The New York Pops
Simon Capet, Conductor
Isaac Stern Auditorium/Ronald O. Perelman Stage
Peter Cromarty & Co.: Press
Martha Savitsky, Marketing
Chan Chandler, Production Manager
Micocci Productions, LLC: General Management
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 22, 2009
Canadian tenor, Ken Lavigne, sings with orchestras, opera companies, and in solo recitals. He won a 2002 vocal competition in Tipperary Ireland and sang for Queen Elizabeth II in her 50th Anniversary Jubilee. Mr. Lavigne has recorded widely, most recently, a Christmas repertoire, O’ Night Divine. The New York Pops, formed in 1983 by Skitch Henderson, is a New York symphony orchestra that almost exclusively plays popular music. The New York Pops performs at Carnegie Hall, in New York City Summertime concerts, on tours, on television, and in special appearances. A portion of tonight’s concert proceeds went to the British Columbia Paraplegic Association and also to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. (Assistance of Press Notes). The Reeves’ daughter spoke to the audience to thank Mr. Lavigne for his support.
From the very first note of Granada (Lara), a stupendous choice to open Mr. Lavigne’s Carnegie Hall debut, the audience was riveted. The next song, Music of the Night, from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, had Mr. Lavigne reaching high notes with noticeable clarity and strength. His range is expansive, and The New York Pops accompanied without overwhelming him. Canta della Terra (Sartori/Quarantotto) illustrated Mr. Lavigne’s detailed mastery of languages and accents, with natural expressiveness. In fact, he switched from Italian to French, for Edith Piaf’s Hymne à l’amour, sung with emotional force. Northwest Passage, by Canadian musician, Stan Rogers, is sung a cappella, and includes several entertaining verses. Just on the heels of this Canadian piece, Mr. Lavigne presented To Wordsworth (T. Francis), with an atonal, off-key motif. The first half of the program ended with Because We Believe (Foster/Bocelli/Foster-Gillies), sung with impassioned urgency.
After intermission, Mr. Lavigne re-focused the audience enthusiasm onto his rambunctious rendition of Funiculì, Funiculà (Denza/Turco). It should also be mentioned that throughout the evening, Ken Lavigne told jokes and anecdotes, and he also thanked and honored family and friends for their longstanding support of his career and his Carnegie Hall debut. Dell’amore non si sa (Malavasi/Leo Z/Sandri) was punctuated with scintillating sensuality, while C’est Moi (Lerner/Lowe), from Camelot, originally sung by Robert Goulet, one of Mr. Lavigne’s inspirations, was sung tonight with personality and persuasion. The mood switched with She Loves Me (Bock/Harnick), a song with light humor, and again with You Raise Me (Lovland/Graham), with solo passages that filled the Hall. The musical milieu shifted to Scotland for Song for Mira (MacGillivray) and then to Ireland for Danny Boy (Traditional/Weatherly). Many encores ensued. It is clear that Ken Lavigne is an artist to watch with a bright future. Kudos to Ken Lavigne, and kudos to Simon Capet and The New York Pops.
Ken Lavigne with The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall
Courtesy of Joel Weber