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Deborah Voigt Follows Success of Call Me Debbie – “A Page Turner” – with NYC Premiere of Voigt Lessons at 92nd Street Y Next Thursday, Feb 26

The media sat up and took notice when Deborah Voigt’s literary debut – Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva (HarperCollins) – hit bookstores last month. The Grammy Award-winning soprano gave interviews on NBC’s TODAY show and NPR’s Weekend Edition, as well as to such outlets as the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian (UK), and People magazine, all of which carried feature reviews. The Associated Press called Voigt’s memoir “a startlingly frank look at the life of one of her generation’s most prominent operatic stars.” The Buffalo News declared it “a page turner,” the San Jose Mercury News proclaimed it “a bombshell,” and, in the Boston Globe, Daphne Kalotay explained: “It’s like your best girlfriend talking to you and telling you her story.” Now New Yorkers can hear that story in person, when Voigt shares memories and music from her celebrated career in an intimate account of her life beyond the velvet curtains, in the New York City premiere of her confessional one-woman show, Voigt Lessons – pronounced “chatty, witty, and sometimes painfully poignant” (New York Times) – at the 92nd Street Y next Thursday, February 26.

Developed in close collaboration with award-winning playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello at the famed MacDowell Colony, Voigt Lessons takes the soprano’s life and career as the basis for a revealing script that incorporates 18 songs and arias of especial personal significance to her. Showcasing the soprano’s famed versatility, the songs range from music by her early inspiration, Karen Carpenter, to gospel songs, arts songs, and opera arias.  After her world premiere performance of Voigt Lessons at the 2011 Glimmerglass Festival, the Globe and Mail marveled: “She’s just ‘Debbie’ here, letting it all hang out. … The result is an absolute gem and a theatrical love-in. Voigt wins the audience with her vulnerability, honesty and, most of all, her ability to laugh at herself.

The show offers something of a distillation of the story told in Call Me Debbie, in which, as the Philadelphia Inquirer put it, the “diva goes deep about art, weight, and addiction.” The Parterre Box blog elaborated:

“[In] Voigt’s frank, sometimes funny, sometimes moving memoir … she is gratifyingly open. … By writing in her authentic voice, Voigt does, through the familiar-enough story of the rise of a talented singer enriched with candor and lived detail, let us know her better.”

More information about Call Me Debbie is provided at HarperCollins and at the artist’s website: Ticket information for Voigt Lessons at the 92nd Street Y is available here.

Deborah Voigt: Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva
Hardcover and eBook
288 pages, including eight pages of color photographs

Voigt Lessons (New York City premiere)
Thursday, Feb 26 at 8pm
92nd Street Y, New York
Starring Deborah Voigt
Music direction by Kevin Stites
Co-creators: Terrence McNally, Francesca Zambello, and Deborah Voigt
Staged and supervised by Richard Jay-Alexander
This event may not be suitable for younger audiences.

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© 21C Media Group, February 2015


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