BY TOM LAVIS
Taking a break from its normal classical programming, the Johnstown Symphny Orchestra will explore the Great White Way in an evening of hits from Broadway’s most-beloved show tunes.
“Behind the Mask,” the fifth of a seven-concert subscription season, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center in Richland Township.
The concert will celebrate the music of Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber and other iconic composers of Broadway.
Some of the selections in the expansive program include music from “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Carousel,” “Evita,” “Les Miserables” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
Maesto Istvan Jaray said the concert is a musical odyessy that shows how American musicals have overpowered the world of music by producing entertainment that has lived on for generations.
“In essense, this performance is a crossover of famous musical titles that have endured for over 50 or 60 years,” said Jaray.
Special guest vocalists are Broadway actress, soprano and Johnstown native, Kathy Voytko, and baritone and native son, Jeffrey Goble, who will take the stage, making it a double celebration for the audience.
“We will not only give homage to the great composers of Broadway such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, but also we are welcoming our own outstanding hometown vocalists Kathy Voytko and Jeff Goble,” Jaray said.
The entire program is filled with well-known songs and duets that promise to exhilarate the audience.
The Johnstown Symphony Chorus also will lend its talent to several rousing selections, including “Let Us Love in Peace” from Webber’s “The Beautiful Game” and “Summertime” from George and Ira Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.”
Jaray couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Voytko and Goble to the Pasquerilla stage.
“When the headlines are full of violence and mayhem, it’s nice to see the news of two people who made it on the world stage, and we welcome them back with open arms,” he said.
“We as an orchestra feel a distinct pride in being part of a program, where these two can show off their remarkable talents.”
The concert will open with Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to “Candide” and will feature selections from “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables,” as well as favorites from “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Carousel” and “Evita.”
Voytko, the daughter of Dr. Richard and Winnie Voytko of Westmont, has performed all over the world. She now resides in New Jersey.
She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of the Broadway revival of “Oklahoma!” starring two-time Tony Award winner Andrea Martin and Tony nominee Patrick Wilson.
Voytko later joined the Tony Award-winning cast of “Nine,” starring Antonio Banderas and Broadway legend and two-time Tony Award winner Chita Rivera.
She toured the United States as Christine in “The Phantom of the Opera,” where she met her husband, John Cudia.
Voytko said she is overjoyed to return home and have the opportunity to sing.
“Johnstown is one of my favorite places and I’m thrilled to return,” she said.
“I love Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music and have been blessed to be in ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Evita.’ ”
Voytko has been featured as a solo vocalist with symphonies across the United States, Mexico and Canada, and has also toured as a soloist in concert performances of “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.”
She jokingly added that Webber paid for her house.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone back home and can’t wait to perform,” she said.
Goble, who lives in New York, is the son of Paul and Kathy Goble of Westmont.
He continues to win over audiences internationally with his creamy voice and ambitious taste in music.
On the operatic stage, he has performed “Il Conte Almaviva” from Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel.
He has sung in cities throughout the United States.
As a lover and promoter of new operatic works, he has performed such roles as John Brooke in “Little Women” by Mark Adamo in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Tom Joad in “The Grapes of Wrath” by Ricky Ian Gordon.
On the concert stage, Goble was a soloist in “Elijah” with Mexico City’s Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria, Carmina Burana with the Dartmouth Glee Club and Moores School of Music, Schumann’s Faust with the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, and was a soloist in the world premiere of Dominick Argento’s Four Seascapes.
‘Behind the Mask’
What: Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, 450 Schoolhouse Road, Richland Township.
Tickets: Available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the box office or by calling 269-7200, (800) 846-2787 or visit www.upjarts.org.
Cost: $37 and $32, with senior citizen and student discounts available.
Tom Lavis covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter.com/Tom LavisTD.