Grace Coolidge Musicale features “The Golden Age of Broadway”

Musicale
Mairzy Doats Duo. Photo provided

PLYMOUTH NOTCH, Vt. – The President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site hosts the second of this season’s Grace Coolidge Musicales Sunday, July 21, at 4 p.m. The 45-minute concert is free; donations are welcome.

Back by popular demand are mezzo-soprano Ellen Nordstrom and pianist Abigail Charbeneau as the Mairzy Doats Duo, performing “Flighty Females and Other Femmes Fatales from the Golden Age of Broadway.” The program includes a wide variety of musical storytelling from the ridiculous to the sublime, spanning the years 1943–1959. Featured are classics by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kurt Weil, Lerner and Loewe, and Adler and Ross.

The musicale will be held in the President Calvin Coolidge Museum & Education Center. It showcases the piano given to Mrs. Coolidge by the Baldwin Company and used in the family quarters at The White House. It was the first piano ever to be flown in an airplane.

Abigail Charbeneau, piano, earned a bachelor’s degree in music from Skidmore and an master’s in piano pedagogy and performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Abigail has lived and worked in Concord, N.H. for 17 years teaching at the Concord Community Music School and at St. Paul’s School. She is the organist at South Congregational Church in Concord and performs regularly with the Musicians of Wall St. in Concord, accompanies the St. Paul’s theater productions, and coordinates and plays for the Grace Coolidge Musicales.

Ellen Nordstrom, a lyric mezzo, graduated from the University of North Carolina, continued her studies at Dartmouth College, interned with the Lake George Opera, and received a grant in speech pathology at MEEI. She debuted in Europe in 1995 with the Rome Opera Festival as Orlofsky in “Die Fledermaus.” Ellen has performed lead and “comprimaria” roles with the Brandenburg Opera, Granite State Opera, Opera North, and Vermont Opera Theater. She teaches at several prestigious institutions throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. Some of her current and former students have performed for three New Hampshire governors, as well as on American Idol, MTV’s Made, Star Search, Up With People, and the Metropolitan Opera.

The Grace Coolidge Musicales, which conclude Aug. 25, are organized by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and generously sponsored by the Alma Gibbs Donchian Foundation. For further information and event listings, visit us online at www.historicsites.vermont.gov and like us on Facebook at Vermont State Historic Sites. We can be reached by calling 802-672-3773.

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