The American Songbook opens up on the Music Room stage for this annual Benefit Concert, welcoming New York City-born actress, singer, recording artist and writer Melissa Errico. A star performer, Errico shined in leading Broadway musical roles as Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady and in Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus. She was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in Michel Legrand’s Amour. Errico’s performance this spring offers a rare opportunity to enjoy her magic up close in the intimate Music Room. There will be a champagne and dessert reception with Ms. Errico after the performance.
Melissa Errico has the power to take a sumptuous Broadway ballad to the moon and back!
– Stephen Holden, New York Times
Melissa Errico, soprano
Tedd Firth, musical director
Phil Palombi, bass
Tickets begin at $75 and all but $30 of each benefit ticket is tax-deductible, as provided by law. For more information and to reserve your seats, contact our Special Events office: firstname.lastname@example.org 914.232.1492.
Tickets will be available for pick up on the night of the event. If you require accessible seating, please contact the Special Events office.
Caramoor thanks The Adela and Lawrence Elow Fund for The Great American Songbook: 1900 to 1960 for preserving and sustaining classic American songs through live performances.
Melissa Errico, soprano
Born in Manhattan, Errico moved to Manhasset on Long Island at an early age. Her parents, a public school teacher/sculptor and a physician/concert pianist, supported her early interest in ballet, and gymnastics, and Melissa competed nationally as a gymnast. Her passion for theater was sparked when she appeared in a Girl Scouts production and was cemented by many summers spent at an arts camp where her playful acrobatic skill immediately won her comedic roles in musicals. This may explain why, later in her career, even Stephen Sondheim encouraged her to do cartwheels in Sunday In The Park With George at The Kennedy Center. Melissa’s childhood idols were Bernadette Peters, Robert Lindsey, Angela Lansbury, and Juliette Binoche.
During her freshman year at Yale, Errico was cast as Cosette in the first national touring company of Les Misérables. She interrupted her studies for three semesters but eventually went back to New Haven and received her degree with honors. From there she went to Oxford to study acting in programs dedicated to Shakespeare and Chekhov where she met such good lifelong friends as Alessandro Nivola and Mark Feuerstein. She returned to Yale’s graduate school but withdrew to make her acclaimed Broadway debut in a musical adaptation of Anna Karenina at Circle in the Square in 1992 directed by Circle founder Tedd Mann.
Her Broadway credits include the revival of My Fair Lady in which she played Eliza Doolittle and the New York Times called her “beguiling.” She went on to star on Broadway in High Society, Amour (Tony nomination for Best Leading Actress in a Musical), Dracula, the Musical (book by Christopher Hampton) and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. In 2004, she starred in the acclaimed off-Broadway production of Finian’s Rainbow, winning the moniker “the voice of enchantment!” (New York Times) at The Irish Repertory Theater, where she also starred in The Importance of Being Earnest, Major Barbara, and Candida, earning Drama Desk Award nominations for each. She was selected by Stephen Sondheim to star in Sunday In The Park With George at The Kennedy Center, and became a favorite at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles where she starred in My Fair Lady (John Lithgow), Camelot (Jeremy Irons), and The Sound of Music (with a cast led by Marni Nixon and John Schneider), singing for 20,000 people a night for a week! Jeremy Irons and Melissa reprised their Camelot again in 2010 on Broadway’s Shubert Theatre stage.
Errico began her television career at age 12 on a Muppets-spin off called “The Great Space Coaster.” Immediately after starring on Broadway in My Fair Lady, she was cast by Darren Star as a series regular on the 1995 Darren Star television series Central Park West (CBS) with Raquel Welsh and Lauren Hutton. She appeared as a guest on Law & Order, had an arc on Miss Match; and recurred on Ed (playing Ed’s “ex wife”), as well as Six Degrees, and A Gifted Man. She has been cast to star in television pilots by Spike Lee, Kelsey Grammar, Jon Favreau, Larry Charles, Tom Fontana and Ed Burns. Melissa has worked in many independent films; her mainstream movies with leading roles include Life or Something Like It with Angelina Jolie, Frequency with Dennis Quaid, and Loverboy opposite Kyra Sedgewick, directed by Kevin Bacon; and the short film Patrimony in 2011. She co-starred with Lili Taylor in Wally Shawn’s hit off-Broadway revival of Aunt Dan and Lemon.
Errico has a close working relationship with film/jazz/pop composer Michel Legrand with whom she collaborated on Legrand Affair, her third CD (produced by Phil Ramone) which debuted to rapturous reviews (“spectacularly beautiful” – Wall Street Journal) on October 18, 2011 on Ghostlight/Sony Records. Her acclaimed debut solo release on EMI, Blue Like That, released in 2003, was produced by industry legend Arif Mardin. Errico’s second CD is titled Lullabies and Wildflowers and was released on April 29, 2008. As described by the USA Today, the work was “inspired by her daughter and her fellow Moms, Errico’s pure, clear voice sparkles with soulful and unmannered intimacy.” The CD includes “Gentle Child”, Errico’s first recording of one of her own songs. Lullabies and Wildflowers was produced by Rob Mathes and was released by Velour/Universal Records. Errico has an extensive concert history including appearances at The Rose Auditorium Lincoln Center, Dizzy’s Jazz Club, The Cafe Carlyle, Joe’s Pub, The Kennedy Center, and Avery Fisher Hall, and throughout the country with symphonies such as the National Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra. In 2008, she made a successful London concert debut at the Palladium with Angela Lansbury and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She was reunited with Angela in November 2015 when Melissa was invited to sing at a gala 90th birthday concert, hosting with Victor Garber.
In the 2009-2010 New York theater season, she made her return to Broadway after a pause where she had three daughters. She was delighted to play the Rosemary Clooney role in White Christmas followed immediately by an acclaimed performance in the title role in George Bernard Shaw’s Candida off-Broadway for which she was called “commanding” (Time Out), “beguiling and enigmatic” (Associated Press) and “gorgeous…a delight to behold” (New York Times), earning her a fifth Drama Desk nomination; her Candida was filmed for Lincoln Center. She went on to star in the film Patrimony opposite Robert Vaughn, premiering at the Boston Film Festival in 2011 and the New York International Shorts Festival in 2012. In 2012, she headlined a sensational Oliver! opposite Brian Stokes Mitchell, leading Hal Prince to write her an exuberant fan letter. That summer, she co-starred opposite Alec Baldwin in the Peter Shaffer drama The Gift of The Gorgon at Guild Hall in East Hampton, New York.
In the fall of 2011, Melissa was honored to step in for Barbara Cook who had to withdraw from a major fundraiser concert. In that same year, she guested on the CBS drama A Gifted Man, and her new CD Legrand Affair was released. Her writing of a published essay entitled “Musing” explains the scope of the project, the countries traveled and her memories of the six years making the album alongside such legends, and marked the beginning of an interest in essay writing. She also appeared in a workshop of Regina Spektor’s musical Beauty written and directed by Tina Landau. In the spring of 2012, Melissa “blew the roof off Joe’s Pub” with her second sold-out concert of that season at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. She went on to an acclaimed engagement at 54 Below where the New York Times said she “channeled her inner Barbra Streisand” in a glamorous and funny evening of theater and film music, and that she can “take a sumptuous Broadway ballad to the moon and back!” She was soon invited back for a second run.
In October 2013, Melissa appeared in a Symphony Space concert “Kurt Weill on Broadway” and reprised her work as Venus in celebration of the release of the first-ever recording of One Touch of Venus (Abbey Road Studios with the National Symphony Orchestra). She continues to tour with symphonies and has supported several new musicals in development, including David Shire/Adam Gopnik musical Table for the Long Wharf (slated for 2016-2017 season), Regina Spektor’s rock musical Beauty in which Melissa played the leading maternal role (perfectionistic mother and futuristic beauty mogul), as well as starred in the world premiere of Bull Durham, based on the beloved baseball film, winning a rave review in Variety which said “As the titillating tutor, Errico lands and decisively delivers one of the best roles of her career. She gingerly keeps Annie’s aims noble, not slutty, and her embrace of “the church of baseball” is sweetly heartfelt but as kooky and naive as Nuke’s worldview.”
Previewed on Youtube but not released as a single yet, Errico recorded the theme song “Hurry Home” by Michel Legrand for the film Max Rose, starring Jerry Lewis.
She is currently collaborating with Adam Gopnik (The New Yorker Magazine) on several co-writing projects including a one-woman show Sing The Silence inspired, in part, by Elaine Stritch’s At Liberty, as well as a screenplay. It debuted to back-to-back sold-out houses at Joe’s Pub in November 2015.
She lives in Manhattan with her husband Patrick McEnroe, their three young daughters and one Yorkshire Terrier named “Pepper.” Melissa will be the January 2016 cover girl of the magazine Resident, which recently featured chef Todd English and Hamilton’s Renee Elise Goldberry.
Tedd Firth, musical director
Tedd Firth is a New York City based musical director, pianist and arranger. As musical director and accompanist he has worked with Bernadette Peters, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Barbara Cook, Maureen McGovern, Marilyn Maye, Michael Feinstein, Elaine Paige, Tom Wopat, Leslie Uggams, Joshua Bell, Tony DeSare, Linda Lavin, Christine Ebersole, Lucie Arnaz, Lee Ann Womack, Faith Prince, John Schneider, Karen Akers, Mary Cleere Haran, Margaret Whiting, Carol Sloane and of course, Melissa Errico. Among the jazz musicians he has performed or recorded with are John Pizzarelli, Houston Person, Frank Wess, Mark Whitfield, Red Holloway, Benny Golson and Joe Morello.
New York appearances include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Birdland, the Iridium, the Algonquin, the Cafe Carlyle and Feinstein’s at the Regency. Numerous national appearances include a performance at the White House. As an arranger and orchestrator, Tedd’s work has been performed by most major American symphony orchestras as well as Liza Minnelli. Television appearances include The Today Show, Live From Lincoln Center, and All My Children.