‘Lovely Friendship’ Backbone To Album
Soprano Elizabeth Futral and composer Philip Lasser can thank pianist Margo Garrett for their friendship, which spans nearly a decade.
“There was a third party that gave my songs to Elizabeth,” Lasser said. “Then as fate would have it, she was collaborating with Margo Garrett, who happens to be a colleague of mine at Juilliard and who had a studio at the time right across the hall from my studio. We met over these songs.”
“I had taken them to Margo to get her opinion about them and to say ‘I really like these. Could you play through them and tell me what you think pianistically, and do you think they’re a viable option’ for this recital we were going to prepare together,” Futral said. “So I plopped them in front of her and she said ‘Could you hang on just a minute?’ and she went across the hall. That was the beginning of our lovely friendship.”
The three of them, along with soprano Susanna Phillips, released an album in 2012, “Colors of Feelings.”
The songs are based on work by Tennessee poet Wynelle Ann Carson, Lasser said. “She’s sort of what I would call a modern-day Emily Dickinson. These (poems) were just attractive to me beyond words.”
Lasser used four of Carson’s poems for the album. The songs are in English and French; the narration by Michael York is in English.
“His voice, I felt, perfectly suited and perfect matched” the album, Lasser said.
In June, Futral sang the role of Alice B. Toklas in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s “27.” In November, Phillips was a featured in the St. Louis Symphony’s performance of “Peter Grimes” in St. Louis and at Carnegie Hall in New York.