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Three Broadway Divas Strut Their Stuff with RPO

January 29, 2008

Leading Ladies Belt out Showstoppers from the Great White Way

Rochester, NY – Three dynamic divas belt out some of the best and most beloved songs from Broadway shows of the last half-century with Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday, February 15 and Saturday, February 16, 2008 at the Eastman Theatre.  Vocalists Debbie Gravitte, Jan Horvath and Anne Runolfsson bring to life the tunes from Gypsy, The Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Mama Mia, Evita, Wicked, Funny Girl, Jekyll & Hyde, Follies and more.

All three “Divas” have had major careers in multiple Broadway shows and tours as well as appearances with symphony orchestras and more.  Ms. Horvath was a member of the original Broadway company of Phantom of the Opera, performing roles of Christine and Carlotta.  Other Broadway credits include Threepenny Opera starring Sting, Sweet Charity starring Debbie Allen, Stardust and Oliver! as well as singing the lead role in the National Touring Company of Cats. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2002 singing in Bernstein’s Mass, and has appeared as a guest soloist with more than 100 orchestras.  For the past 10 years, Ms. Horvath has been the soprano soloist with “Bravo Broadway” and is featured in the CDs of the same name.  She is currently featured on the CD The Three Broadway Divas with Debbie Gravitte and Christianne Noll. 

Ms. Gravitte’s career also has taken her from the Broadway stage to the symphony hall and everywhere in between.  She won the prestigious Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, along with a Drama Desk Award nomination and a New York Showstopper Award.  Ms. Gravitte debuted on Broadway in the original cast of They’re Playing Our Song, going on to appear in a half dozen other musicals. She has performed her nightclub act worldwide, has sung with numerous symphony orchestras in the United States and overseas, co-starred on the CBS series Trial and Error, was seen on NBC’s Pursuit of Happiness and starred in several PBS specials.  She can be heard on many recordings include her latest, Defying Gravity.

The equally versatile Ms. Runolfsson currently is starring on Broadway as Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera, prior to which she made a splash in Victor/Victoria as standby to Julie Andrews and Liza Minnelli, performing the title role more than 120 times before recreating the role in the National Tour.  Other Broadway and National Tour credits include Les Misérables, Cyrano, The Secret Garden and Aspects of Love.  She has appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall (with tenor José Carreras), the Kennedy Center, Town Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and with numerous symphony orchestras worldwide.  Most recently, Ms. Runolfsson was the featured soloist for the Lord of the Rings Symphonic Suite (singing in Elfin). This season, she appears as guest soloist with the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, with whom she regularly collaborates.  Her debut album, At Sea, was critically acclaimed nationwide.

Tickets for these performances are $20-$57, available online 24/7 at www.rpo.org, by phone (454-2100) and in person from the RPO Box Office, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (non-concert Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.); and seven days a week at area Wegmans.  A convenience fee may apply. The WPOP Series is sponsored by Wegmans; this concert is sponsored by Dixon Schwabl with additional support from Zimmer Sales & Service Corp.

Celebrating its 85th season in 2007-08, the RPO inspires and enriches the community through the art of music.  The Orchestra is passionately dedicated to outstanding musical performance at the highest artistic levels, and has a unique tradition of musical versatility, commitment to music education in the broadest sense and a deep and enduring engagement with the community.  The RPO has been honored with the New York State Governor’s Arts Award and two recent ASCAP awards for adventurous programming.  RPO performances are made possible in part with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency; the State of New York; Monroe County and the City of Rochester. 

Note: Individual photos of the three Broadway Divas are available on request.



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