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Broadway at Caramoor This Summer: Audra McDonald with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Bernstein Tributes, Family Programming (June 16–July 29)

A carefully curated selection of Broadway’s best comes to Caramoor this summer, as Westchester’s idyllic cultural mecca celebrates its 73rd season (June 16–July 29). The festival opens with superstar vocalist Audra McDonald, performing favorite songs from past and present with the resident Orchestra of St. Luke’s conducted by Hello Dolly! Music Director Andy Einhorn (June 16). In honor of the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth this coming August, Broadway music director Ted Sperling leads an all-Bernstein program called “Bernstein’s Broadway” with Broadway stars Alysha Umphress, Mikaela Bennett, Bryce Pinkham, and Ben Davis (July 14). Earlier that same day is a “Bridge to Broadway” family concert with soprano Natalie Bergeron and baritone Steven Herring, and more Bernstein is on tap in the Fourth of July concert as Curt Ebersole leads the Westchester Symphonic Winds, with soprano Meredith Lustig and tenor Miles Mykkanen.

A versatile vocalist and actor whose every role leaves critics grasping for new superlatives, Audra McDonald is the winner of an unprecedented six Tony Awards, two Grammys, and an Emmy. As the New York Times says: “One of Ms. McDonald’s greatest gifts is to find the story inside the song and deliver it with immediacy and clarity, in a voice that finds a flexible, intuitive balance between storytelling and singing—a defining voice of our time.” She joins the Orchestra of St. Luke’s—“one of the most versatile and galvanic ensembles in the U.S.” (WQXR)—to open the Caramoor season with an eclectic mix of standards and songs by contemporary songwriters. Conducting the concert is Andy Einhorn, who is currently the Music Supervisor and Music Director for the Broadway production of Hello Dolly!, and who has been McDonald’s music director since 2011. For the fifth consecutive year, Caramoor partners with WQXR, New York City’s only all-classical music station, to broadcast its opening-night gala, live on Classical 105.9 WQXR, Classical 90.3 FM Ossining, and streamed at

On July 14, some of Broadway’s most talked-about names join forces at Caramoor for a tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s compositions for Broadway. Tony Award-winning Broadway music director and MasterVoices conductor Ted Sperling leads an all-Bernstein program to celebrate the composer’s centennial, featuring Broadway stars Mikaela Bennett, praised in The Golden Apple for singing that “feels like getting out from under the clouds on a night flight over water” (New York Times); Alysha Umphress, who was characterized in the recent Broadway revival of On the Town as “a red-hot mama who sings double entendres with a prurience-proof, bebop gusto” (New York Times); Bryce Pinkham, who portrayed the serial killer at the heart of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder with “brash innocence lightly sprinkled with arsenic” and whose “firm tenor [was] matched by pleasingly (and necessarily) precise diction” (New York Times); and Ben Davis, a Broadway veteran recently seen in Violet who has “a voice as rich and deep as sapphires” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). The concert features songs from Bernstein musicals West Side Story, Candide, Wonderful Town, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, The Skin of Our Teeth (unproduced) and On the Town.

Celebrating Independence Day in style, audience favorites Curt Ebersole and his 60-piece Westchester Symphonic Winds offer a family-friendly event steeped in American heritage, with guest vocalists—and Schwab Vocal Rising Stars alums—soprano Meredith Lustig and tenor Miles Mykkanen. A medley from Bernstein’s West Side Story, commissioned from arranger Matt Podd, who has arranged medleys for this event for four seasons, will be on the program to celebrate the composer’s centennial. The evening’s festivities conclude with fireworks to celebrate the patriotic holiday (July 4).

Finally, the daytime “Bridge to Broadway” family concert on July 14 in the Spanish Courtyard provides an opportunity for all ages to enjoy a program that follows the evolution of musical story-telling with colorful characters and interactive musical games. Hosted by violinist and teaching artist Katie Kresek, with soprano Natalie Bergeron and baritone Steven Herring accompanied by Beata Moon on the piano, the program will explore the music of Schubert, Verdi, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Leonard Bernstein, and more.

Food + Drink Offerings

On performance days during the summer, spread a blanket on the lawn, reminisce with family and friends over a glass of wine at a picnic table, or set up your own table and chairs for the day – Caramoor has plenty of space. The Food + Drink Offerings during the Summer Season feature a variety of delicious, organic, and locally-sourced snacks and beverages provided by Great Performances catering and events company. The Katchkie Food Truck offers the mouth-watering Caramoor Burger and Treble Dog, and the Tap Tent has a wide range of snacks, water, soda, local wine and beer, coffee and tea, not to mention Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Caramoor Members enjoy 10% off at the Food + Drink selections and certain events like festival days feature special menus. For maximum convenience and to avoid the lines, Great Performances also offers pre-ordered picnic boxes in a variety of menus. Additionally, on July 22 and 29, a relaxed Symphony Court dining experience with seats under a tented pavilion is offered. Each buffet menu includes unlimited wine, beer, and soda, or you are welcome to bring your own. Menus for the picnics and Symphony Court are available online, and you can either order online or call the Box Office at 914.232.1252. Order by Tuesday at 4:00pm for the upcoming week’s performance.

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here and here.

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About Caramoor

Caramoor is a performing arts center located on a unique 90-acre estate with Italianate architecture and gardens in Westchester County, NY. It enriches the lives of its audiences through innovative and diverse musical performances of the highest quality. Its mission also includes mentoring young professional musicians and providing educational programs for young children centered around music. Audiences are invited to come early to explore the beautiful grounds; tour the historic Rosen House, a stunning mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places; unwind with a pre-concert picnic or concessions with beer and wine; enjoy a delicious Afternoon Tea on Wednesdays and Sundays; and discover beautiful music in the relaxed settings of the Venetian Theater, Spanish Courtyard, Music Room of the Rosen House, and magnificent gardens. Summer concerts take place in two outdoor theaters: the acoustically superb Venetian Theater, which seats approximately 1,500, and the more intimate, romantic Spanish Courtyard, which seats around 470. In the fall and winter, concerts are presented in the splendid Music Room in the Rosen House. Caramoor’s gardens, also used for concerts and the sound exhibition Sonic Innovations, are well worth the visit and include nine unique perennial gardens. Among them are a Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, a Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden.

Getting to Caramoor

Getting to Caramoor is simple by car, train or public transportation. All parking is free and close to the performance areas. Handicapped parking is also free and readily available.

By car from New York City, take the Henry Hudson Parkway north to the Saw Mill River Parkway north to I-684 north to Exit 6. Go east on Route 35 to the traffic light (0.3 miles). Turn right onto Route 22 south, and travel 1.9 miles to the junction of Girdle Ridge Road where there is a green Caramoor sign. At the junction, veer left and make a quick right onto Girdle Ridge Road. Continue on Girdle Ridge Road 0.5 miles to the Caramoor gates on the right. Approximate drive time is one hour.

By train from Grand Central Station, take the Harlem Division Line of the Metro-North Railroad heading to Southeast, and exit at Katonah. Caramoor is a 3.5-mile drive from the Katonah station, where taxi service is always available and free shuttle service is available for most performances. For current information, check the Metro-North schedule.


Caramoor: 73rd summer music season

June 16
Audra McDonald: Opening Night Concert
Venetian Theater
Audra McDonald, vocalist
Andy Einhorn, music director
Brian Hertz, piano
Mark Vanderpoel, bass
Gene Lewin, drums
Orchestra of St. Luke’s

July 4
Pops, Patriots, and Fireworks
Venetian Theater
Westchester Symphonic Winds/Curt Ebersole
Smith: The Star Spangled Banner (arr. Damrosch and Sousa)
Bernstein: Candide Overture (arr. Clare Grundman)
Willson: Selections from The Music Man (arr. Barton Green)
Markowski: Famishius Fantasticus
Fillmore: Americans We March (arr. Fennell)
Sheldon: Metroplex: Three Postcards from Manhattan
Bernstein: Selections from West Side Story (arr. Matt Podd; with VRS alums Meredith Lustig, soprano and Miles Mykkanen, tenor)
Ward: America the Beautiful (arr. Phillip Rothman)
Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, Op. 49 (arr. Mayhew L. Lake)
Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. Brion and Schissel)

July 14
Family Concert: Bridge to Broadway
Spanish Courtyard
Natalie Bergeron, soprano
Steven Herring, baritone
Beata Moon, piano
Katie Kresek, host

July 14
Bernstein’s Broadway
Venetian Theater
Ted Sperling, piano and host
Mikaela Bennett, vocalist
Alysha Umphress, vocalist
Bryce Pinkham, vocalist
Ben Davis, vocalist
Aaron Heick, reeds
Michael Thurber, bass
Kory Grossman, percussion
Bernstein: Songs from West Side Story, Candide, Wonderful Town, On the Town, The Skin of Our Teeth and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue


All concerts made possible, in part, by ArtsWestchester with funds from the Westchester County Government.

All concerts made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The 2018 Summer Music Festival is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


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© 21C Media Group, May 2018

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