News and Reviews
VARIOUS CONCERT REVIEWS
"Peppermint Pops" - Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra
Evansville Courier & Press
By Kelly Gifford
...But it was Broadway veteran Lisa Vroman who gave the two-hour performance the holiday magic it needed through her exceptional range, sparkling outfits and vivacious personality.
...Enter Vroman in a plunging purple floor-length gown, her first of three wardrobe changes, singing "I Saw Three Ships." The soprano's voice, even at its softest, filled the entire theater and left chills unrelated to the evening's dropping temperatures. Vroman remained on stage for several numbers in the first half of the concert, the strings, percussion and brass elevating her already sensational talents.
By Side By Side By Side By Side by Sondheim -
The 23rd Annual STAGE Benefit Concert (Kritzerland)
Another recording of the S.T.A.G.E. concerts, this two-disc set overflows with many of Stephen Sondheim's best-known songs, in a variety of interpretations. Among the standouts are Lisa Vroman's soaring take on the movie version of "The Glamorous Life" (from A Little Night Music), Betty Garrett's utterly merry delivery of "Broadway Baby" (from Follies), Alice Ripley's rousing "Me and My Town" (from Anyone Can Whistle), and brothers Patrick and Shaun Cassidy, who tear into two versions of "Agony" from Into the Woods with comic elan.
Symphony Silicon Valley
San Jose Mercury News Review: ‘Lisa Vroman and Symphony Silicon Valley perform the music of Kurt Weill'
By Georgia Rowe
...Vroman, assuming the role of Anna the vocalist, was the ideal soloist. (The second Anna, originally played by a dancer, was represented here by a seamstress's dress form.) The soprano, who made her mark on Broadway as Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera," has since commanded a wide variety of repertoire. Saturday, singing in German (with English supertitles) and looking svelte in a black halter dress, she proved a sublime Weill interpreter, handling Anna's music with effortless projection, articulate phasing and an air of steely, world-weary allure.
...Vroman, buoyed by Holmes' expansive conducting, sparkled in this repertoire, from the witty wordplay of "Mr. Right" to the subdued sonorities of "Speak Low." Best of all was her haunting performance of "It Never Was You," with Holmes serving as pianist.
‘Home For The Holidays’ – Memphis Symphony Orchestra
Concert Review – Symphony’s Seasonal Spirit Finds a ‘Home’
by Jon W. Sparks
The Memphis Symphony Orchestra's "Home for the Holidays" pops concert served admirably to set the mood for the season. Saturday night's performance at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts nicely mixed religious, secular and cultural inspirations that were well received in the packed auditorium.
…Another high point of the evening -- several high points actually -- was the guest vocalist, soprano Lisa Vroman. Her exquisite, shimmering voice did justice to "Rejoice Greatly" from Handel's "Messiah." She also sang a range of other tunes, from "Go Tell It On the Mountain" to "O Holy Night," with beauty and grace.
‘Holiday Organ Spectacular’
Deck the Hall Concert Series – Walt Disney Concert Hall
by Paula Edelstein
Virtuosic performances by concert organist David Higgs, harpist Mindy Ball, soprano Lisa Vroman and drummer Bernie Dresel, in a program of traditional holiday carols as well as Bach, Wright, Dupre and Adam, delighted the near-capacity audience with sing-a-longs, ensemble and solo performances.
Ms. Ball and Ms. Vroman were both outstanding as soloists and featured accompanists. Crystal clear and beautiful, Ms. Vroman’s soprano voice resonated throughout the Hall and kept the audience mesmerized with her angelic tones. Ms. Ball’s delicate strumming of the harp was pure joy and provided a sense of heavenly peace during her accompaniment.
The award-winning drummer/educator Bernie Dresel, along with Ms. Vroman and Mr. Higgs, performed The Little Drummer Boy. Dresel’s jazz-inflected snare drumming (he holds the drum chair with the Grammy-nominated Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band), was enthusiastically received as evidenced by the excited ovation he received as he took his bows.
STRAUSS TO SONDHEIM: A SUMMER EVENING LAWN CONCERT
SYMPHONY SILICON VALLEY
by Cy Ashley Webb
The Strauss to Sondheim program was a great choice to baptize the reopening of the Great Lawn concerts. The first half of the evening was almost entirely devoted to works of Johann Strauss Jr., and the second half to showcasing the incredible talents of Lisa Vroman. Both complemented each other well.
...Lisa Vroman played off George Cleve perfectly. Straddling opera and Broadway, Vroman has a voice that’s more ballsy than an angel, but with such unimaginable suppleness, fluidity and range that time stops when she opens her mouth. Having seen what she could do with an overworked standard such as Send in the Clowns, I’d wager that she could brings tears to an audience’s eyes by singing the phonebook. The more intimate setting at Montalvo highlighted her considerable talents as a show woman – which often get lost when she plays larger venues such as Shoreline.
Florida West Coast Symphony
by John Fleming
The first concert featured Lisa Vroman, a versatile soprano who has taken on such disparate assignments this season as the sisters in Weill’s Seven Deadly Sins and the ingénue in The Most Happy Fella at New York City Opera. …. She sang the soaring aria “Alcandro, lo confesso – Non so d’onde viene”, the only vocal work that has Mozart’s own ornamentation. Her performance sounded effortless and precise, gracefully making the embellishments clear without being pedantic about it.
Hollywood Bowl – ‘Walt Disney – 75 years of Music’
by Joel Hirschhorn
…Nostalgic, childlike enthusiasm for Disney music was clearly conveyed in conductor John Mauceri's opening remarks at the Hollywood Bowl tribute to Disney's 75-year musical legacy. Mauceri's beaming expressions lit up two large screens, and this personal emotion gave flavor and drive to a Disney Classics Overture that contained bustling renditions of "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo," "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and "You Can Fly." But remainder of the program took flight only fitfully as a series of selections either soared or sagged until the solidly thrilling "Lion King" climax.
…As if on a pogo stick, the concert lifted up again with Dick Van Dyke. The ultimate pro danced delightfully and duetted with Vroman on a medley of "Mary Poppins" songs. He kicked up his heels during Richard and Robert Sherman's "Supercalifragilisticexpialodocious" and "It's a Jolly Holiday With Mary," and the Van Dyke-Vroman pair offered winning examples of showbiz savvy and style.
Palm Beach Daily News - Soloists Define Boston Pops at Kravis Show
by George Sparks
…..[Ron] Raines and [Lisa] Vroman held their own with a great orchestra, offering sometimes operatic and always superb performances. [They] sounded great together and seemed to have a chemistry that lights up the stage.
Vroman with “If I Loved You” from Carousel, was one of the highlights of the night. Vroman has a gorgeous voice and the ability to offer up many colors and styles.
Binghamton Sun-Bulletin - 'America's Orchestra' Impresses
by Gene Grey
It is hard to imagine a more satisfying show than the one the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, its personable conductor Keith Lockhart and superb guest soprano Lisa Vroman put on for the sold-out Binghamton Summer Music Festival last night.
Boastfully, but appropriately billing itself as ‘America’s Orchestra’, the ensemble, on a rare tour to these parts, showed why it has entertained audiences for nearly 125 years.
Devoting the first part of the concert to a celebration of the centennial of Aaron Copland's birth, Lockhart conducted three dances from Rodeo and then introduced Vroman to sing the rarely performed ‘Laurie's Song’ from one of only two operas that Copland wrote, the evocative ‘The Tender Land’.
Vroman, who belongs on any short list of Broadway divas, sang a trio of songs from the shows ‘The Sound of Music’, ‘My Fair Lady’, and ‘Song and Dance’ and simply wowed the audience, who may not have previously heard of the singer (whose work has been most recently on the West Coast).
Simply put, she's got great pipes and she's easy on the eyes as well. Her version of ‘Unexpected Song’ (from ‘Song and Dance’), with Lockhart playing piano accompaniment, was the best I've ever heard.
Florida West Coast Symphony
Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Symphony’s ‘Scheherazade’ leaves audience enchanted
by Richard Storm
In the most recent concert in the Florida West Coast Symphony's Masterworks series, the audience was treated to a pair of vastly different-but-equally sumptuous Scheherazades, and a crystalline, infrequently heard Mozart symphony. Performed with a reduced orchestra, Mozart's Symphony No. 34 in C Major (K. 338) was, in effect, the overture to the concert.
No overture, however, could have prepared the audience for the dazzling beauty of Ravel's “Scheherazade - Trois Poemes pour Chant et Orchestre” which followed. This music launched Ravel's long-stalled career, and one can understand why, for it is fully realized, revolutionary, sure in its effects, masterful in its use of text and timbre.
From the very first orchestral notes, magically oriental, and the achingly lovely cry to “Asia, ancient and wondrous land,” sung by soprano Lisa Vroman, we were caught up in the fantasy world of Tristan Klingsor's poetry. Vroman's voice, perfectly placed and effortlessly produced, matched the exquisite sheen of the orchestra's strings as she spun out long phrases in excellent French.
In the second song, “The Enchanted Flute,” Scheherazade dreams of her lover, waiting outside her palace prison as the Sultan dozes. The third, “The Indifferent One,” plays upon a langorous sexual ambiguity, expressed in the hushed sway of the music, and ending in a tiny gesture of ironic regret. In comparison with performances by singers of great renown, I must say that this is one of the finest I have heard. Vroman's compelling stage presence was notable, too. It was we who were enchanted.
San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco Classical Voice - Stravinsky Festival’s Terrific Start, even in Miniatures
by George Thomson
The program was arranged in roughly chronological order. First the listener could bask in the plush exoticism of the early Pastorale; it was most clever to follow immediately with the bracing “Four Russian Songs”; from 1918-19, which show how much Stravinsky's attitudes towards Russian-ness had changed in the interim. Both works were originally composed with piano accompaniments. Pastorale, using a 1920 transcription that enhanced its original lushness, was sensuously sung by soprano Lisa Vroman with symphony wind players Eugene Izotov, Julie Ann Giacobassi, Luis Baez, and Steven Braunstein. The Russian Songs were given in Stravinsky's 1953 reworking for voice and ensemble which preserves their prickly starkness. In these, soprano Vroman was ably joined by flautist Catherine Payne, guitarist David Tanenbaum, and harpist Douglas Rioth.
The program came full circle with Stravinsky's last published work, a setting of Edward Lear's “The Owl and the Pussy-Cat” delightfully sung by Lisa Vroman, with Tilson Thomas accompanying joyfully at the piano. Her diction was splendid, her command of pitch and intonation excellent, the timbre bright and clear - a voice I am eager to hear again.