Around the world with Mary Setrakian

No need for a spotlight when Mary Setrakian Lets the Sun Shine! Mary Setrakian: Let The Sun Shine will be at The TRIAD THEATER, 158 W. 72nd St (between Broadway & Columbus; theater upstairs) for ONE-NIGHT-ONLY; Friday, October 25. Doors open 6:30PM / Show 7:00PM. Tickets: TriadNYC.com

Mary Setrakian, returns to the opulent Triad Theatre on the Upper West Side with her rousing musical event, LET THE SUN SHINE! Mary effortlessly jumps from Puccini to Punk, musically, while sharing her adventures her international career has given her. Broadway might be the main course but we are also treated to Italy Australia and everything in between. She also relates fun tales of her Armenian heritage.

We wanted to say “hello Mary!” before she goes on this Saturday…

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Tell us about yourself as an artist

I am a native of San Francisco, California. I’ve been a resident of New York City for over 30 years performing professionally, in conjunction with teaching master voice to a variety of artists in New York, Los Angeles and internationally in Italy, England, Portugal, Russia, Australia and Armenia. I was seen on Broadway in Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing (cast recording) and toured with the Broadway companies of Phantom of the Opera (Madame Giry), Les Miserables, Hello, Dolly! (seen in several performances as Irene Molloy across from Carol Channing) and the World Tour of Evita (Eva Peron in Duisburg, Germany). I was featured at Carnegie Hall in Jubilee directed by Herbert Ross. As a voice teacher I prepared Nicole Kidman for Moulin Rouge, and more recently was the vocal coach to Kerry Washington in the play American Son, Bella Thorne in Midnight Sun as well as Ben Daniels in JC SUPERSTAR ON NBC. Other students include James Gandolfini, Kate Winslet, Juliette Binoche, Sierra Boggess and Micky Dolenz. I just returned from a 3-month tour through Australia with my Singing Masterclasses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as my own concert at the Sydney Opera House. (The same concert I’ll do at the Triad Theater on October 25th!)

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What was the inspiration for this show?

I’ve had the privilege of traveling the world as both a performer and master voice teacher. Holding a Masters in Classical Voice but also loving to belt, I’ve combined my eclectic repertoire (from Puccini to Punk!) with storytelling of some fabulous adventures… From Broadway, to Italy, through Australia, to visiting my Armenian origins with some super fun surprises along the way!

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What’s your creative process?

When working on a song, I always start with finding my own parallel truth with the situation of the song and the emotions of the character. If the character is in pain, like Fantine from Les Miz, well then, I have to find my truthful pain and a parallel situation from my life so that I can tell Fantine’s story through my instrument. As a performer, our myriad of emotions, whether they be good, bad or ugly, are all gifts, and must be expressed in their truth. Then, at the same time, the audience can live the story. For me, that’s how music can change lives.

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You’ve traveled around the world … how are audiences different?

New Yorkers are pretty darn wonderful. They scream and clap and tell you how they feel. Italians do the same, but they also hug and kiss you after the show whether you know them personally or not – I love affection, so that’s fine with me. Australians don’t want you to get a big head, so they are warm during the show, but after the show they say nothing.

You’ve worked on some historic musicals. How do you know when something is destined for greatness?

I think there must be at least three things present to make a hit. 1. The story of the musical has the perfect arc: beginning, middle and end. 2. The music is special, and 3. The actors not only have great voices, but also live the true emotions of the story – it’s a hit!

What next for you?

In November I go to Sardinia where I’m directing a pop-opera, IL TEMPLARE (“The Templar Knight”). I’ve been teaching and performing in Italy for the last 14 years, and probably my most talented male student in Italy, Manuel Cossu, not only stars in the show, but also wrote the music and libretto. I came in as the director and also wrote the book and did a new adaptation. The world premiere of this new version is in Cagliari on November 24th. I’m also writing a book on my vocal method – It’s a guide to find your true voice, whether you’re a pro, sing in the shower, or think you can’t carry a tune (with amazing stories mixed in). It will be released in 2020.

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