Gannon University’s Erie Chamber Orchestra Welcomes Guest Artist
Posted: December 4, 2015
Steven Stull, the guest artist for Saturday's 7:30 p.m. Erie
Chamber Orchestra concert at Cathedral Prep Auditorium, is a
serious opera singer with credits that range from Cooperstown, New
York's innovative Glimmerglass Opera to Kyrgyz Opera on the steppes
of Central Asia.
But he's not a solemn kind of opera singer. He's appeared as the
Big Bad Wolf in Grant Cooper's spoofy hip-hop/Sondheim mashup,
"Boyz in the Wood," and his website is operacowpokes.com (it's well
worth a visit).
In college, the Ithaca, New York-based baritone was a regular in
productions of both opera and musical theater. "I was told to focus
on one or the other, and I said, no, I'm going to do it all." And
Stull has, with roles that range from Don Quixote in a setting by
the Baroque composer Telemann, to Curly in "Oklahoma."
It shouldn't be a surprise that Stull relishes the chance to
perform Albert Hague's "The Grinch Medley" at the ECO's annual
holiday show, guest conducted by Bradley Thachuk.
"It follows the tunes from the TV show, so it's really familiar,
a souped-up version of what we remember," he said. "I love to do it
because I get to narrate and sing, while I get to portray
characters, too. And what a fun thing it is to portray the Grinch
and his transformation."
Stull said that despite the familiarity of the music, it's
challenging to play. "Orchestra members like that. The arrangements
used at most holiday concerts are not all that interesting."
That shouldn't be a problem at Saturday's concert, which will
also feature charming but relatively unfamiliar music from the 1982
animated feature "The Snowman."
And even Leroy Anderson's evergreen "Sleigh Ride, a staple of
holiday concerts led by founder Bruce Morton Wright, is no piece of
Of course, holiday concerts are all about much-loved music and
the ECO, with longtime collaborators the Cathedral of Saint Paul's
Children's Choir, will set them out like so many colorful Christmas
The holiday medleys will bookend the performance, a shrewd
programming choice that would melt even the Grinch's cold heart