A Little Singer with a Big Voice Wows Kristin Chenoweth
On October 15, 2015, I was fortunate enough to see one of my youngest voice students, Olivia Edward, sing a duet at Long Island’s Tilles Center with none other than Broadway singing sensation Kristin Chenoweth. Ms. Chenoweth had chosen Olivia some time before the concert, as Ms. Chenoweth is a friend of Olivia’s family, so I had a few lessons to train Olivia before show time. This talented 8-year-old performer (who also acts and dances brilliantly, has appeared in numerous commercials, was on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and was recently off filming a TV series in L.A.) was able to learn the Elphaba part, complete with harmony, from the hauntingly beautiful Wicked duet “For Good”, complete with facial expression, gestures, and stage presence beyond her years.
At the show, Olivia did not disappoint her “fan club.” Not only did she sing beautifully and powerfully, bringing Ms. Chenoweth to tears, but Olivia handled herself with poise. When Ms. Chenoweth asked her, “Where do you go to school?” Olivia responded, without missing a beat, “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you.” Olivia truly moved the star when she nailed the harmony at the end of the duet. In closing, Ms. Chenoweth announced to the awestruck Long Island, NY audience, “That’s your very own.”
After the show, I was privileged to meet Ms. Chenoweth backstage. I’ve sung her songs in revues for years, but at that moment, I couldn’t have been prouder to be known as Olivia’s voice teacher. Ms. Chenoweth hugged me, moved once again to tears, and thanked me for training young people like Olivia. This performing sensation has worked tirelessly to bring the arts to the young people of America, and often features young talent in her shows. Kudos to this charming, caring, talented lady of the stage!