By Elaine Sorrentino
We all have expectations. When you request chocolate coconut almond ice cream (my favorite), you expect to get chocolate coconut almond ice cream. And when you hear the name Placido Domingo, often called the “King of Opera,” you expect to hear his powerful dramatic tenor voice singing the part of Otello, for which he is best known. Placido Domingo equals opera, right? Well, maybe not. In the 80’s he surprised us all, and recorded Perhaps Love, a pop song (what?) with John Denver. The unusual collaboration was so unexpected, and the result so beautiful, that Perhaps Love was an instant hit, selling over four million records. Uh oh, I may have just derailed my own thought train here…
…and more recently Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, with his powerful, operatic voice, sang a duet of Perfect with Ed Sheeran in a touching, elegant orchestral version of Sheeran’s song. It’s like musical candy. If you have not heard it, I highly recommend Googling it and having a listen. I guarantee you’ll listen to it more than once. Again, a completely unexpected vocal experiment with unforgettable results.
With this in mind, South Shore Conservatory put together a concert of unexpected vocal surprises, called Going Rogue: South Shore Conservatory’s Voice Department flips. Believe me, there are flips! These vocalists will wander far outside their comfort zone, dipping their vocal toes into an unfamiliar pool, and audiences will hear some surprisingly sensational results.
For example, remember fun Gee Officer Krupke from West Side Story (WSS)? Don’t expect it to be sung by Jets or Sharks gang members. It will sung by a wild gang of females. After Going Rogue, you will never think of the Natalie Wood WSS character singing I Feel Pretty again. You’ll think of baritone Devon Russo belting it out. This is sure to be a show stopper.
If you liked Mike D’Abo’s version of Herod’s Song from Jesus Christ Superstar, you may find yourself enjoying the Eve Montague version even more! These Rogue performers seek to entertain and amuse. Perhaps in the process, they’ll discover their own mixed genre versatility.
Arrive with an open heart and mind, and come prepared to be entertained, because I believe you will be pleasantly surprised at the touching and hilarious gift these talented vocalists bestow on the audience.
South Shore Conservatory’s Going Rogue: South Shore Conservatory’s Voice Department flips, the final concert in SSC’s Conservatory Concert Series 2017/2018 season, is Sunday, March 11, 4 pm at One Conservatory Drive in Hingham. The program is repeated Sunday, March 18, 4 pm at the Conservatory’s Duxbury campus. SSC faculty members performing include Emily Browder Melville, Holly Jennings, Beth MacLeod Largent, Devon Russo, Eve Montague and Meredith Borden. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public.
To learn more about South Shore Conservatory performances and events, visit sscmusic.org or find South Shore Conservatory on Facebook.
Elaine Sorrentino is the Communications Director at South Shore Conservatory.