century American Music. Cole's performances, especially his interpretation of Gershwin, have prompted accolades from some of the foremost critics in America. "When Cole sits down at the piano, you would swear Gershwin himself was at work . . . Cole stands as the best Gershwin pianist in America today," wrote Howard Reich, arts critic for the Chicago Tribune.

    Engagements for Mr. Cole include: sold-out performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl; San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra (London); Boston Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony; BBC Concert Orchestra (Covent Garden Festival); Cincinnati Pops (Erich Kunzel conducting); Interlochen Center for the Arts (Michigan) and the Ravinia Festival (Chicago, IL).

    Cole has been a featured soloist at the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and the Chicago Humanities Festival. He has shared the concert stage with notables from opera greats William Warfield and Sylvia McNair to Broadway legend Barbara Cook. His solo debut at Chicago's Orchestra Hall was a concert of his own compositions.

    A step in a new direction featured Cole as a singer/pianist in Gershwin's LADY, BE GOOD! at the Teatro Nacional Sao Carlos, Lisbon, Portugal. Honoring the 100th anniversary of songwriter Harold Arlen's birth he performed a sold-out solo concert of Arlen for the Chicago Humanties Festival.

    In March 2005 Kevin gave the first professional performance, with the Albany Symphony(NY), of the Concerto in Three Rhythms, by Dana Suesse ( The Girl Gershwin ) since its debut in 1932.

    Kevin Cole is an award winning musical director, arranger, composer, vocalist and archivist who has garnered the praises of Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, E.Y.Harburg, Hugh Martin, Burton Lane, Stephen Sondheim and members of the Jerome Kern and Gershwin families.

    Sylvia. Singer. Survivor. Sylvia McNair's 25-year career as one of the world's leading singers has brought her two Grammy Awards, over 70 recordings and worldwide accolades, but she values her most recent success above all others: She Is A Survivor. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, Sylvia persevered through five major surgeries, months of chemo and radiation, all while performing everyplace from New York to Florida, joining the faculty of the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and never losing hope. She's living large and singing as beautifully as ever.

    There's another S word, add 'Segue' to the list because Survivor SingerSylvia has segued from opera and oratorio to the Great American Songbook, the music with which she feels most at home. Now, instead of singing 'V'adoro pupille' as Cleopatra to Julius Caesar on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, she's singing - Embraceable You - to rave reviews. Barrymore Lawrence Scherer in the Wall Street Journal wrote (March 2007): In recent years, such first-rank classical artists as Renee Fleming and Sylvia McNair have proved adept at jazz vocals. The idiom is in their blood - while Rex Reed, of McNair's Algonquin Oak Room debut wrote,'Her phrasing is exemplary. Her modulations are inspired. I could get used to this kind of ecstasy.'

    Since 1982, Sylvia has performed with almost every major American and European orchestra and opera company, including The Met, Chicago Lyric Opera, the Salzburg Festival, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Opera, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philharmonics of Vienna and Berlin, working with an array of the world's most prominent conductors, including Masur, Ozawa, Slatkin, Marriner, Previn and the late Robert Shaw, the musician she credits for giving her the important opportunities that started her career.

    For her, the highlights of her career include singing for Pope John Paul II, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the US Supreme Court by invitation of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. A native of Mansfield, Ohio, Sylvia has received honorary doctorates from Westminster College and Indiana University and the Ohio Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in Arts and Entertainment.

    Tickets $25.00 & $20.00 (Reserved Seating)

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    Mike Bacigalupo - State Theatre

    Mike Bacigalupo is the Executive Director of the State Theater in Downtown Bay City, Michigan

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