May 28, 2011

Filene Center at Wolf Trap

Vienna, VA

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Guest Information

Paul Appleby

Born in Chicago and raised in South Bend, Indiana, tenor Paul Appleby earned degrees in English literature and music from the University of Notre Dame and went on to earn a master's degree at Juilliard. He was named a national winner of the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; this year, he recieved the George London Foundation Award. He recently completed his second year of the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and made his Met main stage debut, singing the part of Brighella in Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. With the Wolf Trap Opera, Appleby has sung the role of Gomatz in Mozart's incomplete opera Zaïde and Lysander in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Roy Blount Jr.

The New York Times Book Review has called Roy Blount Jr. "one of America's wittiest writers." Readers of his articles in The Oxford American, Sports Illustrated, Esquire, Vanity Fair, GQ, National Geographic, Rolling Stone and The New York Times could tell you that. So could fans of his 23 books, including the most recent, Alphabetter Juice: or, The Joy of Text (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). He has been honored as a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library and a Literary Light by the Boston Public Library. On radio, he is a panelist on NPR's news quiz show, Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me. Born in Indianapolis and raised in Decatur, Georgia, Blount makes his home in western Massachusetts.

Andra Suchy

Andra Suchy spent her childhood on a farm near Mandan, North Dakota, the daughter of two talented singers. By the time she was in grade school, she was traveling around, doing concerts and festivals with her family. These days, she sings with several groups in the Twin Cities area — including the all-girl trio The Dollys. She also works as a back-up singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra's solo CD is called Patchwork Story.

The Wailin' Jennys

The Wailin' Jennys first got together in 2002. It was supposed to be a one-time gig, but the collaboration proved such a success that within a few weeks the trio was dubbed "a bona fide Canadian sensation." They have continued to wow audiences across North America and beyond. As one music critic wrote, "This is about as good as contemporary folk gets." The most recent recording from soprano Ruth Moody, mezzo Nicky Mehta, and alto Heather Masse is The Wailin' Jennys — Bright Morning Stars (Red House).

Garrison Keillor

Garrison Keillor was born in Anoka, graduated from the University of Minnesota ('66), and lives in St. Paul. He is the author of numerous books, including Life Among the Lutherans (Augsburg Books) and Pilgrims: A Wobegon Romance (Viking), and the editor of several anthologies of poetry, including Good Poems: American Places (Viking).

The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band

The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. Keyboard player, composer and improviser in any style, he also writes all the script themes and underscores. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.

Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest fingerpickers in the world today. And he writes songs too — recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers, and others. Nobody's Fault (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's 10 albums.

Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. — with whom he toured for several years — and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.

Richard Kriehn is principal second violin for the Washington/Idaho Symphony. But it's not all classical all the time; he is equally at home playing bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. He was a member of the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble and the bluegrass group 1946.

Tim Russell

One minute he's mild-mannered Tim Russell; the next he's George Bush or Julia Child or Barack Obama. We've yet to stump this man of many voices. In other roles, Tim played the part of Al, the stage manager, in the Robert Altman film A Prairie Home Companion and a detective in the Coen brothers' A Serious Man.

Sue Scott

On APHC, Sue Scott plays everything from ditzy teenagers to Guy Noir stunners to leathery crones who've smoked one pack of Camel straights too many. The Tucson, Arizona, native is well known for her extensive commercial and voice-over work on radio and television, as well as movie and stage roles.

Fred Newman

Sound effects man Fred Newman is an actor, writer, musician, and sound designer for film and TV. He is author of the book (and CD/CD-ROM) MouthSounds. Fred admits that, growing up, he was unceremoniously removed from several classrooms, "once by my bottom lip."

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

Available now»

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