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Singing Sondheim

Mondays 6:00 - 8:00pm

For all the recognition accorded his brilliance, some conventional wisdom
still believes that Sondheim's work doesn't and will not attract a broad
popular audience because his lyrics are too intellectual, his music technically difficult, his characters too unpleasant, and his world view too cynical.

In this workshop, you will face these challenges and discover how to approach a Stephen Sondheim song, scene, or character and find their nuances.

Collaborative pianist is provided.

Our workshop focuses on:

  • Stephen Sondheim on the Broadway stage

  • performers will learn how to incorporate their voice, personality, and experiences into a song in conjunction with the piece's story line.  

  • delve into the character by learning how to answer the 5 W's (Who, What, Where, When, and Why)

Instructor: Stephen Scovasso


Stephen Scovasso is a musicologist, conductor, director, teacher, and author. He has directed operas including, Carmen, Tosca, La Bohème, Don Giovanni, as well operetta's such as The Merry Widow and Die Fledermaus. He has also directed American Musical Theater pieces such as Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Bernstein’s Candide.

In conjunction with SAS Performing Arts Company, he has produced and directed 6 full length virtual streams including Dracula: The Radio Play, Dickens's A Christmas Carol. Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as many virtual concerts and holiday concerts.

Stephen studied Operatic and Symphonic conducting under the tutelage of the late Vincent La Selva. Among the works he has conducted are Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 in D minor, Handel’s Messiah, Puccini’s Tosca, and Mozart's Don Giovanni

During his years at Arizona State University,  he created and taught classes on American Musical Theater, and Stephen Sondheim.

Instructor: Deborah Surdi


Deborah Surdi, soprano, is an experienced singer, voice teacher and coach, as well as an executive and consultant in the music and concert presenting business.  As a singer, she performed for many years in both local and regional opera companies in the Tri-State area. Her roles include Mimi, Musetta, Fiordiligi, Tosca, Rosalinda and Cio-Cio San, to name a few.  For the bulk of her working career she held various positions at RCA Records/BMG Classics and Sony Classical, with her last position as Vice President of Artists and Repertoire.   Former Executive Director of The Opera Orchestra of New York, Deborah is currently working in executive capacities with the Martina Arroyo Foundation and The Queens Symphony Orchestra.  She studied Song interpretation with the legendary Barbara Cook.

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