Eric Schorr’s ‘New York Pretending To Be Paris’ podcast featuring baritone: Michael Kelly poets: Susan Kinsolving, Aaron Smith

Crossover Media
3 min readFeb 23, 2023

Composer Eric Schorr is a musical chameleon who has written music for a variety of genres and venues. With a body of work that includes the musical: “Tokio Confidential,” vocal arrangements for “Uncommon Women and Others” and processional music for the opening ceremony of the ‘Gay Games’ at Yankee Stadium, most recently Eric Schorr has created a captivating new album that transforms contemporary poetry into a series of unique art songs. Released by Albany Records, “New York Pretending to be Paris,” features Metropolitan Opera Mezzo-Soprano: Eve Gigliotti, Boston Lyric Opera tenor: Jesse Darden, and Théâtre du Châtelet baritone: Michael Kelly who give voice to Schorr’s thirteen musical settings of poems by Morri Creech, Richie Hofmann, Susan Kinsolving, Thomas March, Aaron Smith & Cynthia Zarin. Produced by Paul McKibbins, orchestrated by Nik Rodewald, the album features the 19 Mercer Ensemble who are joined by pianists Cris Frisco, Erika Switzer and Schorr himself. The result is a poignant recording, full of longing and desire, and joining us for this podcast are composer Eric Schorr, baritone Michael Kelly, and poets: Susan Kinsolving and Aaron Smith. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Filled with beautiful and humorous images, the 13 songs on “New York Pretending to be Paris” flow from one to another like a set of short stories that portray deeply moving characters in situations pertaining to the subject of love. Love in many forms. The settings are happy, angry, melancholy and vengeful among other emotions, each acknowledging the power of memory and desire.

The diverse subject matter of these poems is reflected in Eric Schorr’s varied musical vocabulary and tone painting and his musical choices reinforce the poems. Schorr also hasa keen awareness of the organic rhythm in the words and every syllable seems to be given its proper weight. The pieces on this album are like dramatic stories or mini-musicals.

Stylistically, the music encompasses several genres. Neo-Romantic, jazz, chanson and bossa nova among other styles. Eric Schorr originally scored these pieces for voice and piano but then decided to expand the texture and utilized Nik Rodewald to compose chamber arrangements for the album, exquisitely played by members of the 19 Mercer Ensemble.

Produced by Max Horowitz — Crossover Media, This content, as well as the related podcast, are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) for redistribution and adaptation.