Songs of New York with Blake Friedman
Songs of New York” is the story of a young man and his dreams to move to the big city to become a star. Told through repertoire from the American Operatic, Bel Canto and Musical Theater Repertory, we follow the man’s first visit to New York and the wild 24 hours that he experiences. As the story unfolds, we hear him audition for the conservatory of his dreams and later move to New York to realize his full potential. Upon his arrival at conservatory, he meets a girl and they fall in love. The two become the power couple of their school. After he finishes his degree and embarks on his path as a performer, his successes inevitably lead to a jealous rivalry at home. The rivalry puts a tremendous strain on his relationship and eventually causes it to end. Heartbroken but resolute, he determines that while living in New York comes with its challenges, there is nowhere else in the world he would rather be and finds a way to make every single one of his dreams come true.
Some noteable numbers from the show include:
“Something’s Coming” (West Side Story) – Leonard Bernstein
“Che gelida manina” (La Boheme) – Giacomo Puccini
and many more!
Blake Friedman has been cited by the New York Times for the “plummy fullness and dusky hue” of his voice and by the New York Classical Review for his voice’s “buttery top.” Blake’s notable performances include his feature on the New York City Ballet 2021 Spring Gala Film directed by Academy Award Winning Director Sofia Coppola, his Carnegie Hall – Stern Auditorium debut singing Anatol in the quintet from Barber’s Vanessa conducted by Leonard Slatkin, his Chicago Opera Theater Debut singing the role of Marc in the World Premiere of Freedom Ride by Dan Shore, and his Chautauqua Opera debut singing the role of Almaviva in both Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini and Ghosts of Versailles by John Corigliano. While at Chautauqua, Opera News praised his “romantic and funny” portrayal of Almaviva saying the canzonetta “Se il mio nome proved a highlight.” Other notable performances include his critically acclaimed portrayal of Irving Tashman in the New York City Premiere of Morning Star by Ricky Ian Gordon with On Site Opera and Iago in Rossini’s Otello with LoftOpera. Other companies Blake has performed with include Dallas Opera, LoftOpera, St. Pete Opera, Bel Canto at Caramoor and Ash Lawn Opera. A champion of new American music, Blake served as the resident tenor for American Opera Projects Composer’s and the Voice Symposium from 2015-2018. He made his Prototype Opera Festival debut as Jimmy Smith in the reading of Stinney: An American Execution by Frances Pollock. On the concert stage, he has performed soloist engagements with New York Choral Society, New York City Ballet, Ensemble for the Romantic Century, Canterbury Choral Society of New York, Key Chorale, Choral Artists of Sarasota and York Symphony.