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Music of the night

‘Phantom’ songstress ignites passion in inaugural concert.

April 28, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph

Officials promise a diverse program of vocal and instrumental music punctuated by the highest caliber of talent when the Glendale Renaissance Orchestra makes its debut Thursday night at the Americana at Brand.

The orchestra plans to blend light classical and pops repertoire throughout the season of three concerts at the outdoor venue before its season finale holiday concert at the Alex Theatre.

The inaugural concert is titled “A Night at the Opera” and features soprano Dale Kristien, known for her portrayal of Christine on Broadway and in the Los Angeles production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” and tenor Joseph Pokorski, who has appeared in several major operas throughout North America and Europe.

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They will sing solos and duets from “Phantom of the Opera,” as well as familiar Celtic, French and Italian works, said Steven Goldstein, artistic director and conductor of the Renaissance Orchestra.

“I’m thrilled to work with the vocal talents of Dale and Joseph,” he said.

Goldstein has worked with Kristien and the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, in the past.

Singing the songs from Phantom brings back a lot of memories singing on Broadway and the 4 1/2 years in the Los Angeles production, said Kristien, who lives in Burbank.

“That’s how I remember the lyrics,” she said.

“It takes me right back to being onstage and singing with Michael Crawford. I’m using his blocking — the way he moved his body — the way he sings a song. It takes me right back to when I was singing with him in Los Angeles.

But she’s excited to do some new material, she said, like Andrea Bocelli’s “The Prayer” and Sarah Brightman’s “Time to Say Goodbye.”

“It’s wonderful to be asked to do new things,” she said.

“Steven Goldstein has done the arrangements, and they are beautiful — just gorgeous arrangements.”

It will be the first time she sings with Pokorski. They have been studying and rehearsing the music apart, but on Tuesday started going over the material together, Kristien said.

“Now we will put it together, and magic will start to happen,” she said.

Having Kristien perform for the inaugural concert has been a wonderful surprise, said Rick Lemmo, senior vice president with Caruso Affiliated and chairman of the Glendale Renaissance Orchestra’s Executive Committee.

“I had seen Dale in ‘Phantom of the Opera,’” so when they told me Dale was going to be our headliner, I was absolutely thrilled,” Lemmo said.

The orchestra will also play an instrumental Beatles tribute that includes “All You Need is Love,” “The Long and Winding Road” and “Eleanor Rigby.”

The orchestra is a mix of musicians from Thousand Oaks-based New West Symphony and members of the rhythm section Goldstein brought onboard, he said. “These musicians are first-call movie, TV and recording musicians,” he said.


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