The first time I saw Sierra Boggess perform in a Broadway show was when she starred opposite Tyne Daly in Master Class. The second time I saw her perform was, again, opposite Tyne Daly in It Shoulda Been You. Hmm...maybe I only see Sierra Boggess perform when she is opposite Tyne Daly...hehe. Whether she's acting or singing, Sierra's talent and vocal skills will engulf you!
Now to be given the opportunity to speak with Sierra about performing with The New York Pops, one of the greatest orchestras in the country, alongside their fearless leader, Steven Reineke, paying tribute to musical theatre legends Rodgers and Hammerstein, is a true honor!
The New York Pops, My Favorite Things: The Songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein, featuring Sierra Boggess, Julian Ovenden, and Judith Clurman’s Essential Voices USA will take place this Friday, October 9 at 8pm at Carnegie Hall (57th & 7th Avenue). The concert honors Rodgers and Hammerstein's timeless work which has captured the hearts of every generation of music lovers. The program will feature numbers from all eleven of the collaborations between Rodgers and Hammerstein. Selections will include "A Wonderful Guy" and "There Is Nothin’ Like a Dame" from South Pacific, "The Sound of Music" from The Sound of Music, and the "Cinderella Waltz" from Cinderella. Click here for tickets!
1. On October 9, you are opening up the New York Pops 33rd season! What excites you about being part of their opening night? Everything! I am so thrilled to be singing at Carnegie Hall and THIS beautiful music with THIS incredible orchestra. Honestly I just feel so completely honored to be a part of this!
2. What are you looking forward to most about performing alongside Steven Reineke and The New York Pops and with Julian Ovenden? Well I first sang at Carnegie Hall back in 2008, I think it was, and Steven was conducting that night. He is an amazing conductor and person! And this orchestra, is one of the finest in the world and I just cannot wait to get on that stage and lend my voice! And now getting to sing with Julian Ovenden who has been a friend for years, we are SO thrilled to sing Rodgers and Hammerstein together. We have only sung with each other at Royal Albert Hall in London a few times, so now to sing on this side of the Atlantic is so exciting.
3. The New York Pops' concert is a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein. How has their music influenced you? What do you identify most with about their songs? Their music is part of the reason I was turned on to doing musical theatre in the first place. Their music is so accessible, and their melodies are gorgeous, and the lyrics...ohhh it's just heaven. One of the first songs I ever learned was "If I Loved You," and of course we all grew up on The Sound of Music.
4. Which songs are you looking forward to performing? I have to say it's hard to pick, but I can't wait to sing "Wonderful Guy" from South Pacific! I can't tell you how often that song is in my head and how much those words mean. It also reminds me of my grandparents, my grandmother was a nurse in World War II and my grandad was in the navy...and I imagine she felt like singing "I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love I'm in love" when they were finally reunited!
5. If you could give people one reason as to why they should come to The New York Pops' opening night concert, a tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein, what would that reason be? To be transported back to another time. Probably the most famous writers in musical theatre, at one of the most gorgeous concert halls of all time, with the most extraordinary orchestra...and wait until you hear Julian sing "Soliloquy" from Carousel. Just wait.
6. If you could star in any Rodgers and Hammerstein show, which show would you want to star in and what part would you want to play? Every single one of them. Seriously, if I ever get asked to do a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical on Broadway I will be there in a heartbeat. To sing that music every night? Yes please.
7. Who or what inspired you to become a performer? I guess there was something inside of me that always wanted to be on the stage. Of course Barbra Streisand is one of my biggest influences, by now I think everyone knows that. :) But I love singing, and I love singing really really really good music.
8. What's the best advice you've ever received? Say it with me! YOU ARE ENOUGH! YOU ARE SO ENOUGH! IT'S UNBELIEVABLE HOW ENOUGH YOU ARE! I took a master class at 17 years old and that's what my teacher Mary Setrakian said. It is my mantra and I pass it on to anyone and everyone. And in addition to that I want to encourage everyone to read Brene Brown's book Rising Strong, because there is some incredible advice in there and I can't get enough of it!
9. If you could have any super power, which one would you choose? It's not at all original, but I would love to fly. It's just the thing you want to do when you're a kid and you dream about it all the time. It would be so awesome.
Sierra Boggess will next be seen on Broadway starring in the Andrew Lloyd Weber’s School of Rock opening at the Winter Garden Theatre this winter. She recently concluded a run in the Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You opposite Tyne Daly under the direction of David Hyde Pierce. Other Broadway credits include a limited run as "Christine Daae" in The Phantom of the Opera as well as the 25th-anniversary engagement in The Phantom of the Opera, the revival of Master Class and The Little Mermaid (Drama Desk and Drama League nominations, Broadway.com Audience Choice Award). Her London credits include Les Misérables, the 25th-anniversary concerts of The Phantom of the Opera at Royal Albert Hall, and Love Never Dies (Olivier Award nomination). Sierra’s other New York theater credits include the one-night-only concert of Guys & Dolls at Carnegie Hall opposite Nathan Lane, Patrick Wilson and Megan Mullally; the final off-Broadway cast of Love, Loss, and What I Wore; and Music in the Air for City Center’s Encores! series. She also starred as "Christine Daae" in the Las Vegas production of The Phantom of the Opera. Regionally, she has been seen in Princesses (world premiere, Goodspeed Opera House and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre), and the national tour of Les Misérables. Her recordings include the 25th-anniversary concert of The Phantom of the Opera (also on DVD), the symphonic recording of Love Never Dies, The Little Mermaid, and Andrew Lippa’s A Little Princess. Concert appearances include the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center’s American Songbook series The Lyrics of David Zippel, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and Broadway by the Year at Town Hall. Sierra has appeared several times at 54 Below, her first appearance resulting in the release of her first solo recording, Awakening: Live at 54 Below. She played her second solo show, Finding the Balance (The Journey of the Middle Child), to sold out audiences at 54 Below and San Francisco’s Feinstein’s at the Hotel Nikko.
Steven Reineke is the Music Director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Principal Pops Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Principal Pops Conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and the Principal Pops Conductor Designate for the Houston Symphony, beginning in the 2017-2018 season. Mr. Reineke is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia. His extensive North American conducting appearances include San Francisco, Houston, Seattle, Edmonton and Pittsburgh. As the creator of more than one hundred orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Mr. Reineke’s work has been performed worldwide, and can be heard on numerous Cincinnati Pops Orchestra recordings on the Telarc label. His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are performed frequently in North America. His numerous wind ensemble compositions are published by the C.L. Barnhouse Company and are performed by concert bands around the world. A native of Ohio, Mr. Reineke is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in both trumpet performance and music composition. He currently resides in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.
THE NEW YORK POPS is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Under the leadership of dynamic Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, The New York Pops continues to re-imagine orchestral pops music. The orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, as well as a summer concert series at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. The New York Pops is dedicated to lifelong learning, and collaborates with public schools, community organizations, children’s hospitals and senior centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City. PopsEd allows thousands of New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds to participate in fully customizable music programs that blend traditional education with pure fun. Visit www.newyorkpops.org for more information. Follow The New York Pops on Facebook (facebook.com/newyorkpops), Instagram (@thenewyorkpops), and Twitter (@newyorkpops).