The great Kelli O’Hara went to the same school as Kristin Chenoweth, and studied with same voice teacher, force of nature Florence Birdwell. Obviously, Ms. Birdwell knew her stuff (she was still alive last I heard, so I should say, “knows” her stuff), since both of them are Tony-award winning artists.
Kristin Chenoweth is known for being able to sing anything and the song “The Girl in 14G” was written for her multiple strengths by Jeanine Tesori. That song allowed her to sing in a character voice, operatically, in a jazz style, and finally a belt.
Kelli O’Hara decided that she was not to be outdone and commissioned Dan Lipton & David Rossmer to write her a song that showed off her country roots as well as her operatic training. The result was “They don’t let you in the opera when you’re a country star.”
While the song is hysterical, and beautifully sung, it also has a message that resonated with me. The lyrics that really spoke to me in this song came toward the end:
“When you hear no, don’t get upset
It means yes, but just not yet.
Fight the most when folks say you’re absurd
In the end, I believe we all get heard.”
Pasek & Paul said in Dear Evan Hansen, “You will be found.”
You will be heard.
Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow.
But you will be heard.
If you want to be heard, be assured that I will listen. Reach out here to set up a Vocal Discovery Session or to chat about what you’re looking for.
Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass.
As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination.
Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.
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