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Celestial Songs at the Chalfonte

By On Deck Staff

Carmen Artis (soprano) and John Hammel (tenor) perform in the Chalfonte Hotel’s “Concerts by Candlelight” series on Tuesday, August 12th, at 8:30 pm in the air-conditioned Henry Sawyer Room. Artis and Hammel are a favorite ensemble of the series, and are accompanied on piano by Nancy DeRitter.
This year’s program is entitled “The Sky’s No Limit – Celestial Songs.” The songs will center about hopes, dreams and aspirations as depicted in lyrics that suggest the sun, the moon and the stars and an occasional rainbow or two. Some of the songs they’ve chosen for the program include “When You Wish Upon A Star,” “Beneath The Southern Moon,” from Naughty Marietta, “Vincent (Starry, Starry Nights),” “I’ve Got The Sun In The Morning (And The Moon At Night)” and so many more. The theme for this performance allowed Artis and Hammel to pull from a seemingly endless list of repertoire — the sky, the moon, the sun, the stars and don’t forget the weather! This duo continually creates shows which create a perfect platform from which they can stretch their very accomplished vocal wings. And their performances though accomplished and impressive, are also playful.
Carmen Artis, a gifted soprano has performed at the Off-Broadway venues the St. Peters and John Houseman Theatres as well as many smaller theaters throughout New York City. She has also appeared in numerous operatic and musical productions throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York as well as Pittsburgh and Baltimore, most notably with the Northeast Lyric Opera, Scranton Opera IV, and New Jersey State Opera companies. Carmen has sung under the batons of maestros Andre Previn and Michael Tilson Thomas with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Some of the halls she has appeared in, both in recital and with the New Jersey Pops Symphony Orchestra, are The Cape May Arts Center, The Watchung Arts Center, Reese Auditorium in Sparta, the Community Theatre in Morristown and numerous other halls and venues as well as Montclair, Morristown and Summits’s First Night celebrations.
John Hammel, a soaring tenor, has performed at the Off-Broadway venues and has also appeared in numerous operatic and musical productions throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York as well as Pittsburgh and Baltimore. He has appeared at, both in recital and with the New Jersey Pops Symphony Orchestra, Carnegie Hall in N.Y.C., the PNC Arts Center in Holmdel, The Cape May Arts Center, The Tropicana in Atlantic City, The Watchung Arts Center, Reese Auditorium in Sparta, Cipriani’s, Danny’s Skylight Room and the Plaza Hotel in N.Y.C. the Community Theatre in Morristown. John has also performed with his wife Carmen with jazz notables, pianists Rio Clemente and Regan Ryzuk, bassist, Ric Crane, drummer, Joe Cocuzza, guitarist Lennie Argese, saxophonist Marty Fogel and many others, performing the Great American Songbook, in the music of Porter, Gershwin, Ellington, Kern, Rodgers etc, to audiences along the East Coast.
Nancy DeRitter is one of New Jersey’s most in demand accompanists. Nancy’s diverse accompanying talents encompass not only the operatic canon, but art song and the Broadway repertoire as well. Nancy is also an accompanist for various choral and chamber groups. She most recently performed with the Baroque Orchestra of Boonton, playing harpsichord in Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto Number Five. On top of all that she still finds time to sing and direct several choirs and holds a number of private students, in piano.
The Chalfonte’s acclaimed Concerts by Candlelight series brings quality classical talent to Cape May throughout the summer. The concerts are held in the Henry Sawyer Room and cocktails and fine wines are available in the adjoining King Edward Bar. Tickets are $10.00 per person ($7.00 for children) or complimentary with dinner in The Chalfonte’s Magnolia Room. For additional information, call The Chalfonte at 884-8409. The Chalfonte is located at 301 Howard Street in Cape May.

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