Baritone Rodney Gilfry will make his City Center Encores! debut in the popular series' staged concert presentation of The New Moon, according to the singer's press representative. Gilfry is set to play the role of Robert in the production, which will run March 27-30.
Best known for creating the role of Stanley Kowalski in André Previn's opera A Streetcar Named Desire, based on the play by Tennessee Williams, Gilfry recently played another operatic version of a famous literary character: Nathan in Nicholas Maw's Sophie Choice at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Among his most famous interpretations are the title roles in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Benjamin Britten's Billy Budd.
In recent years, Gilfry has been expanding his repertoire to include light opera, musical theater, and popular song. Last season, he played Joe in the L.A. Reprise! production of Frank Loesser's The Most Happy Fella and Count Danilo in The Merry Widow. In the summer of 2002, he joined Sylvia McNair, Marilyn Horne, and John Raitt for a Richard Rodgers centennial concert with the Chicago Symphony, conducted by John Mauceri. He also teamed up with Amanda McBroom in "Two for the Road: An Evening of Romantic Song" at the John Anson Ford Theatre in L.A.
Previously, Gilfry had sung the role of Billy Bigelow in a staged concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel at the Hollywood Bowl, with Alice Ripley as Julie Jordan and Faith Prince as Carrie Pipperidge. And his cabaret act, directed by Charles Nelson Reilly, has been well received in performances at Joe's Pub in NYC and the El Portal Center for the Arts in Hollywood. (To access TheaterMania's November 2001 interview with Gilfry, click here.)
The Encores! production of The New Moon, to be directed by Gary Griffin with musical direction by Rob Fisher, will mark the series' first presentation of an operetta. The 1928 show has music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by the team of Oscar Hammerstein II, Frank Mandel, and Laurence Schwab. Among the most famous songs in the score are "Stouthearted Men" and "Lover, Come Back to Me."
In addition to The New Moon, the 2003 Encores! season will feature performances of the Harold Arlen-Truman Capote musical House of Flowers (February 13-16) and No Strings (May 8-12), the only Broadway show for which Richard Rodgers wrote both music and lyrics. For further information, visit the website www.citycenter.org.