What happens when opera meets Broadway?

Dr. Phillip Massengill and Susan Herrmann to sing in arts council fundraiser that aims for a wider audience

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  • Dr. Phillip Massengill, tenor, and Susan Herrmann, soprano (Photo provided)

Program details

Susan Herrmann, Soprano
Shannon Carson, Mezzo Soprano
Edgar Jaramillo, Tenor
Phillip Massengill, Tenor
Fredrick Redd, Baritone
Michael Pilafian, Pianist
Opera selections:
Toreador, the Baritone Aria from Carmen
Song to the Moon, the Soprano Aria  from Rusalka
Nessun Dorma  from Turandot
Libiamo Quartet from La Traviata
Musical theater selections:
On the Street Where You Live, from My Fair Lady
All I Ask of You,  a beautiful duet from Phantom of the Opera
Somewhere Over the Rainbow,  from The Wizard of Oz
Maria from West Side Story

— Dr. Phillip Massengill knows the science behind singing. As a physician trained in the medical and surgical management and treatment of patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat, and a professional opera singer, Dr. Massengill possesses a unique set of skills.

This working knowledge of art and science provide him the scientific expertise to project his unamplified voice to fill a theater while managing the stresses that are placed on the vocal cords as an opera singer.

Dr. Massengill is a tenor who lives in Goshen with his wife, Susan Herrmann, an opera soprano. They will both will take the stage, joined by three New York City opera singers and three Hudson Valley chorale groups, for the opera-top-40-meets-musical-theater production of "From La Scala to Broadway" at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Paramount Theatre, 17 South St., Middletown. The production is a fundraiser for the Orange County Arts Council.

Massengill has performed as a solo artist in both opera and oratorio. He graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in vocal performance. As an undergraduate he performed roles with the University Opera Theater, the Young Artist Opera Theatre, and the Greensboro Opera. In addition, he has performed with Boston’s Longwood Opera and the Ensemble Theater of Cambridge. He holds both master of science and doctor of medicine degrees from the Boston University School of Medicine. He specializes in 0tolaryngology — the treatment of diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck — and is a partner at ENT & Allergy Associates in Middletown. He is the vice president of the medical staff at Orange Regional Medical Center and is a member of the board of governors of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Blending opera and show tunesIn musical theater, dialogue tells the story with the occasional burst of song, while opera productions use only music to tell the story.

In "From LaScala to Broadway," these lines are blurred. The Orange County Arts Council is presenting the production, in collaboration with board members Dr. Margaret Coughlin, opera gala event chair, and Susan Herrmann.

This blend of musical genres aims to appeal to a bigger audience. There will be solo pieces from each of the singers, as well as a number of duets and quartets. The singers will be accompanied by three Orange County choral groups. The Hudson Opera Theater Chorus will open the show with a popular opera chorus, The Middletown Concert Chorale will open the second half of the show with a medley from "Les Miserables." The Warwick Valley Chorale will close the evening’s production with a classic piece from "Carousel."

“This is the first time that the Arts Council has organized an event like this and I am especially thankful to board members Dr. Margaret Coughlin and Susan Hermann for putting it all together," said Orange County Arts Council Executive Director Dawn Ansbro. "This performance is also meaningful for us as it gave us the chance to collaborate with these talented choral groups. The music is so inspiring!”

General admission tickets are $50 and may be purchased in advance either online at middletownparamount.com or from any arts council staff or board member. The ticket price includes intermission refreshments and a catered Meet and Greet Reception after the show with  hot and cold appetizers, light entrees, desserts, coffee and soft drinks provided by Loughran’s of Salisbury Mills.

For more information visit ocartscouncil.org, call 469-9168, or email crounds@ocartscouncil.org.

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