Coming up in Philly Music: Trade secrets from a Lyric Fest master

Laura Ward with singers Randall Scarlata and Suzanne DuPlantis. (Photo by Lisa Schaffer.)

Every now and then, it’s fun to peek behind the curtain and hear artists tell how they perform their magic tricks. The co-director of Lyric Fest, pianist Laura Ward, will enhance a Lyric Fest song session with backstage comments on the art of collaborating with singers as they tackle art songs, opera, and the premieres of new works. Ward is the backbone of the Lyric Fest song series, an expressive, mood-creating pianist with a professional résumé that includes stints with the Marian Anderson Emerging Vocal Artists Competition and the Washington International Vocal Competition. I interviewed her once and I guarantee that anything she has to say about collaborative pianoing will be interesting and informative. Did you know, for example, that you can alter the sound of a piano by changing the way you curl your fingers? The singers on the program will include Lyric Fest regulars Suzanne DuPlantis and Randall Scarlata.

Lyric Fest will present Pedals, Page-Turns and Postludes on Thursday, September 21, at 6pm at Mini Concert at the Community House, 16 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ; Friday, September 22,at 8pm at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, 8855 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia; and Sunday, September 24, at 3pm at the Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce Street, Philadelphia. Tickets are $25 online and $35 at the door (students $10), and they’re available online.