FleetBoston Celebrity Season
Opens 2003-2004 Season
with Marilyn Horne & Barbara Cook
At Symphony Hall, October 3

Annual Gala To Be Held Prior to Performance

FleetBoston Celebrity Series will open its 2003-2004 season with a performance by two legendary singers, mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne and Broadway and Cabaret star Barbara Cook in "Just Between Friends - Selections from the American Songbook," on Friday, October 3, at Symphony Hall. Performance time is 8 p.m.

Concert selections will include songs by Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Hoagy Carmichael, Stephen Sondheim and Paul Simon. "Just Between Friends" is sponsored by the Talbots Charitable Foundation.

Opening Night, the annual Celebrity Series Gala to benefit the Walter Pierce Annual Performance Fund and Project Discovery, will begin at 5:30 p.m. in Symphony Hall's Higginson Room. Marilyn Horne has performed twice in recital in the Celebrity Series, in 1965 and 1972.

Barbara Cook has made two previous Celebrity Series appearances, in 1999 and 2002. The October 3 performance by Marilyn Horne and Barbara Cook marks the first time the two singers have ever performed together in Boston.

Famous for her extraordinary Broadway career that includes creating such diverse roles as Cunegonde in "Candide" and Marian in "The Music Man," Barbara Cook has evolved into a formidable and complex singer in the cabaret world. Ms. Cook enjoyed remarkable success with her "Mostly Sondheim" program, both at Lincoln Center and in London's West End. Previously released on CD, the Sondheim concert has just been released as a DVD concert.

A native of Atlanta, Ms. Cook is the recipient of a Tony Award, a Grammy Award, and a Drama Desk Award, and most recently was inducted into the Broadway Hall of Fame. She made her Broadway debut in the musical "Flahooley." In addition to "Candide" and "The Music Man," Ms. Cook has starred in such plays as "She
Loves Me," "The Gay Life," "The Grass Harp"
and "Little Murders," among others. Cook can also be heard as the voice of Thumbelina's mother in the Warner Brothers animated film "Thumbelina," with music by Barry Manilow.

Ms. Cook's studio recordings include eight original cast albums and several solo recordings including "As Of Today," "Live At Carnegie Hall," "Better With A Band," "Close as Pages in a Book," "Barbara Cook: Live from London," "Oscar Winners: The Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein," "All I Ask of You," "The Champion Season: A Salute to Gower Champion," and the previously mentioned Sondheim collection. On Oct. 7, DRG Records will release Ms. Cook’s newest CD, a Christmas collection entitled "Count Your Blessings," featuring Wally Harper as arranger and conductor.

The 2003-2004 season marks several milestones for Marilyn Horne, including her 70th birthday on January 16th, 2004, the 50th anniversary of her operatic debut at the age of 20 with the Los Angeles Guild Opera, and the 10th anniversary of both the Marilyn Horne Foundation and her position as chair of the voice department at the Music Academy of the West, of which she is an alumnus. Marilyn Horne has received numerous accolades and honors in the arts as well as academia. President Clinton named her a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1995. In 1992, she received the National Medal of the Arts from President Bush and the Endowment for the Arts. Miss Horne sang at the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton White Houses and at President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. In October of 2000,

Miss Horne returned to the town of her birth, Bradford, Pennsylvania, where a street on the public square was named in her honor. Ms. Horne joined the Gelsenkirchen Opera Company in 1957. She remained on its roster until 1960, appearing in many of the company's productions as a soprano, singing such roles as Mimi in "La Boheme," Giulietta in "The Tales of Hoffmann," and Amelia in "Simon Boccanegra." Marilyn Horne's first great career success occurred at the inauguration of Gelsenkirchen's new opera house on May 22, 1960 as Marie in Berg's "Wozzeck." Her Metropolitan Opera debut was as Adalgisa opposite Joan Sutherland's Norma in Bellini's "Norma." Currently, Marilyn Horne works as the Vocal Program Director at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and has also set up The Marilyn Horne Foundation, which helps to support young singers.

Arranger, accompanist and composer Wally Harper has enjoyed a nearly 25-year creative partnership with Barbara Cook. The two have performed for audiences throughout the world, including six performances at The White House for four different presidents. Mr. Harper is Music Director and conductor of "Just Between Friends - Selections from the American Songbook."

For tickets to the 8 p.m. concert, stop by the box office at Symphony Hall, call SymphonyCharge at 617-266-1200or visit www.celebrityseries.org.

The Opening Night gala begins with a cocktail reception at 5:30 p.m. in Symphony Hall's Higginson's Room followed by dinner at 6 p.m. A dessert reception will follow the concert. Tickets for the party and concert are $500 per person and are available by calling the FleetBoston Celebrity Series Office of Special Events at (617) 598-3220.

-- OnStage Boston


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