News & notes from Claudia Hommel

April 23, 2011

Time is flying! I'm in the midst of the most intense month of touring, with stops in Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, and Ohio again. Elizabeth Doyle has been musical and traveling companion as we immerse ourselves with "Women of Paris".

The most unique of our presentations was a totally new version of "Picasso goes to the Music Hall" (or as I ended up calling it: "the Picasso Muse-Collage") for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The museum is hosting 175 masterpieces from the Musée National Picasso. What a treat to visit this museum and what a receptive audience for our illustrated concert. Programming Director Celeste Fetta, Elizabeth and I promised each other to put together a tour to VMFA's partner sites and a performance for the Mellon Collection of French Art, perhaps as early as 2012.

Bob Moreen joined me for a day at the Cleveland-area Laurel School for girls. How special to have a second grader say, "what I liked best was how you put feeling in your songs." From Kindergarten to 12th grade, every group was totally engaged and engaging.

All of this has been taking place while the production of a new Jazz Fauré album is underway. We completed the recording of "By the Riverbank", the songs of Gabriel Fauré with English lyrics by Arnold Johnston, with a lineup of fabulous singers: KT McCammond, John Eskola, Elizabeth Doyle, Amanda Hartley, Sean Harris, Sean Effinger-Dean, Jeny Wasilewski, and from a studio in New Jersey, my friend Johnny Rodgers. It's almost like having a cast recording of last summer's readings. Oh yes, I sing several songs as well.

Jim Massoth, our engineer at Steve Yates Recording, Bobby Schiff and I finished mixing a week ago and we're looking forward to Danny Leake's mastering session in early May. Stay tuned for a release concert this summer.