WESTFIELD, NJ -- New Jersey Festival Orchestra is back!

Stars from the Broadway stage, international opera houses and Dance Theatre of Harlem join NJFO to present New Beginnings, a musical message of hope, rebirth and enrichment. Featuring renowned tenor fare, dazzling dance classics and Broadway favorites, this NJFO made-for-television streaming special is set to restart the artistic engines and bring joy and hope to audiences in the Garden State and beyond.

“In the era of COVID19, New Beginnings is a film representing NJFO’s renewal of activities through an artistic gesture of communal solidarity,” explained NJFO Music Director David Wroe. “We ‘gift’ this to you by doing what we do best: bringing together words, music and dance of the highest quality. It’s a “shot in the arm” to boost spiritual enrichment -- just what the CDC might prescribe!”

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New Beginnings, a two-part video special produced by NJFO in conjunction with Four/Ten Media, will premiere on May 20 and then made available on demand. Safely filmed at the Ward Mansion in Westfield, this must-watch event captures all the magic of a live performance, promising a treat for the whole family – and comes free of charge thanks to generous support from John and James Ward, NJ State Council on the Arts, The Westfield Foundation and NJFO patrons Jerome and Helene Dreskin.

“What an extraordinary year 2020 has been!” continued Maestro Wroe. “I believe we will look back and reflect on how we responded to such a calamity, as much as how it was visited upon us. My heart wells with pride in having the opportunity to design NJFO’s artistic response - a high definition, multi camera, sophisticated and diverse cultural product fit for a Hollywood audience!”

New Beginnings features some renowned old friends and some new upcoming stars. Audiences will likely remember special guest Marissa McGowan who starred in Broadway’s most recent production of Kiss Me Kate, and performed to great acclaim with NJFO on New Year’s Eve in 2017.  Metropolitan Opera National Council Award-winning tenor Jeremy Brauner has graced many national, and international operatic stages with his rich, and unprecedented range and diversity of styles. Errin Duane Brooks, a new discovery of the Metropolitan Opera, with “a top C to die for” is also set to appear. Completing the line up are stars from the renowned Dance Theatre of Harlem.

The concert promises a unique selection of exclusively orchestral numbers, renowned tenor fare, American musical theater showstoppers, dance selections from the Nutcracker Suite, and “Pavarotti-style” classics: - La donna e mobile,Torna a Surriento,Addio, Sogna di Gloria, Mamma, and more. All are all set to delight in this cabaret-style show.  

“The magic of this concert comes from the interaction of our guest artists and orchestra as well as the great repertoire. It’s music that calls for dramatic interpretation, drawing exhilarating performances from all in these most challenging times,” continued Wroe.

New Beginnings is infused with a burst of optimism that is going to strike a chord with many lockdown-weary people today,” added NJFO Board President Keith S. Hertell, “I encourage everyone to tune in for our gift of renewal, enjoy some inspiring musical experiences and have some fun!”

How it works

New Beginnings Part 1 will premiere on May 20. The link will be appear on the NJFO website www.njfestivalorchestra.org at 7 p.m. and then be available on demand. Look for Part 2 later in June. For more information, contact NJFO by email at patronservices@njfestivalorchestra.org or call (908) 232-9400.