Tuesday, May 22, 2018
News Roundup

Young singers join Hernando Symphony in Broadway program Feb. 18, 19 and 21

They may be young, but their voices have entertained area theater patrons for several years. Each has recently won a Stage West Community Playhouse HAMI award — two as rising young stars and the other as the lead female for her role in Lost in Yonkers.

Now, Victoria Primosch, Jacob Rice and Julia Rifino team up as guest performers for the Hernando Symphony Orchestra's "Best of Broadway" concerts, beginning this weekend at the Hernando High School Performing Arts Center in Brooksville and at Springstead Theater in Spring Hill.

As orchestra conductor Wayne Raymond puts it, the singers are "triple threats. They can sing, act and dance."

Rifino and Rice, both juniors at Nature Coast Technical High School and each having won Stage West awards as rising stars, most recently performed together in Stage West's summer production of Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. and Nature Coast's production of Kindertransport.

But it was when Raymond listened to the two students last year at a recital presented by local voice teacher and musical director Bobbie Moger that he hoped to have them perform with the orchestra.

"They just blew me away," he said.

Primosch, 26, who won a HAMI for her role as Bella in Lost in Yonkers, has worked with Raymond on various Stage West shows, and is also a former student of Moger's. She most recently received rave reviews for her performance as Roxie Hart in Stage West's production of Chicago.

"Victoria is a beautiful singer," Raymond said. "I'm excited to have her (perform in the concert)."

Primosch, who has attended several orchestra concerts, was equally excited to be invited to perform.

"This is a new opportunity for me," she said. "I'm glad to be a part of it."

During the first half of the concert, the singers will perform five numbers from the Broadway hit Wicked. Primosch and Rifino will perform two duets What is This Feeling and For Good. Primosch will sing Popular, Rifino will sing I'm Not That Girl and Rice will sing Dancing Through Life.

Since Raymond could only get the Wicked vocal music with piano accompaniment, he wrote the arrangements for the orchestra himself.

The orchestra will also play a medley arrangement from Wicked.

Also during the show's first half, the orchestra will perform selections from The King and I, Ragtime and Miss Saigon.

Rice and Rifino have performed together on many occasions for both school and Stage West shows, they have also each performed with Primosch as well.

"I performed with Jacob in Lost in Yonkers," Primosch said. "Working with him again is great."

Primosch said that in the few years since she performed with Rifino in The King and I (2009), "Julia's voice has just bloomed. . . . It's beautiful. I'm just glad to work with her again. Our voices blend really well together."

During the second half of the concert, Rice will sing Can You Feel the Love Tonight from The Lion King, and the three will sing two medleys, one from Oklahoma! and the other from Les Miserables.

Also during the second half, the orchestra will perform numbers from Sweet Charity, Evita and La Cage Aux Folles.

"It's going to be an unbelievable show," Raymond said. "Everything is coming along really nice."

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