Evans sits down with David Charles Abell, his friend for over thirty-five years, to discuss their overlapping careers, shared experiences living in London, and frequent collaborations. They discuss David’s unusual path into the world of conducting, his conducting debut, and how his career has been helped by avoiding some advice he was once given. His best career advice is to “think of all music as storytelling.”
Abell enrolled at Yale University, where his teachers included John Mauceri and Rob Kapilow. He studied with Nadia Boulanger and Robert D. Levin at the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau before returning to Yale to complete his B.A. in 1981.
Abell made his professional debut conducting Bernstein's Mass at Berlin's Deutschlandhalle in 1982.
Oscar Hammerstein was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and (usually uncredited) theatre director of musicals for almost 40 years.
Natalia Makarova is a Soviet-Russian-born prima ballerina and choreographer.
Gian Carlo Menotti gave David the advice to “never conduct Broadway. Never do it you will regret it.”
Miss Saigon is a musical by Schönberg.
Abell subsequently conducted the 25th anniversary concert of Les Misérables at the O2 Arena.
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor.
Aaron Copland was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later a conductor of his own and other American music.
Rhapsody in Blue is a musical composed by George Gershwin.
Trevor Nunn is an English theatre director.
The Voice of Firestone is a long-running radio and television program of classical music.
Leontyne Price is an American soprano.
Marilyn Monroe was an American actress, model, and singer.
Dorothy Kirsten was an American operatic soprano.
John Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. Williams has composed for many critically acclaimed and popular movies, including the Star Wars series, Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and the first three Harry Potter films.
Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks is a tone poem written in 1894–95 by Strauss.
The Library of Congress is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States.
The New York Public Library is a public library system in New York City.
Gioachino Rossini was an Italian composer who gained fame for his 39 operas, although he also wrote many songs, some chamber music and piano pieces, and some sacred music.
Tancredi is a melodramma eroico in two acts by composer Gioachino Rossini and librettist Gaetano Rossi
Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) is an 1859 opera by Verdi.
Alfred Drake was an American actor and singer.
Robert Russell Bennett was an American composer and arranger, best known for his orchestration of many well-known Broadway and Hollywood musicals by other composers such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers.
Don Walker is an Australian musician, songwriter and author.
Francesca Zambello is an American opera and theatre director. She serves as director of Glimmerglass Festival and the Washington National Opera.
Chandos Records is a British independent classical music recording company based in Colchester.
Peter Morris is an American playwright, television writer and critic, best known for his work in British theatre.
Abell cites Evans Mirageas as one of his greatest mentors.
Abell cites his niece’s podcast, The Bright Sessions, as one of his current favorites.
Abell mentions Dark Sky as one of his favorite apps
Carousel is the second musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Alfred “Alfie” Boe is an English tenor and actor, notably performing in musical theatre.