LORNA DALLAS, from Illinois, went from winning a national talent contest in high
school (the finals in Town Hall in New York) to Indiana University to the Metropolitan
Opera National Company (her debut was as Susannah in THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO)
to London to star as Magnolia in the record-breaking revival of SHOW BOAT
with Dame Cleo Laine. Excerpts from SHOW BOAT were filmed at the Adelphi
Theatre and shown worldwide as part of the American Tony Awards to represent its
global importance and recognition as a landmark production. She remained in the
UK to star in major musicals such as THE KING AND I, CLOSER THAN EVER, KISMET,
SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, RATEPAYERS' IOLANTHE, and many others. Critics were
to call her "one of the finest singing actresses on the British stage."
to London, Lorna had been nominated for an Emmy for her performance on CALLBACK!
The musical director for this series filmed at the famous Village Gate Theatre
was a then relatively unknown Barry Manilow. There are some demo recordings of
the musical, THE AMBASSADOR, that exist of Lorna with the incredibly talented
John Collum which are considered cult classics.
London, for the BBC, Lorna had one of the most ambitious and successful series,
MY MUSICAL WORLD. She recorded a special concert for television
at the Brisbane Cultural Arts Centre with the Brisbane Symphony of the music of
Novello, Porter, and Coward. She starred in COLE for the renowned Hong
Kong Arts Festival. She has been guest artist in all the major concert halls from
London to Australia and starred in countless concerts and television specials
such as LET'S FACE THE MUSIC OF KERN, THE MAGIC OF RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN,
BEING ALIVE! A SONDEHEIM TRIBUTE, COLE PORTER CENTENNIAL GALA, MAD ABOUT THE BOY,
GIVE US A CLUE, THERE GOES THAT SONG AGAIN, NAME THAT TUNE, BEWITCHED BOTHERED
AND BEWILDERED, NIGHT OF 100 STARS, HELLO DOLLY! IN CONCERT, IN A STYNE WAY, A
HANDFUL OF KEYS, GREAT SINGERS
GREAT SONGS, THE GOOD OLD DAYS, and many,
many more including THE ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE in the presence of Her
Majesty, the Queen Mother. For ITV, she starred as Betsy, Wife No. 5 in the popular
sitcom, THE MANY WIVES OF PATRICK. Heinz Gietz wrote KATHARINA UND POTEMKIN
for Lorna's unique soprano voice. This German television opera was recorded by
ZDF in Hamburg and also starred Anneliese Rothenberger. Lorna also starred with
Caterina Valente in VERLIEBTE IN MUSIK for ZDF as well as their famed series,
MUSIK IST TRUMPF in which she was special guest in their American musical
tributes (SHOW BOAT, OKLAHOMA & KISS ME KATE) filmed
in Vienna, Munich, and Berlin. Lorna also played the wife of Telly Savalas (TV's
Kojak) in the film INSIDE OUT which was filmed in Berlin.
in London, Lorna also recorded the jingle or theme tune heard in the General Motors
adverts on television and radio; the music of Morton Gould and specially arranged
in five part harmony by Bernard Ebbinghouse. Lorna recorded all the voices in
exact and close harmony. Another hidden talent!
recorded 4 PBS Specials which included a tribute to Comden & Green with Comden
& Green, the George Gershwin Centenary Special from the London Palladium,
her own show for the Brownville Concert Series, and the Ira Gershwin Special from
the Royal Albert Hall. Her rendition of THERE IS NO MUSIC was chosen as Pick of
the Week by BBC.
She is firm favorite of the Royal Family
and has appeared by special request at many Charity Galas and concerts in their
presence. She has, in fact sung for every member of the Royal Family. Her countless
appearances and tireless efforts for these charitable causes have also meant she
is honored to have been invited to Buckingham Palace on several occasions. She
has traveled to Belfast and throughout Germany to entertain for the Army Benevolent
Fund of which Princess Anne is the patron. She was a special guest and artist
for former Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and John Major.
her solo album, THE GIRL I KNEW
the music of Novello and Kern, was
released, it was featured in SHOW MUSIC magazine. The liner notes were written
by no less than Cleo Laine & John Dankworth: "A combination of an
excellent singer and two truly great composers
Lorna Dallas is one of the
very finest American vocalists of her style and generation." The critics
once again sang her praises, such as Marc Miller of THEATERMANIA: "Rare
Kern! Rare Novello! Lorna Dallas! Caviar, I tell you, pure caviar!" and
CABARET SCENES: "This is a voice worthy of a great role to introduce this
star of the British musical theater to the land of her birth. THE GIRL I KNEW
is a good introduction to this wonderful talent, a performer you'll want to get
to know better." The CD was named CD of the Year by the renowned critic,
Michael Billington ("LORNA DALLAS is Novello and Kern's best modern interpreter.")
in the BBC Music Magazine and was No. 5 in the top 150 CDs chosen by its critics.
It has been hailed as a genuinely innovative recording. INTHEATER magazine named
it as one of the Top 10 CD Picks of 1998. United Airlines has also made the album
one of its audio channel choices
so you will hear her in the stratosphere
as well as on land!
From a sold out engagement in New York
at the famed Oak Room in the Algonquin Hotel to the Royal Gala with Dame Cleo
Laine at Town Hall to her US concert debut with the world-renowned conductor/arranger,
Skitch Henderson, Lorna has wowed the critics and received standing ovations when
she has appeared as special guest with Skitch with the Honolulu, Florida, Quebec,
New Haven, Savannah, Jacksonville and Dallas Symphony Orchestras. Reviews:
"Dallas is a show stopper of the first degree." In November 1998,
Lorna made a stunning Carnegie Hall debut with Skitch and the New York Pops to
rapturous response from an ecstatic audience. It was breathtaking! She is a frequent
guest on the famed Lyrics & Lyricists Series at the 92nd Street Y. With Peter
Howard and Howard McGillin, Lorna starred in a Cole Porter review LET'S MISBEHAVE!
at the Westhampton Performing Arts Center. She followed this review with a
SHELDON HARNICK Tribute at the John Drew Theatre in Easthampton with Sheldon
Harnick and Peter Howard
.all with standing ovations. She returned to this
venue in the highly successful revue, NOËL COWARD: A TALENT TO AMAZE
with Steve Ross.
In November 1999, she was a special guest
with Cleo Laine at Royal Festival Hall in London in FAREWELL 20TH CENTURY
MUSICAL MEANDER THROUGH THE LAST 100 YEARS. This program, with John Dankworth,
CBE as musical director, was truly one of the concert highlights in London for
She debuted her new one-woman show, LORNA DALLAS
Celebrates the music of Jerome Kern and Ivor Novello, at the grand reopening
of the Jermyn Street Theatre in London. It was a sell out season and one of the
hottest tickets attracting press from both sides of the Atlantic. The critics
were full of praise and Peter Hepple of THE STAGE wrote: "Many young singers,
especially from the musical theatre, have tried their hand at the art of cabaret,
but it takes a performer like Lorna Dallas to show them how to do it properly.
For one thing there is the voice, which in her case is a pure soprano. Properly
trained and produced, it is able to sink to a virtual whisper but is still as
clear and controlled as when she is singing at full throttle, which she does only
occasionally. None of that breathy vibrato stuff for her. And then there is the
style. And finally there is the repertoire. This an exceptional evening which
is a unique blend of musicality, charm, humour and incidental information."
Peter Leavy wrote in CABARET SCENES: "Alone onstage, the lady soars!"
This show was directed by award-winning director Barry Kleinbort with another
award winner Christopher Denny as musical director
whom she refers to as
"Team Dallas." In March, 2000, her eagerly anticipated New York debut
of GLAMOROUS NIGHT (once again with "Team Dallas") at the illustrious
FireBird was a smash hit with the public and the critics alike (Rex Reed: "Ms.
Dallas has a voice that wraps itself around theatrical gems with the warmth of
a mink stole"; John Hoglund in Back Stage: "Lorna Dallas is one
of a handful of today's truly great cabaret singers. This is a rare opportunity
to see a perfect show by a beautiful lady at the peak of her craft";
Theatre Reviews Ltd: "Ms Dallas does not just sing, she personifies the
words and music she chooses to perform and she does the 'act' with a sense of
conviction and a degree of depth that invades the audience with irrepressible
energy. Lorna Dallas' appearance is a once in a life time experience").
October, 2000: Lorna shared the stage with Cleo & John in a gala opening for
The Wavendon Center (The Stables Theatre) with Princess Margaret in attendance.
Later that week, Lorna was a special guest for the 25th Anniversary Gala Concert
of SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM at the Wavendon Theatre with Ned Sherrin, Millicent
Martin and many more. This special concert was recorded and was one of the highlights
of the 2000 concert series
eagerly anticipated and sold out long before the
official box office opened.
January, 2001, Lorna was named by the Siegels of theatermania.com as one of "Best
of Y2K Major Female Vocalists." Her new show, SPRING COLLECTION,
debuted in April at the chic Arci's Place in New York
once again to raves
from the critics. Stephen Holden wrote in The Times: "Ms Dallas is your
ticket." The Siegels wrote for BACK STAGE: "Her vocal performance
is so powerful that you find yourself thrilled to be in her presence."
David Hurst wrote for SHOW BUSINESS: "Possessing a full-bodied soprano
voice that is neither shrill nor overbearing, Dallas is an astute artist who marshals
her resources wisely. Her voice has a burnished tone that is both warm and inviting.
Unlike many sopranos with opera-based training, Dallas never covers her sound
with too much operetta flourish. Instead, she is happy to have moved beyond the
ingenue and soubrette stage of her career to become an interpretive stylist of
considerable substance. Make no mistake, however-the top notes are still there
and they are as free and ringing as ever. They are never pinched or strained,
as she made clear at the end of "Suddenly It's Spring" (film of Lady
in the Dark), "He Wasn't You" (On A Clear Day
) and "You Are
Love" (Show Boat). She is lucky to have cultivated excellent technique over
the years. Her breath support is laudable and she continues to phrase and breath
at appropriate lyrical moments often without the audience's awareness. Her pitch
remains accurate and her note placement is in the center of the tone-she often
makes entrances on high notes with a precision and ease that is startling. Her
vibrato remains rock-solid. Happily, even though she is a soprano, Dallas wisely
eschews the heavy-handed dramatics of some of her contemporaries, preferring instead
to employ an understated style that goes hand in hand with her elegant and classy
presentation. She clearly understands what her gifts are and gives them generously
to the audience." Once again, a classy and elegant show
opened the Sumter Fine Arts Festival in October, 2001 in her own solo evening
with the Charleston Symphony with Don Pippin as her guest conductor in a program
called "THE GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK." This program was stunning
and original and funfilled
with another standing ovation. The critics:
"A master class of song!" Lorna and Don have a program FROM COVENT
GARDEN TO BROADWAY for symphony orchestras which will be presented later in
Later in October,
she starred in WALTZ OF MY HEART at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, a work
devised by Barry Day to celebrate the music of her favorite composer, Ivor Novello.
In December, she starred in THE MAKING OF A MODERN MUSICAL at the Bruno
Walter Auditorium in New York. This is another work devised by Barry Day and also
starring Simon Jones, Barrie Ingham, and Eric Comstock. Later it was presented
at the famed Players in New York.
premiered her latest SPRING COLLECTION at the Jermyn Street Theatre in
London in April, 2002. A sold out event
and a welcome return to London. SPRING
COLLECTION, a highly intelligent and musically demanding show, brought reviews
which were ecstatic. Michael Billington wrote in The GUARDIAN: "Some cabaret
singers take you by storm; the velvet-voice American soprano Lorna Dallas wins
you by stealth. Dallas's great gift is to suit her technique to the material.
She can be crisp and witty with a comic number. But she lets her voice soar on
Novello's unashamedly romantic 'Waltz of My Heart.' And she discovers new emotional
depths in a standard like Rodgers' and Hammerstein's 'Younger than Springtime.'
She does it by caressing each word and syllable so that 'softer than starlight
are you' becomes not a throwaway sentiment but a lingering expression of genuine
passion; it is the technique of the classical actor applied to a song lyric. Lorna
Dallas is a rare soprano who has an instinct for truth that puts many of her lauded
showbiz rivals to shame." Clive Davis wrote in THE TIMES: "Few
performers handle a ballad with such purity and sensitivity." Mark Shenton
for THE STAGE: "Some cabaret artists - like vintage wines - mature and
deepen with age. One such is Lorna Dallas
emerging as a major cabaret player
on both sides of the Atlantic. The quality of her shimmering, still vibrantly
youthful soprano has never been in doubt but she has found her interpretative
voice too and that is finally propelling her forward, not merely as a singer of
songs but as a rich communicator of them. She caresses the lyrics with diction
and delight. It is precisely this attribute that now puts her in the company with
the cabaret elite
Barbara Cook. Like Cook, she draws her material from the
familiar and the unknown to alternately embrace and surprise you. She is always
sublime." Michael Darvell for WHAT'S ON IN LONDON: "Although
she has now finished her short season at Jermyn Street Theatre, I couldn't let
Lorna Dallas go without reminding our readers what a good performer she is, and
bemoan the fact that we really do not see enough of this superb singer in the
West End. Her SPRING COLLECTION was such a brilliant piece of programming, a very
pleasing mixture of the familiar and the rarely-performed that provided a textbook
example of what cabaret is all about. Lorna Dallas has such a warm, melodious
voice that to be in her company is like being bathed in hot chocolate. I am not
the first person to compare her with the likes of Barbara Cook, for she possesses
a similar vocal quality of emotional depth that comes out in every song she interprets.
I do hope she will be repeating this excellent programme at other venues as well
as perhaps committing it to record, for it really is one of the finest cabaret
compilations in living memory." Lee Stevens of LBC: A rare talent
seen enough these days. This is a brilliant act combining great material performed
by a superb performer
and she sings and performs as beautifully as she looks!
There's only one Lorna Dallas!"
recorded the title role for the CD, ANNA KARENINA
the Audio Musical
written by Ralph Chicorel for release in 2003. This recording featured an all
star cast and the Milwaukee Symphony. In June, she starred in a new version of
the Cole Porter revue LET'S MISBEHAVE! at the Napa Valley Opera House in
California with Peter Howard and George Dvorsky. The response was overwhelming
with the review: "The show had two things going for it -- Porter's incomparable
music and the glorious voice of soprano Lorna Dallas, who has become the toast
of London's West End." Lorna will return to the new Opera House with
her own show in the very near future.
a busy month
a sold-out Albert Hall and the occasion
& JOHN'S GOLDEN MUSIC JUBLIEE hosted by Ned Sherrin. This was a magical
night and as a special guest in a starry lineup, Lorna's rendition of WHERE
OR WHEN was particularly stunning. The following week she starred in WALTZ
OF MY HEART at the Cardiff International Festival of Music. All these engagements
were complete sellouts.
January, 2003, Lorna starred in the American premiere of Noël Coward's PACIFIC
1860 at the York Theatre in New York as part of their famed Musical in Mufti
Series. This sold out engagement was one of the series highlights and marked Lorna's
Off-Broadway debut as well. Once again, the critics were to say: "Bravo
to the great Lorna Dallas!" She was a special guest of the Coward Society
at the Ivy in London and presented an unforgettable program of the Master's music
with Mike Haslam at the piano. Another new show!
special request of Skitch Henderson
who was to write of Lorna: "There
are certain performers that exude skill, showmanship, and warmth. Putting these
categories together, Lorna Dallas delivers performance and great professional
giving with the utmost of consistency (the latter, to me, the most important).
I'm her fan across the sea and here in America." she made a return engagement
to Carnegie Hall. The occasion was the 20th BIRTHDAY GALA OF THE NEW YORK POPS.
Her rendition of BILL prompted this quote: "What a performance!
BILL had such depth of emotion with sustained vocal beauty -- and she brought
tears to the eyes."
July 4th, 2003, Lorna raised the flag in a special concert at Wavendon for the
Garden Season. She produced and starred in BROADWAY AND BEYOND with the
Wavendon Strings and Brass
a combined orchestra of 40 superb musicians. Lorna's
infectious personality and performance had the audience wilding cheering
waving the Stars and Stripes as she spiritedly conducted the orchestra in a new
Dankworth arrangement of Sousa's STARS AND STRIPES. A rollicking good show and
a BiPondal celebration of the 4th!
eagerly anticipates the coming events in 2004
Master classes at the famed
Indiana University, her alma mater
and in Illinois at the John A Logan College.
She will also be presenting her new show at JAL
with her acclaimed pianist
and arranger from the UK, Jason Carr. And plans for later in 2004 include a new
musical premiering on the West End stage
a welcome return to her theatrical
Lorna combines her
theatrical and concert work with the busy and demanding role of Mrs. Garry Brown.
She and Garry celebrate a long running engagement of 23 years with homes in New
York and London. It is this production which brings her such joy and satisfaction
glowing reports from her stepchildren.
on both sides of the Atlantic agree:
"This lady is classy
a class act!" " She sings with Passion and Pizzazz!"
Dallas while you can!"
Sheridan Morley, International Herald Tribune