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INTERVIEW: Opera Great Rose Kingsley On Bringing "An Evening Of Andrew Lloyd Webber" To The Hamptons

Nicole Barylski

Opera great Rose Kingsley. (Courtesy Photo)

On Tuesday, August 7, The International Opera Institute is presenting "An Evening Of Andrew Lloyd Webber" in the Hamptons - featuring Rose Kingsley, Gary Aldrich and Musical Director Gregory Buchalter.

We recently caught up with Kingsley to learn more about this musical tribute to the legendary composer.

How did you get involved with this production?

RK: My background of course is opera. I've spent most of my life being a diva. Over the last five years I've discovered I have a major jazz voice too. My musical director now is Johnny Mercer's son-in-law. But, I have always sung Phantom. I've always loved Andrew Lloyd Webber's music. My baritone, who is going to be singing with me, Gary Aldrich, is a colleague of mine who has sung at the Met and Carnegie Hall and we actually lived in New York City many, many years ago and we never met up until about four years ago. We brainstormed and put our heads together and came up with this wonderful Webber show because we know how many people just adore his music. We started touring with it in Palm Dessert. We did a huge production last February to a packed house at the Indian Wells Theater Performing Arts Center. It was such a hit we said, "Okay, this is it!" We'll be touring back in New York, the Hamptons - we're also going to do it at Feinstein's. We're also going to be doing it in Chicago and also Portland. The reaction of people, they just love his music.

Why did you feel like the show was a fit for the Hamptons?

RK: Being a former New Yorker, I know that in the summer - I spent a summer many years ago in the Hamptons - I felt that that would be a great venue, especially in August.

Tell me a bit about the set list?

RK: We are doing songs from Evita, Sunset Boulevard, Jesus Christ Superstar, Aspects of Love, Cats, and then the second half we do it's kind of like a mini version of Phantom. We do the entire second act of the show as a tribute to Phantom. Everyone loves that and we play all the parts in Phantom.

What song are you most looking forward to?

RK: Well, one of my favorite songs is As If We've Never Said Goodbye. I will tell you why. For 14 years when I came to California, I became the Artistic Director of the Opera Institute of California. That was located in San Jose. I spent 14 years developing over 300 voices and I have many of my students today on opera and Broadway stages and I kind of put my career on hold and as the songs says, "now I'm back on stage. As if we've never said goodbye." That means a lot to me, not that every song doesn't, but that has a very special meaning to me.

What does it mean to you to be a part of this Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute?

RK: I'm very honored because I think this man is a brilliant man and he writes so magnificently, such a talent.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

RK: I was honored about two weeks ago during a show I did in Hollywood, it was not the Andrew Lloyd Webber show, but it was a tribute to Johnny Mercer and Richard Whiting and I was so honored to have the entire Mercer family and Whiting family in the audience, but I also had Michael Feinstein in the audience. He came up to me after the show and said, "You were amazing." He enjoyed the way I tell the story - I'm not just a singer, I tell the story.

"An Evening Of Andrew Lloyd Webber" will take place at The John Drew Theater at Guild Hall at 8 p.m.

Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, visit www.guildhall.org.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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