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  • Ariana Packer

2023 Recap: A Musical Journey

A Musical Journey: Reflecting on My Remarkable 2023 Performances


As the curtains fell on 2023, I find myself pausing to reflect on what can only be described as a whirlwind of musical adventures. From New Paradigm Theater to Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra, West Hartford Theatre, Madison Lyric Stage, Norwalk Symphony, and finally, the enchanting world of Musicals at Richter, each performance was a chapter in a story that unfolded with passion, precision, and a whole lot of heart.


New Paradigm Theater & Norwalk Symphony's "Carousel"


Opening the curtains on 2023, my musical journey embarked with an exceptional opportunity as a featured ensemble member in New Paradigm Theater's partnership with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra for a stunning rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel." It was a truly enchanting experience, immersing myself in the timeless melodies of this classic musical alongside the talented musicians of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra. The synergy between the orchestra and the ensemble cast, combined with the rich narrative of "Carousel," set the stage for the remarkable year that followed. Being a part of this collaboration not only ignited the flame of artistic inspiration but also laid the foundation for the diverse and exciting performances that unfolded throughout the rest of the year.








Madison Lyric Stage's "I Was Born in Love With You: An Evening of Burt Bacharach and Michel Legrand":


My journey began with a special invitation from the esteemed Artistic Director, Marc Deaton, of Madison Lyric Stage. I was honored to be chosen as a soloist for their season opener, "I Was Born in Love With You: An Evening of Burt Bacharach and Michel Legrand." Alongside three incredibly talented singers, we delved into the timeless hits of Bacharach and Legrand, including classics like "What the World Needs Now (Is Love Sweet Love)," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose." The experience was nothing short of magical, setting the stage for the incredible performances that would follow.


Photo credit: Suxiao Yang of Sue Takes Photos







Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra's 76th Annual Gala:


The journey continued as I received a second consecutive invitation from the Executive Director of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra to grace their 76th Annual Gala. This time, I had the privilege of showcasing my skills as a jazz vocalist, collaborating with the talented Jim Hunter Trio. Songs like "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "If I Were a Bell" allowed me to explore the depths of my vocal range and connect with the audience on a profound level. It was an honor to be part of an event that has become a tradition, marking the symphony's trust in my ability to bring a unique flavor to their prestigious gala.




Musicals at Richter's "The Addams Family"


Diversifying my repertoire, I made my debut at Musicals at Richter, embodying the iconic Morticia in "The Addams Family." The challenge of portraying such an iconic character was met with enthusiasm, and the experience left an indelible mark on my artistic journey.






Madison Lyric Stage's Rodgers and Hammerstein Tribute


Returning to Madison Lyric Stage, I joined the ensemble once again for a heartfelt tribute to Rodgers and Hammerstein titled "Climb Every Mountain." Performing songs from "The Sound of Music" and discovering the joy of singing "It Might As Well Be Spring" added another layer to my evolving musical narrative.




Closing the Curtain with "The Drowsy Chaperone"


The grand finale of my 2023 season saw me stepping into the role of Janet van de Graaff in "The Drowsy Chaperone." It was a dream role that had long lingered in the corridors of my imagination. As I took center stage, bringing the character to life with every note and every step, I knew that this was a culmination of a year filled with passion, dedication, and the pursuit of artistic excellence.









As I look back on the tapestry of performances that defined my 2023, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities, the collaborations, and the sheer joy that each stage offered.
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