“ROCKTOPIA” LAUNCHES NATIONAL TOUR THIS SPRING
Published: May 6, 2019
FORT LAUDERDALE – Direct from its smash-hit run on Broadway, the international music sensation Rocktopia comes to the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, May 15 at 8 p.m.
An explosive musical concert event that fuses the most iconic 20th-century rock with world-renowned classical masterpieces, Rocktopia features the works of musical innovators across centuries—including Journey, Mozart, Queen, Beethoven, Aerosmith, Handel, Led Zeppelin, Tchaikovsky, U2, Heart, Puccini, The Who, and more.
Created through the unique vision of vocalist and recording artist Rob Evan (Broadway: Les Miserables, Jekyll & Hyde; Trans-Siberian Orchestra) and Maestro Randall Craig Fleischer (San Francisco Symphony), Rocktopia delivers one-of-a-kind, spine-tingling musical arrangements with insanely talented lead vocalists, a five-piece rock band, a local choir and live orchestra.
The groundbreaking live concert is performed by a celebrated, diverse array of rock, Broadway, and opera vocalists: Rob Evan; Chloe Lowery (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Chris Botti, Yanni’s Voices); Alyson Cambridge (The Merry Widow at the Met Opera, Madame Butterfly, La Boheme, Show Boat); James Valenti (Tosca, Madame Butterfly, Roméo and Juliet), Toby Rand (frontman for STADIUM – supergroup with members from INXS, Morrissey, & Dorothy; Toby Rand & The NoMads; Finalist on CBS TV’s “Rockstar: Supernova”), and Kia Ifani Warren (Revel In Dimes). The world-class musicians featured include Grammy and Emmy Award nominated violinist Máiréad Nesbitt (Celtic Woman, Lord of the Dance).
An inaugural performance of the show, Rocktopia: Live from Budapest produced by Two Hands Entertainment/Jeff Rowland, was recorded in front of a live audience in June 2016 at the 19th century Hungarian State Opera House for PBS. It was performed with the Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra with six vocalists, a five-piece rock band, the Hungarian State Opera Chorus, and the Jazz and More Choir. Rocktopia toured over twenty cities in the United States in 2016, featuring local symphonies and choirs across the country, and rocked Broadway during its spring 2018 limited engagement.
Adored by audiences and critics alike, Billboard called Rocktopia, “a thrilling musical fusion,” and Howard Stern praised the show saying, "it’s very cool…really a lot of fun.” “Rocktopia blends classical music with classic rock, a big live orchestra, and an even bigger choir to create an evening that has even the most jaded New Yorkers dancing in their seats,” exclaimed Broadway Box. DC Metro Arts adds, “with rousing peaks and powerful performances, you’ll be rocking and cheering! All of the musicians are impressive - with Tony Bruno’s guitar solos being especially electrifying and Máiréad Nesbitt’s performances a thrilling highlight.”
Rocktopia is produced by ROCKTOPIA Broadway LLC (William Franzblau, Executive Producer and Maggie Seidel-Laws, Associate Producer) in association with HUGHES WALL LLC.
Tickets are 30-$75 with $115 JetBlue Flight Deck on the Club Level tickets available. Ticketmaster is the only official ticketing service of the Broward Center, Parker Playhouse and affiliated venues. Buy tickets online at BrowardCenter.org or Ticketmaster.com; by phone at 954.462.0222 or the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office. Know who you are buying from when you purchase tickets.
The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
For more information visit BrowardCenter.org, like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/BrowardCenter, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @BrowardCenter, subscribe to our channel at Youtube.com/user/BrowardCenter and join the conversation with #BrowardCenter.
The Broward Center 2018-2019 season is presented by the Broward Performing Arts Foundation. AutoNation, Bank of America, Brightline, Canteen, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, JetBlue and MasterCard are proud sponsors of the Broward Center.
For Performance Photos, visit: https://bit.ly/2ulWQ1X
For Video, visit: http://bit.ly/2g8tFpI
ROB EVAN (Co-Creator) is a highly accomplished actor, singer, and producer with more than 20 years of professional experience in the entertainment industry. He has performed in seven leading roles on New York stages including the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, playing the title roles more than 1,000 times over three years. His rendition of “This Is the Moment” was performed at numerous prestigious events, including the 2001 Inaugural Gala for President George W. Bush, the Millennium Independence Day US Naval Revue aboard the USS JFK for President Clinton, the Millennium World Forum Conference with speaker Mikhail Gorbachev, and the New York City Mayor’s Inaugural Gala. Rob also appeared on Broadway as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Kerchak in Disney’s Tarzan, The Dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, and Count von Krolock in Jim Steinman’s Dance of the Vampires. Off-Broadway, Rob created the roles of The Dancin’ Kid in Johnny Guitar and the hero Miles Hendon in The Prince and the Pauper. Rob is a member of the multi-platinum-selling band, Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He can be heard on TSO’s The Lost Christmas Eve and Night Castle, which debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 100. He was also the lead vocalist for Jim Steinman’s The Dream Engine, and recently released the debut album from his progressive rock band, Menrva Realm. Rob has also been a regularly featured soloist for over 40 symphonies around the world, including appearances in San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, Hong Kong, and the Czech Republic.
RANDALL CRAIG FLEISCHER (Co-Creator) Active as a composer and arranger, Mr. Fleischer is a national leader in the fields of symphonic rock and world music fusion. His works and arrangements have been played by many world-renowned orchestras including the Boston Pops, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, China Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, the National Symphony, and many others. Fleischer has also worked with artists such as John Densmore (The Doors), Natalie Merchant, Blondie, Ani DiFranco, John Cale (Velvet Underground) Garth Hudson (The Band), Kenny Rogers, Chris Baron (Spin Doctors), and Native American artists R. Carlos Nakai, Burning Sky, The Hawk Project, The Benaly Family, and others. Mr. Fleischer’s operatic repertoire includes productions of La Boheme, Turandot, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, and others. Fleischer received his Bachelor of Music Education from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has studied conducting with Leonard Bernstein, Otto Werner Mueller, Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Gustav Meier, and others. He first came to international attention when, at the National Symphony Orchestra, he conducted Dvorak’s "Cello Concerto" with Mstislav Rostropovich as soloist. In December of 1992, Mr. Fleischer conducted an ensemble of more than 70 cellos, including YoYo Ma, and a 190 voice chorus in a tribute to Rostropovich, broadcast on CBS with then-President and Mrs. Bush in attendance. In 1993, Mr. Fleischer conducted a private concert for Pope John-Paul at the Vatican. The Pontiff awarded Mr. Fleischer a medal for his achievements in music. A passionate educator, Fleischer has co-authored several instructional pieces for children in collaboration with his wife, comedian Heidi Joyce, which were premiered by the National Symphony Orchestra, including three rap pieces for orchestra. Mr. Fleischer lives in Los Angeles with his wife Heidi and daughter Michaela.
CHLOE LOWERY (Vocalist) is an American singer, dancer, actress, and songwriter born in Largo, Florida. At age12 she was signed to RCA Records, and soon after being signed was featured on two movie soundtracks, Boys and Girl and Joe Somebody. She went on to tour with Big Brother and the Holding Company and work with world-renowned producer Ric Wake, which then led to a collaboration with Yanni on the 2009 Yanni Voices Project. After tours of the U.S. and Mexico with Yanni, she signed to Disney/Hollywood Records as a solo artist. Chloe has since been featured on three Yanni records: 2013’s Truth of Touch, 2014’s Inspirato, and 2016’s Sensuous Chill. Chloe joined multi-platinum selling rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra performing as Theresa on their Beethoven’s Last Night Tours and continues to work with the band both in the studio and live on stage. Lowery has also toured with Chris Botti, performed with the New York City Ballet as a featured vocalist, and contributed her talents to collaborations with artists like Everclear. Chloe independently released a solo project in 2018.
ALYSON CAMBRIDGE (Vocalist) is one of the most diverse and compelling vocal artists on the scene today. Her rich, warm soprano, combined with her strikingly beautiful stage presence and affecting musical and dramatic interpretation, have brought her over a decade of successes on the world’s leading opera and concert stages, including The Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Vienna Konzerthaus, among others, as well as recent debuts Paris , Warsaw, Beijing, and other musical capitals throughout Europe and Asia. Her repertoire includes the beloved heroines of Puccini, Verdi, and Mozart (Mimi, Madama Butterfly, Donna Elvira, Violetta, and Micaëla among them) as well as successful forays into the crossover, Broadway and jazz repertoire, most notably with award-winning and critically-acclaimed performances of Julie in Show Boat and Vi in Gershwin’s rarely performed jazz-opera Blue Monday. Alyson's debut album, “From the Diary of Sally Hemings,” a song-cycle by acclaimed American composer William Bolcom, premiered at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall to rave reviews, and her newest album, Until Now, a mix of jazz, pop, and musical theater standards was released in January 2016 on the Naxos imprint Suite 28 Records, and is available on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
JAMES VALENTI (Vocalist), an internationally acclaimed Tenor, has built a global reputation for his elegant musicianship, commanding stage presence, ardent style and voice of warm Italianate lustre. The sought-after 6’5” tenor trained at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, and Westminster Choir College in Princeton NJ. Mr. Valenti made his professional debut at age 25 at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma as Rodolfo in the Franco Zeffirelli production of La Bohême. He has gone on to perform at the most celebrated theatres and opera houses in the world, including Teatro alla Scala Milan, Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, Royal Opera House London, and more. He has showcased his vocal ability and acting versatility in a variety of roles such as Don José in Carmen, Don Carlo in Don Carlo, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Alfredo Germont in La Traviata, Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto, Lt. Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, and more. Mr. Valenti has been a recipient of many accolades and awards including The Richard Tucker Award in 2010, the Maria Callas Debut Artist Award 2009, The New York City Outstanding Debut Award in 2006 and he was the guest soloist at St. Patrick’s Cathedral NYC for Christmas Eve Midnight Mass in 2013. Recent highlights include a concert at Carnegie Hall, a recital in his home state New Jersey, large scale concert in Budapest Hungary, concerts in Zimbabwe Africa, St Barth’s, Lake Como Cernobbio Italy, a special “Tosca” for the rebirth of New York City Opera, “Madama Butterfly” in Poland, Mexico and The Met, “Carmen” in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and Hamburg, and a concert with fellow star Anna Netrebko at the Baden-Baden Festival in Germany.
TOBY RAND (Vocalist) is an Australian raised / Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and recording artist. When he’s not touring with Rocktopia, RAND’s primary artistry is with solo project, TOBY RAND & The NoMads. This music is a blend of raw, gut-wrenching vocals with anthemic sonics, live instrumentation and beautiful strings of the Hamburg (Germany) Symphony Orchestra. RAND also fronts Supergroup ‘STADIUM’ featuring members from INXS, Morrissey and Dorothy. Stadium’s debut record will be released later in 2019. In 2006, RAND became household name for his appearance on the CBS TV show Rockstar: Supernova with Tommy Lee, Jason Newstead, Gilby Clarke and Dave Navarro. The show was seen by over 20million viewers each week and ended with RAND as runner-up and signed record deal. As a result, RAND has a rich musical background and extensive touring experience across the globe with his (award-winning) band, JUKE KARTEL. Juke Kartel had numerous songs on charts around the world, and tours with Slash, Rockstar Supernova, Ozzy Osborne, Nickelback, Linkin Park and many more. His voice and music are heard frequently in film and television. RAND is also involved in philanthropy. He uses his writing to support international Breast Cancer Research, the youth of Los Angeles and his children’s animation projects; Eco Giraffe and Umbrella Girls. Toby Rand’s new music is available on all streaming platforms. He collaborated on his latest solo album with two-time Echo, BMI and Grammy award winner (producer/songwriter) Alex Geringas, and renowned Grammy award winning mixer, Mark Needham.
KIA IFANI WARREN (Vocalist) Equal parts blues, rock, and soul Kia Ifani Warren’s powerful voice seduces and hypnotizes all the while transforming. Reminiscent of the great rock|soul singers of yore, Kia has taken the music scene with apt passion and raspy vocals bringing audiences to their knees. Born and raised in New York, Kia began singing in church at 8, songwriting at 10, and has been building an illustrious creative career ever since. As frontwoman for the internationally touring band, Revel In Dimes (RID), Kia has co-billed with the likes of Drive-By Truckers, Joey Bada$$, Manu Chao, The Shelters, TV on the Radio, Curtis Harding, and Hiatus Kaiyote among many others, and has performed for rock and roll legend Mick Jagger and A-list creatives such as Pat Carney (The Black Keys), Tory Burch, Daniel Arsham, Rosario Dawson, and John Varvatos. Aside from lighting the stage on fire with RID at SXSW, CMJ, Art Basel, Northside Festival, picathon, and a host of other Arts and Music Festivals here and abroad, Kia has graced the stage at iconic NYC nightclubs The Box and Duane Park, the infamous Surf Lodge in Montauk, and has lent soulful vocals to rockstar Jesse Malin and famed activist/artist Lonnie Holley. With a B.A. in visual arts/film from Fordham University at Lincoln Center, Kia has directed music videos for The Liza Colby Sound, Revel in Dimes, and has directed her first original work at Joe’s Pub this past October. Social Scene, Old Crow Medicine Show, Built to Spill, and many more.
MÁIRÉAD NESBITT (Violin) For more than a decade, Máiréad Nesbitt has enchanted millions of fans around the world as the Celtic violinist and founding member of the globetrotting music phenomenon Celtic Woman. Loyal fans of all ages, across geographical and cultural boundaries far beyond the musical heritage of Ireland, have adored her beguiling stage presence and versatile instrumental talents. As the featured violin soloist on all 11 Celtic Woman albums, each title achieved the coveted #1 slot on the Billboard World Music Chart, an Emmy-nomination for one of her companion television specials and her most recent album with the group, “Destiny”, received a 2017 Grammy Nomination for Best World Music Album. Máiréad is also an accomplished solo artist who released her newest album Hibernia at the end of 2016. Upon its release, Hibernia charted on four different Billboard charts, including the World Music, Classical Crossover, Heatseekers, and Classical charts. Máiréad also released a special album, reaching back to her family roots called “The Nesbitt Family - Devils Bit Sessions”. In 2017 the “Máiréad Nesbitt Celtic Violin Collection” was launched and is available exclusively online and in specialty shops in North America and Ireland. Máiréad has appeared with the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong, Berne Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and more.
Suggested brief: Direct from its smash-hit run on Broadway, the international music sensation Rocktopia comes to the Au-Rene Theater at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. This explosive musical concert fuses the most iconic 20th-century rock with world-renowned classical masterpieces performed by array of rock, Broadway, and opera vocalists, a five-piece rock band, a local choir and live orchestra. Tickets are 30-$75 with $115 JetBlue Flight Deck on the Club Level tickets available. Ticketmaster is the only official ticketing service of the Broward Center, Parker Playhouse and affiliated venues. Buy tickets online at BrowardCenter.org or Ticketmaster.com; by phone at 954-462-0222 or the Broward Center’s AutoNation Box Office. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Avenue in Fort Lauderdale.
Suggested Tweet: Roll over Beethoven – @rocktopia on May 15 @BrowardCenter fuses works by Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsy with Journey, Queen, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin among others performed by rock, Broadway & opera singers.
Suggested post: Direct from Broadway, Roctopia fuses works by Journey, Mozart, Queen, Beethoven, Aerosmith, Handel, Led Zeppelin, Tchaikovsky, U2, Heart, Puccini, The Who, and more. The concert comes to Broward Center May 15.
About The Broward Center for the Performing Arts
One of America’s premier performing arts venues, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts presents more than 700 performances each year to more than 700,000 patrons, showcasing a wide range of exciting cultural programming and events. Guest experiences at the Broward Center include the all-inclusive JetBlue Flight Deck on the Club Level, special events in the Huizenga Pavilion, waterfront dining at Marti’s New River Bistro and innovative classes and workshops for all ages at the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center. With one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the United States, the Broward Center serves more than 150,000 students annually. The Broward Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. receives and maintains funds to sustain, develop and secure the future of the Broward Center. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit BrowardCenter.org.
The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment Consortium is a cultural partnership between the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Florida Grand Opera, Fort Lauderdale History Center and the Historic Stranahan House Museum. It is supported by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.