SHOW NOTES: Season 6, Episode 4 - Anna Christy and Steven LaBrie, Principals in CAROUSEL
Release Date: 07/16/2021
Anna Christy, soprano, and Steven LaBrie, baritone
CAROUSEL principal singer-actors Anna Christy ("Julie Jordan") and Steven LaBrie ("Billy Bigelow") joined me over Zoom a week after their opening night. I had already seen the production a few days before - it is so deeply moving. (By the way, I mentioned in the episode that I was sitting in 90-degree heat while watching the performance. Since then, Central City Opera has moved almost all matinee productions of CAROUSEL and RIGOLETTO to evening performances to save audiences and performers from Colorado's hot summer temperatures. Visit centralcityopera.org to find the updated schedule.)
I asked Anna how her roles upon the Central City Opera House stage had influenced her as an artist. Here are photos from the productions and roles she mentioned:
As "Tytania" in Britten's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Central City Opera, 2002. Photo by Mark Kiryluk.
As "Emily" in Rorem's OUR TOWN, Central City Opera, 2013. Photo by Mark Kiryluk. (On the right, tenor Will Ferguson as "George" - and he plays Enoch Snow in this year's CAROUSEL!)
As "Susanna" in Mozart's THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO, Central City Opera, 2014. Photo by Mark Kiryluk.
As "Baby Doe Tabor" in Moore's THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE, Central City Opera, 2016. Photos by Amanda Tipton.
Since this episode was recorded and released after production photos of CAROUSEL were taken, here's a great one featuring Anna and Steven in their roles "Julie" and "Billy." Photo by Amanda Tipton.
Steven mentioned how the Panama Canal was not finished at the time this musical was set - and this got me curious. The Panama Canal was finished in 1914, and Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote this musical in 1946. HOWEVER - it is indeed set in 1873, which means that yes, construction on the Panama Canal had not even started.
As CAROUSEL is set in 1873 coastal Maine, of course I went looking for photos or paintings of that time and place. The closest I found was a beautiful painting by American watercolor painter Winslow Homer entitled "A Basket of Clams." Homer painted this in 1873, not in Maine, but in Gloucester, Massachusetts, just down the coast. You can read more about Homer and this painting here.
Winslow Homer's "A Basket of Clams." 1873
It's important to note that the topics discussed in this episode and in the musical CAROUSEL can be triggering. If you are a victim of domestic violence, find help by calling the National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-SAFE (7233).
My deepest thanks to Anna Christy and Steven LaBrie for joining me on the Central City Opera Podcast. To follow the careers of these exciting and incredibly talented singer-actors, visit their websites: annachristy.com and stevenlabrie.com. You can also follow Steven on Instagram @stevenlabrie.
-Emily Murdock, Host & Producer