-Courtesy of the Philly POPS Orchestra
The Philly POPS puts on its dancing shoes for POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia! and more…Get tickets! The show takes place on November 17, 20 and 21 at the Kimmel Cultural Campus.
Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell and the full Philly POPS orchestra will take audiences through ABBA’s career, highlighting tunes that soared to the top of the charts in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Favorites include: “Dancing Queen,” “Gimme Gimme Gimme,” and “Chiquitita.” This performance marks Abell’s first performance back with the POPS in Verizon Hall since 2019.
“ABBA’s music is pure joy—which is something I think we all could use about now,” said David Charles Abell. “Their music is a perfect example of pop, and the full POPS orchestra will bring plenty of fun and excitement to these arrangements and orchestrations. And, as a Scandinavian group, Rajaton adds an extra layer of authenticity.”
Joining the POPS is Finnish vocal group Rajaton (Rah-ya-tahn). Last seen with the POPS in 2014, Rajaton performs worldwide and has released 16 different albums in their over-20-year career. They currently have one double platinum, three platinum and eight gold records in Finland, with worldwide sales of over 400,000.
Tickets start at $35 and are available at www.phillypops.org/abba. POPS Rocks ABBA: Mamma Mia! and more… runs November 17, 20 and 21, 2021 at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Cultural Campus. As part of the Kimmel Cultural Campus’ Safe and Clean Commitment, guests are required to provide proof of vaccination and must wear masks while in the building.
The Philly POPS is partnered with Art-Reach for their ACCESS initiative. ACCESS cardholders can purchase tickets for the reduced price of $2 per ticket in person at the Academy of Music box office.
Note: these performance times differ from standard Friday, Saturday and Sunday subscription series performances. The dates are Wednesday November 17 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday November 20 at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday November 21 at 6:00 p.m.
The Finnish word Rajaton translates as “boundless” – a word that so accurately describes the way this six-voice a cappella ensemble approaches music. Regularly performing around a hundred concerts and workshops each year, Rajaton exposes their audiences to the kind of diversity of repertoire, singing style, and stage presentation that has made them a phenomenon on the world stage.
Performing at concert halls, churches, jazz and choral festivals, this distinct group of musicians approaches all styles of music with the same level of commitment and integrity, making it difficult to imagine an audience that they could not inspire, or a type of music they could not make their own. In their native Finland, Rajaton is a bona fide pop phenomenon, successfully bridging the gap that often exists between classical and mainstream convention.
Rajaton has released 16 different albums. In 2017, Rajaton celebrates 20 years of music-making with one double platinum, three platinum and eight gold records in Finland under their belt, as their worldwide record sales are drawing over 400.000 copies altogether.
Ever seeking new artistic challenges, the group has grown immeasurably through collaborations with other a cappella artists, including The King’s Singers and The Real Group, as well as productions with film directors and choreographers. But it is perhaps their deep passion for choral art, their generosity of spirit and their sheer enjoyment of singing that has won the hearts and acclaim of audiences and critics everywhere.
Their energy – infectious; their ability to entertain and inspire – Rajaton!
The voice is boundless.
About Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell
David Charles Abell is the Music Director and Principal Conductor of The Philly POPS.
Born in North Carolina, David grew up in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. At the age of fourteen, he turned his attention to conducting and went on to study with Leonard Bernstein and Nadia Boulanger. He earned degrees from Yale University and the Juilliard School after intensive study of viola, piano, and composition. He has worked with such distinguished artists as Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Bryn Terfel, Josh Groban, Matthew Morrison and Michael Feinstein. Previously, as Guest Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor of The Philly POPS, he conducted Cole Porter’s Broadway: Too Darn Hot, Lenny’s Revolution, Blockbuster Broadway, and A Philly POPS Christmas in 2013, 2014, 2015, and again for the record-setting run of A Philly POPS Christmas in 2019 and the streamed performance in 2020.
David has appeared regularly on television, most notably conducting the 10th and 25th Anniversary concerts of Les Misérables. He has conducted five times at London’s BBC Proms, including a live telecast of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Recordings include the musicals Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre and Man of La Mancha, Something’s Gotta Give with baritone Simon Keenleyside, Forever with soprano Diana Damrau, and highlights from La Bohème and Madama Butterfly with the Royal Philharmonic.
In the UK, David recently conducted his own critical edition of Kiss Me, Kate for Opera North. He has conducted many of the premier British orchestras, including the London Symphony, City of Birmingham, Bournemouth, and Royal Philharmonic. His work with the BBC Symphony Orchestra includes a centenary concert honoring his mentor Leonard Bernstein in 2018. A much-respected artist in London’s West End, David conducted the Olivier Awards ceremony for four years and was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s personal choice to lead the world premiere of Love Never Dies at the Adelphi Theatre.
David’s recent projects have included a series of Gershwin concerts at Kyiv National Theatre of Operetta in Ukraine, Carousel at the Vienna Volksoper and Sweeney Todd at the Zurich Opera House. David also conducted Barrie Kosky’s production of The Magic Flute at Opera Philadelphia, West Side Story at the Glimmerglass Festival, and Silent Night, Kevin Puts’ acclaimed opera about the World War I Christmas Truce, in Kansas City, Cincinnati and Detroit.
About The Philly POPS
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert performances and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.
As the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania and the City of Philadelphia’s partner in civic celebration, The Philly POPS serves a consistently growing audience of over 450,000 annually. Music Director and Principal Conductor David Charles Abell and the 65-piece Philly POPS orchestra keeps listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from American traditional music up through to today’s chart-toppers.
In addition to Subscription Series performances at The Kimmel Center, The Philly POPS presents innovative programming with contemporary artists at the Met Philadelphia in The Philly POPS at the Met Philadelphia series. Other ensembles that make up The Philly POPS are: The Philly POPS BIG Band, which plays a rock and rhythm and blues repertoire and The Philly POPS Jazz Orchestra of Philadelphia, under the direction of Artistic Director for Jazz, Terell Stafford.
Outside the concert hall, free Salute Series performances – including Memorial Salute, July 3 POPS on Independence, July 4 POPS on the Parkway and the I’ll Be Home for Christmas: A Salute to the Military and First Responders concert – celebrate the American tradition of service around important national holidays. POPS in Schools enhances music education for 3,000 Philadelphia School District students; and POPS Outside brings POPS music to local communities. The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as the Principal Orchestra of the Met Philadelphia, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.