When acclaimed soprano Ailyn Pérez fell ill the day before she was scheduled to perform at Classical Action’s Michael Palm Series, the outlook for the season’s final installment of the much-anticipated house concert was in doubt. Fortunately, Pérez had the perfect solution: celebrated soprano Leah Crocetto.
A colleague and friend of Pérez, Crocetto is a wunderkind opera talent and legend in the making. She performed the titular role in Aida with the San Francisco Opera, and recently made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Liù in Turandot.
Fortunately, Crocetto was in town and willing to step in for the April 4, 2017, concert. Though she had never performed with Pérez’s scheduled pianist Gary Matthewman, Crocetto was up for the challenge. The pair swiftly came up with and rehearsed an unforgettable alternate program just hours before the concert.
Throughout the evening, Crocetto seamlessly alternated between opera and Broadway favorites. She stayed true to her classical roots with a stunning performance of Donde Lieta from La Boheme, and showed her impressive range and abilities with Richard Strauss’ “Morgen” and “Cäcelie.”
Crocetto served a hilarious and showstopping performance of “The Girl in 14G,” a contemporary song by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan, written for Kristin Chenoweth. The audience couldn’t stop smiling and giggling as Crocetto lamented about noisy neighbors through song.
The audience was touched when she dedicated a gorgeous performance of “All the Things You Are” from Very Warm for May to her late father. She shared that it was his favorite song.
Crocetto closed the show with a captivating performance of “Somewhere” from West Side Story, dedicating the song to the gathered guests. The audience sprung to their feet in thunderous applause after sharing this intimate, special evening.
Hosts Simon Yates and Kevin Roon again offered their spacious Tribeca loft for the concert. The sole underwriter for the series is the Michael Palm Foundation, with additional sponsorship from United Airlines.