In goodbye, harry
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Published articles and stories by Pamela Ross at http://www.pamelaross.com/articles/tgdlc/Pamela/Pamela.html
ON TELEVISION: A&E Television Network
88 Carat Productions
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About Pamela Ross
Pamela Ross combines the drama of great theatre and the passion of great music to create unique and memorable evenings of musical theatre. Her one-piano shows, "CARREÑO" and "goodbye, harry" have thrilled audiences in the U.S. and abroad.
Pamela Ross was born in Louisiana and has roots in Spain and South America. She studied music at Juilliard and holds a B.A. from Queens College of the City of New York, where she was graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude. Graduate studies were pursued at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received a Master of Music degree, and her doctoral studies were done at Yale University.
When Pamela Ross isn't creating wonderfully crafted works for the stage, she is engaged as a recitalist, piano soloist and chamber music player. She has performed with some of the greatest conductors of our time including Arthur Fiedler, Jorge Mester, Murry Sidlin, and Gustav Meier. She is also a recording artist, with two Chopin albums, the Scherzi and the Ballades, and discs on the Connoisseur Society Label of piano music by Robert Schumann, and keyboard music by J.S. Bach.
"CARREÑO" is based on the tempestuous life of the great turn-of-the-century Venezuelan pianist, Teresa . Known variously as "The Empress of the Keyboard" and "The Walküre of the Keyboard," Teresa Carreño earned a reputation based not only on staggering virtuosity, but on a wildly romantic lifestyle which included no less than four husbands (one of whom was the esteemed Scottish-born pianist Eugen d'Albert). Teresa Carreno held sway over romantic pianism for nearly 40 years and her life was peppered with great triumphs and tragic setbacks including the loss of a daughter whom she, as a teenage mother, was forced to put up for adoption early on in her career. Carreno's experiences as an international personality, along with her efforts to find love and reclaim her abandoned daughter, are the catalysts behind Pamela Ross' exceptionally entertaining evening of drama and music.Carreño
"CARREÑO " was a runaway hit Off-Broadway in New York City, playing over 400 performances and receiving a coveted Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for "Outstanding Achievement." "CARREÑO" has been hailed "a unique tour de force" and continues to captivate audiences wherever it is performed.
"CARREÑO", recently filmed by Georgia-Pacific Television Productions, won an award in the US International Film/Video Festival in Illinois in April, 1998, and a US Telly Award in May,1998.
What the critics say:
"MISS ROSS' ACTING IS LOW-KEY AND EARNEST ALLOWING FLASHES OF DEFIANCE AND FIERCE PRIDE... THE STORY SHE TELLS SUGGESTS AN ARTIST AS EXPANSIVE AND SELF-DRAMATIZING AS THE MUSIC SHE PLAYS WITH SUCH A FEROCIOUS VIVACITY." -THE NEW YORK TIMES
"A UNIQUE TOUR-DE-FORCE!...THE SHOW IS FASCINATING AS HISTORY AND AS PERFORMANCE. ROSS PERFORMS A TWO-HOUR SOLO RECITAL WHILE ENACTING THE PART OF THE FEISTY, NAIVE, CLEVER AND DETERMINED 19TH CENTURY WOMAN. THIS IS AN UNUSUAL PERFORMANCE ON A DIFFICULT AND INTRIGUING SUBJECT...REMARKABLE! - NEW YORK NEWSDAY
"MS. ROSS MAY WELL BE THE FIRST EXPONENT OF THE CLASSICAL MUSICAL BIOGRAPHICAL MONODRAMA." - THE NEW YORK TIMES
"A DRAMA THAT'S MUSIC TO OUR EARS...A REFRESHING CHANGE OF PACE...PAMELA ROSS, WHO PLAYS CARREÑO, IS A FORMIDABLE PIANIST. THE EVENING SOARS...BRAVO! " - THE DAILY NEWS
"CARREÑO IS A GENUINE TOUR-DE-FORCE IN WHICH MS. ROSS TACKLES ACTING, PIANO PLAYING, AND PERFORMING BOTH IN SPANISH AND IN ENGLISH. ROSS SPINS OUT THE FASCINATING AND OFTEN TRAGIC STORY OF CARRENO, INTERSPERSING HER MONOLOGUES WITH BRILLIANTLY EXECUTED INTERPRETATIONS OF CHOPIN, LISZT, BACH, MENDELSSOHN, AND OTHERS." - CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
"A FORTISSIMO PERFORMANCE BY ROSS GIVES LIFE TO ONE-WOMAN DRAMA OF PIANIST ' CARRENO'...A BRILLIANT PIANIST, AND TALENTED ACTRESS, ROSS SENDS HER AUDIENCES ALMOST INTO A MAGICAL TRANCE AS SHE PLAYS CHOPIN, MENDELSSOHN, LISZT, SCHUMANN, GRIEG, AND EVEN SCOTT JOPLIN." - NEWHOUSE SYNDICATE
" CARRENO IS AS MUCH A CLASSICAL MUSIC RECITAL AS A THEATRE PIECE. ONE IS IMPRESSED BY A PERFORMER WHO PUTS THE PASSION APPARENT IN CARRENO'S CHARACTER INTO VIBRANT RENDITIONS OF THE WORKS OF THE GREAT MASTERS. ALL OF WHICH MEANS THAT THIS IS A SHOW THAT CAN BE RECOMMENDED EQUALLY TO THEATRE AND CLASSICAL MUSIC FANS." - NEW YORK CITY TRIBUNE
"PAMELA ROSS IS BOTH AN ACTRESS AND AN IMPRESSIVE CONCERT PIANIST. HER PERFORMANCE IS SPIRITED, SAUCY, WITH FLASHES OF RUEFUL HUMOR AND INTIMATIONS OF LUST. ROSS PLAYS ENERGETICALLY , WITH FEELING, PRECISION, EVERY FILIGREE IN PLACE. TERESA CARREÑO EARNED THIS COMEBACK AND MORE !" - THE VILLAGE VOICE
"DON'T MISS ' CARRENO'...MISS ROSS IS AS RIVETING IN HER DRAMATIC PRESENTATION OF THE WOMAN AS SHE IS STUNNING IN HER MUSICAL PERFORMANCE. THE PIANIST/ACTRESS HAS SPECTACULAR TECHNIQUE THAT RIVALS MANY OF THE WORLD'S FINEST MUSICIANS. THERE IS A SOLID DRAMATIC LINE TO THE PLAY, AND THERE ARE SOME ORIGINAL DIRECTORIAL TOUCHES. THIS LITTLE PLAY IS NOT TO BE MISSED! YOU WILL REMEMBER IT LONG AFTER MANY ANOTHER BIGGER PRODUCTION HAS FADED FROM MEMORY." - THE BERGEN NEWS
"UNHESITATINGLY, GO! DRAMA AND A CONCERT ARE UNCANNILY COMBINED...WITH THE MUSICAL EXPERTISE OF PAMELA ROSS, THE EFFECT IS AS EXCITING AND ABSORBING AS THE ONRUSH OF MUSIC FILLING THE THEATRE. DON'T BE SURPRISED IF YOU RETURN WITH FRIENDS TO HEAR ROSS' SKILL INTERPRETING MENDELSSOHN, BACH, LISZT, GRIEG, MACDOWELL AND SCOTT JOPLIN'S RAGTIME. BRAVO!" - OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE
"CARRENO IS BOTH AN ENGROSSING BIOGRAPHICAL DRAMA AND RIVETING TWO-HOUR CONCERT. ROSS IS BEAUTIFUL INSINUATING AND HOT BLOODED BY BIRTH AND DESIGN. THE WORD BRAVURA WOULD NOT BE AN OVERSTATEMENT FOR THIS SURPRISINGLY EDIFYING SPECIAL EVENT." - THE DAILY RECORD
"SENSUOUS, SUPER-TALENTED PAMELA ROSS, A RENOWNED CONCERT PIANIST AND SUBSTANTIAL ACTRESS, IS VIRTUALLY SWELLING THE TINY INTAR THEATRE WITH THE POWERFUL SCOPE OF HER INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TEMPESTUOUS LIFE OF THE VENEZUELAN PIANIST TERESA CARREÑO. A ROUSING 'BRAVO' TO BOTH OF THESE FASCINATING LADIES. YOU MUST GO STRETCH YOUR SOUL WITH THE SOUND OF THEIR MAGNIFICENT MUSIC...REMARKABLE"' - SOUTH SHORE RECORD
My concept for a one-piano show started somewhere early in my life when my friends and family began calling me "Ham" instead of "Pam." From that time on it became my most fervent hope that I would never let anyone down. My Dad, Harry Ross, was really the original "Ham," the one from whom most of my material springs. The rest springs maternal: my mom, Elizabeth, kept us all in good spirits and good meals.
"goodbye, harry" is my own, personal tribute to a most unusual man. Harry was a selftaught artist, a musician who loved not only the classics, but jazz and contemporary music as well, a dentist, a sports enthusiast, and a quick minded man who was blessed with a delicious sense of comedy.
Harry savored every moment of his life, and then some. He left this world quickly and effortlessly, and with that same tongue-in-cheek humor: bending over the car, trying to fix a hubcap, his last words were "Doggone, the blasted thing is flat! Get me the tire pufferupper, would you?" And that was that. The rest I'm going to tell you about in the show, with the help of my piano and the blessings of my Mom. And as the ghosts of Chopin, Gershwin, Garner, Rachmaninoff and numerous distinguished others never objected to sharing the spotlight with me and Harry, they'll be there too. Enjoy!!
Hoboken Progress-Hoboken, NJ
Pamela Ross makes her music in the Mile Square
A Pianist's Life at the Keyboard
By Amy Duncan, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor / February 1, 1991
A CLASSICAL musical? Yes, it is possible, when the subject of the musical is Teresa Carreno - the fiery turn-of-the-century Venezuelan pianist/composer who managed to charm Europe and the United States with her talent.
Carreno lived a life that was nothing less than scandalous in her day: four husbands (two of them brothers), seven children (one given up for adoption without Carreno's knowledge), and a never-ending schedule of continent hopping and concert tours.
American pianist/actress Pamela Ross stars as Teresa Carreno in a one-woman show here at the Intar Theater off-Broadway.
It's a genuine tour de force in which Ms. Ross tackles acting, piano playing, and performing in both Spanish and English. Does Ross pull it off?
You bet she does. She spins out the fascinating and often tragic story of Carreno's life as she sits at the piano, interspersing her monologues with brilliantly executed interpretations of Chopin, Liszt, Bach, Mendelssohn and others.
One of the most amazing things about the play is that Ross doesn't actually speak Spanish - and yet her delivery at the Spanish-language performances is practically flawless.
In a telephone interview, I asked her to explain this mystery to me.
She told me that when she was performing the play in English during the spring last year, ``A little gentleman came up from Venezuela to visit New York City and he looked up the theater directory of The New York Times and he saw ``Carreno'' and he said, oh my, our national musical heroine, it's got to be about her! So he called the Venezuelan Consulate who called me and said show up with your press kit, there's a guy here who wants to produce it in Caracas.''
SO Ross went to meet him, and he told her that his people would love to have her do the play in Venezuela - in Spanish, of course.
```Oh,' I said in my best English, `of course!''' said Ross.
Her run in New York would be finished in October, and they wanted the play to start in November in Caracas.
All the arrangements were made, and meanwhile, Ross says, ``I was in a state of purple panic. I said to myself, you're either very stupid, or you're very smart and you're going to do this.''
Ross quickly arranged for four different tutors to teach her to pronounce Spanish. Then she found someone to translate the play. When all the wrinkles were ironed out ``... I memorized it. I spent eight hours a day for six weeks, listening to myself on tapes, drilling with other people, and I did it!''
But this was only the beginning.
Off she went to Venezuela, where she was met at the airport by people from the Caracas public television, who were thrilled that a norteamericana was coming down to do a play about Teresa Carreno in their language. They stuck a microphone in her face and said, how does it feel to be here? - in Spanish, of course.
She got someone to translate for her, leaving the Venezuelans a bit puzzled by the American woman who could do the play in Spanish but couldn't speak Spanish. Then came opening night.
``I was terrified,'' says Ross. ``I was afraid that they would laugh and say, are you kidding? Yankee, go home!''
But her fears were unfounded.
``When they came backstage and started speaking to me in Spanish, I assumed I had passed the acid test.''
Ross has always been fascinated by the lives of women musicians.
Her other one-woman show, ``I, Clara,'' about the life of Clara Schumann, written with and directed by Viveca Lindfors, tours nationally, and she is currently planning her next show, based on the life of Argentine pianist Arminda Canteros.
``Carreno'' will soon be the subject of a film - an expanded version of the play.
Ross's research on Teresa Carreno began in 1987 with the help of an enthusiastic researcher at the Library of Congress. Ross plowed through everything available on the pianist - letters by her and to her, clips, and even a biography written by one of her students.
``Carreno'' revolves around the adoption of Teresa's daughter, Emilita, the child she gave birth to at age 17.
While Teresa was on tour, her husband (a musician himself), jealous of his wife's success, turned the child over to an adoption agency, and Carreno never found the girl until she was practically grown up.
By then it was too late, and Emilita rejected her.
The play opens with Carreno, at age 42, reading a letter from the girl, spurning her mother's offer of tickets to her concert. Ross admits that although the letter was a fabrication to add dramatic impact to the story, the events of Carreno's life are accurate.
Now that Ross has proved she can act in Spanish, she's decided to learn to speak it ``... so that I can go on Spanish talk shows.''
``Carreno'' runs in New York until the end of May. Thursday evening performances are in Spanish. Plans are also under way for performances in Florida, California, and Mexico.
See article at http://www.csmonitor.com/1991/0201/lcar.html
By Roberta Morgan
Especially before the age of information-packed technology, historians tended to obscure a great deal. Lately, in the new decade of "the woman" (thanks, Hillary!), scholars and artists appear to be discovering a whole crop of creators previously overlooked or completely ignored. Ask for the greats of the arts and you might hear the names Mozart, Chopin, Hemingway, van Gogh. Women, particularly in theater, were prized more for their posteriors than for posterity. How many will remember, for example, that the lovely Lillie Langtry was praised for her wit A yes, wit A by such acid-penned observers as Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and George Bernard Shaw. Of course, most people know the novelist Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin needed to adopt the name "George Sand" in order to publish her more than 90 works of literature.
In the arena of lost femme artistes, even more sinister rumblings echo forth from the past. Perhaps Brecht didn't write all his work, and some of his mistresses helped out more than a bit. What about the claim that Clara Schumann, wife of composer Robert and a virtuoso pianist in her own right, actually composed much of his music? F. Scott Fitzgerald's distraught mate, Zelda, long claimed that "Scottie" stole her stories and called them his own. More and more, reconstructive historians find disturbing shards of truth in these tales, proving that women didn't just spring alive in the Twentieth Century, but struggled to thrive artistically purely underground; perhaps thousands remain undiscovered.
Ever heard of Teresa Carreño, for instance? You should have. Long before Madonna, as Arnold Mittelman of the Coconut Grove Playhouse pointed out recently, Teresa was a superstar. In the late 1800s, playing piano all through the United States, Europe, and South America, she entertained such luminaries as presidents Abraham Lincoln and Grover Cleveland. Married four times (two husbands were brothers), the mother of a brood of children, a chain-smoker who hid a gun in her piano, Ms. Carreño became as colorful a figure to the press of her time as Ms. Ciccone has today. The analogy with Madonna would hold up perfectly, except for the fact that Teresa Carreño A at least the way classical recording and concert star Pamela Ross plays her in the Grove's production of Carreño! A possessed awe-inspiring musical genius. Ms. Ross certainly owns the great gift, too, as she breathes new life into this lost superwoman, weaving impeccable and passionate piano stylings of Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Scott Joplin, and others with a fascinating one-woman-show-monologue that traces the Venezuelan virtuoso Carreño's extraordinary life from father's prize pupil to the toast of three continents.
If you enjoy the truly superior and can afford to see just one show this year, go to Carreño, if only to hear Ms. Ross play the piano. When acting the part of Teresa, she tends to exaggerate the character a bit, but this hardly matters. The piece as an overall work of theater makes an extraordinary impact, and shows how different art forms A music, acting, and playwriting A can meld to produce a new and more fulfilling dramatic structure.
Ross plays like an angel. As Carreño's author, she writes almost as well. Tying Teresa's story together through the tale of her hunt for her lost daughter (who was put up for adoption by a vengeful hubby while she was on tour), the actress/pianist/playwright delicately exposes universal truths of talented women fighting against male prejudice and jealousy, even from their own spouses. Carreño's final personal feminist triumph is perfectly reflected in the music, as Ross acts as well if not better when speaking through those power-packed and fluid fingers. Every musical phrase truly tells a story and expresses a new emotion.
Gene Frankel, the original director of this Off-Broadway hit in the Sixties, was instrumental in establishing black theater by introducing James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Louis Gossett, Jr., and Maya Angelou to the stage in his adaption of Jean Genet's The Blacks. Now he contributes just as much to the cause of women, by helping Pamela Ross maneuver a perfect one-performer concert/ play. Even if you don't care for classical music, you'll be won over by the way Ms. Ross plays it, and in the process, she'll hook you into the saga of the great Carreño A a woman who should be remembered for her musical virtuosity and her strength of will. Arnold Mittelman must be praised highly for finding Ross's show and, through it, restoring Carreño's gifts to their rightful place in history.
Pamela Ross pays tribute to her father
To paint the truest picture of her late father, classical pianist Pamela Ross surrounds herself with his paintings, his dental instruments and, of course, his music.
In her one-woman play, "goodbye, harry," Ross invokes his spirit as well, "smashing' herself into the work with the same passion her father possessed.
In giving herself to the music of Chopin and Rachmaninoff, Gershwin and Sondheim, she lifts the audience with a loving portrait of a rare man.
She shared her memories Friday night to a full house in the Fulton's new fourth floor Studio Theatre, combining wry wit with a magnificent mix of music.
Set in Harry Ross' New York apartment on summer evening, Ross invites the audience to experience the music she grew up with, the music her father loved.
She deftly combines popular and classical pieces, blending boogiewoogie with Debussy, just as he did.
The reminiscing is more autobiographical than a biography of Harry Ross, as she reveals how her father shaped her life.
Although she may have eclipsed her father's talent technically while she was still a child by learning how to hit the right notes, she still reaches out for him in an attempt to embrace his passion.
She repeats her father's adage like a mantra! "Better to play one day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep."
As king of the jungle, Ross roars.
Her interpretations of Frederic Chopin and Sergei Rachmaninoff were simply stunning Friday night as she threw her whole body into the demanding pieces until the room reverberated. The performance was quite athletic as the intensity of the notes tensed then released each muscle in her slight frame.
She simply couldn't sit still.
Launching into the spirited "Kitten on the Keys" by Zez Confrey, Ross explained her enthusiasm by noting this was the first song she ever heard her father play.
Her fierce playing was tempered with shimmering quietness as well.
Most notably, she echoed her father's watercolor painting with her rendition of Debussy's "Clair de Lune." As she played, she painted the moon's reflection across water, clear and bright.
Say 'hi' to invisible Theatre's 'goodbye, harry'
By CHUCK GRAHAM
Have you ever wished somebody would come sit down in your living room and play piano? Even though you don't have a piano?
Invisible Theatre is offering the next best thing with "goodbye, harry," a one-person evening of music and whimsy preformed by Pamela Ross. On stage is a baby grand piano, with stacks of music and packing boxes scattered here and there, a few paintings on the walls and a self-portrait of Harry Ross.
The setup is that Pamela's father Harry, a retired dentist who loved to paint pictures and play piano, has passed away. Pamela is in his apartment, taking care of the last few details.
She pauses to play Harry's piano one last time. And to tell mostly humorous stories about her father the dentist, who also had some innovative ideas about art and life.
More than half the two-act show is music, with Pamela throwing herself into playing a mix of classical, Gershwin and jazz pieces. None of this is done with the hyper-art finesse of a big name symphony concert in Centennial Hall. Pamela is an accomplished concert pianist. She knows the pieces, and she plays them.
All the classical excerpts will be familiar to everyone. Even if you hate classical music, you will know these tunes. Pamela's casually delivered comments between songs add to the intimacy of a pleasant evening.
It's clear she isn't doing any acting when she talks about missing her father. Some prerecorded voice-overs representing Harry, done by K.H. Roberts, make this beloved father seem even a bit more real.
Though Harry hated to travel, Pamela makes him sound the sort who would brighten any long, boring airplane ride. It is a colorful portrait enhanced by the music.
PAMELA ROSS Bach Keyboard Music
By Terry Teachout
Pamela Ross, best known for fiery romantic-piano repertory, proves no less impressive in Bach. This lovely CD contains the G Major Toccata, A Minor English Suite, E Major French Suite and A Minor Partita, all played with clarity, sensitivity and (in the slow movements) a warmly lyrical approach.
Sample "CARREÑO" performances on the road:
University of California/San Diego, La Jolla,Chico, CA
College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, New Jersey
Complejo Teresa Carreno,Caracas, Venezuela (extended run)
Societe Pro Arte Grateli, Dade Cty. Aud.,Miami
Regis College, Boston, MA.
Louisiana Arts Council,West Monroe, LA.
Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, 3 month run (112 performances)
Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga.
Fulton Opera House, Lancaster, Pa., extended run
Reston Community Center Theatre, Reston, Va.
Invisible Theatre Company, Tucson, AZ, extended run in Spanish and in English, presented at the Temple of Music and Art, home of the Arizona Theatre Company
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
University of Georgia, Athens, Ga.
Nazareth Arts Center, Rochester, NY
"goodbye,harry" sample performances:
"Broadway at the Surf", Miami Beach, FL, 8 week run (64 performances).
"Off Broadway", Fort Lauderdale, FL, 8 week run (64 performances)
Fulton Opera House Studio Theatre, Lancaster, PA,extended run
Invisible Theatre Co., AZ, 5 weeks,40 performances
Jewish Theatre of New England, Boston, MA
Florida Studio Theatre Cabaret Theatre
When Pamela Ross isn't creating wonderfully crafted works for the stage, she is engaged as a recitalist, piano soloist and chamber music player. She has performed with some of the greatest conductors of our time including Arthur Fiedler, Jorge Mester, Murry Sidlin, and Gustav Meier. She is also a recording artist, with two Chopin albums, the Scherzi and the Ballades, and discs on the Connoisseur Society Label of piano music by Robert Schumann, and keyboard music by J.S. Bach.Arthur Fiedler - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kennedy Center: Biographical information for Murry Sidlin
Pamela Ross performing Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2 with Arthur Fiedler:
New York-based cellist Joseph Gotoff is rapidly gaining attention as one of the leading musical voices of his generation. Recent accomplishments include performances with world-renowned composer and pianist Lowell Liebermann of the composer's own works, and well-received concerts in venues ranging from the City Museum of New York to Christie's auction house. Currently pursuing a Master of Music degree at Mannes College studying with Barbara Stein-Mallow, Joseph studied evolutionary biology as an undergraduate at Princeton University. Previous cello teachers include Tom Kraines and the renowned pedagogue Orlando Cole, as well as chamber music studies with members of the Brentano and Juilliard string quartets. An accomplished chamber musician, Joseph has been a participant at numerous summer festivals, including Kneisel Hall and the Castleman Quartet Program.
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Mirror Web Sites:www.pamela-ross.com