Stratford Festival and Broadwat Star, Lee Siegel

Masterclass Performance Of A Technologically Deprived Broadway Artist: Lee Siegel


You know, as I was watching this video with a great big smile on my face, it dawned on me: Jesus Christ Superstar Broadway star, Lee Siegel, dared to sing without the latest state-of-the-art technology.

What? No auto-tune? No lip-synching? No fancy lighting? No recorded live disclaimer? No erratic dancers on stage behind him?

Well, what do you know? He did it all by himself, capably assisted by an outstanding pianist who also accompanied him live and error-free. Wow. I am blown away. Just blown! How can this be?

Well, it be! Look, I love technology as much as the next person but one has to admit that it has crossed the line with it’s obtrusive inclusion in so-called live performances.

The visual is incredibly important but how I long for the days where performers are solely appreciated for baring their souls on stage with resoundingly beautiful voices and passionate delivery.

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Doesn’t Lee’s performance stand alone? He doesn’t need the glitz and the glam – his voice and artistry are more than enough to satisfy and inspire.

Thank heavens for artists like Lee Siegel who work so incredibly hard to perfect every facet of their artistic craft. As long as they exist in the world, they will be a constant reminder of what singing and performing is all about. And, he’s Canadian, eh?

Do you agree? Are you, as music lovers, fed up with the artificiality of live performances, particularly in the pop industry? Do you have a favorite live performance? Please share.

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About Masterclass Lady

Rosanne (Giallonardo) Simunovic began her musical career in Timmins, Ontario. She studied piano with Anne Pizzale and later, at an advanced level, with Soeur Anita Vaugeois (Sister Cecile of Les Soeurs De L’Assomption in Timmins). Her vocal and accompaniment skills were nurtured by her aunt, the late Dorothea Mascioli. When Rosanne graduated from O’Gorman High School, she moved on to the University of Toronto where she continued her piano and vocal studies while attaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree. She was hired as a piano accompanist for several musical companies, most notably, the National Ballet Of Canada. She presently holds an A.R.C.T. Teacher’s Diploma in Voice from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. Rosanne has studied choral conducting with numerous well known Canadian Conductors, including Wayne Riddell of Montreal, Quebec and the internationally renowned Dr. Elmer Iseler. She has been a founding member of numerous community-based arts organizations: the Timmins Arts Council, later known as Arts & Culture Timmins, the Timmins Symphony Orchestra, and, the Timmins Youth Singers…as well as the TYS Alumnus choir, the Timmins Concert Singers. In 1987, she was also selected to be the conductor of the Timmins Board Of Education Choir, comprised of talented students from Grades 5 to 8. In 1988, she was elected to the Board Of Directors of the Ontario Choral Federation (now known as Choirs Ontario), where she served as Chair of the Festivals Committee for six consecutive seasons. In 1996, in honour of the Ontario Choral Federation’s 25th Anniversary, Rosanne was selected as one of 25 recipients of the OCF’s Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contribution to the choral art. The ceremony was presided by Lieutenant Governor, Hal Jackman. In November 1997, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Rotary Club Of Timmins to receive the prestigious Paul Harris Award for her years of dedication to the artistic development of young musical talent in Timmins. In August of 2002, Rosanne Simunovic was selected by the Board Of Directors of Choirs Ontario to serve as Conductor of both the Provincial Junior and Teen Choir Camps, now renamed in honour of the Camp Benefactors, Don and Lillian Wright. In November 2002, Rosanne was the one of the recipients of the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, honouring her work in the development of the arts in Timmins. Under Rosanne Simunovic’s direction, the Timmins Youth Singers and the Timmins Concert Singers have been featured in numerous choral festivals and performing opportunities outside of Timmins. In 1985, they were selected to partici

6 Responses to “Masterclass Performance Of A Technologically Deprived Broadway Artist: Lee Siegel”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this and your thoughts Rosanne. I really feel like the current state of the music industry is in a sad decline.

    One can appreciate the improvements that technology makes to some pieces without losing the admiration for people who still do it the old fashioned way.

    The technicians and production specialists want to have an input into a musical piece. They want their stamp on it and a lot of them claim that it is part of the art of making great music. Some even call it “sculpting” the music. I am a bit of a purist and enjoy the live unaltered and raw performances more than the technologically tweaked music that is so prominent in today’s market.

    Joe McElderry has some acoustic pieces that are up on Youtube that I enjoy. He has an amazing natural voice but after he won the X Factor UK and released his first CD they had messed with his voice so much that it was hardly recognizable. It sounded nothing like the live performances during the show. When his sales began to drop he was immediately dropped by his record label.

    He went back and put out those acoustic pieces on Youtube and there was absolutely nothing wrong with them. Nothing needed to be altered or “fixed” for lack of a better term. I just don’t understand the reasoning behind doing that when it is unnecessary. Why do they feel the need to do that. This is the guy who then went on to win “Pop Star to Opera Star” after winning “The X Factor”.

    I guess I would say that my favorite live performance of all time, while not a vocal master piece, it was a master piece in the emotional deliverance IMO. She even messed up some of the lyrics but that was just part of the vulnerability that she was brave enough to let shine through. That performance would have to be Whitney Houston live on the Oprah Winfrey show singing “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”. We all had such high hopes for her at this stage in her life and wanted so much to believe that she was on the come back trail, but sadly we know now how all of that played out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijV_lfYCTLA

    While not quite as stripped back as the above performance this has to another favorite of mine. It’s David Archuleta singing “Angels” live on American Idol.

    And I have many, many more!

  2. Taymaro – I can always count on you for valuable input. Those videos are stellar. I still get teary-eyed watching Whitney perform. So sad. She was a brilliant vocalist.

    And David is THE perfect example of a vocalist who has devoted his life to producing exceptional music. What an incredible role model he is!!

  3. I will have to research Joe McElderry. I am ashamed to say that I do not know him but your story about his X-Factor journey has really intrigued me. Thank you so much for bringing him to my attention.

  4. This is wonderful. For me the less technology there is the better as well as less gimmicks. Just a great singer expressing the song with his voice.

    If you are in NYC, there is a yearly concert called “Broadway unplugged” that takes place there every year. In it the Broadway stars perform songs from the musicals without amplification. I only found out about it this year, but it sounds like a wonderful idea.

  5. Wasn’t this exceptional Kitty? I hope to visit New York next year and treat myself to some Broadway cabaret. Thanks for the suggestion. And thanks for stopping by!!!

  6. You are welcome. And yes, this was indeed exceptional!

    Only Broadway or classical music too? If the latter, then you could just go to the Met… Carnegie Hall has a couple of “Great Singers” series – including recitals with Garanca, DiDonato, Fleming&Graham, Blythe, Brownlee. Don’t remember the dates. I thought you liked classical music. For young talented singers who may or may not become stars, there is a yearly Met Council Auditions Grand Final concert in March (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRJjMjOAQlQ or from 2007 documentary you probably saw: /watch?v=odqrkmePyPQ — ever since this documentary the Grand Finals concert always sells out quickly).

    Broadway is of course always there. The Broadway Unplugged concert is in fall.

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