- Featured: Gay Willis
- Release Date: 11/13/2007
Award-winning soprano Gay Willis won world recognition when she performed in the world tour of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber with Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman. She performed to sold out houses in six countries including two weeks at Londons' Royal Albert Hall and two weeks at Radio City Music Hall. Her moving performances of the Pie Jesu (Reqiuem) received rave reviews from critics worldwide. Gay then starred as Christine Daae in The Phantom of the Opera opposite Colm Wilkinson and later Ciaran Sheehan. 'As Christine, Willis' voice has an almost ethereal quality...transporting the audience to unexpected heights emotionally as well as vocally.'(Maui News) Other performances include Rapunzel in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods (Kennedy Center), Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (Carbonell Award for Best Actress), Bloomer Girl (City Center), Funny Girl (with Whoopi Goldberg), and Nothing Like a Dame (raves from Liz Smith-New York Post). She completed over 1000 performances as Magnolia in Hal Prince's production of Showboat on Broadway, in Chicago, and on tour starring with such legends as Cloris Leachman, Anita Gillette, Elaine Stritch, Dorothy Loudon, Marilyn McCoo, Dick Van Patten, Pat Harrington, John McMartin, and Dean Jones. (She received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actress in a Touring Musical). 'Willis' Magnolia ages from bubbly ingenue to knowing matron and mother with great finesse and a strong emotional edge.'(Variety). For the past 3 years Gay has been touring in concert with Eily O'Grady Patterson and Ciaran Sheehan including the 'Magic of Christmas' concert at Carnegie Hall (December 7, 2005). When Ciaran and Gay performed 'All I Ask of You' from Phantom, the audience applause brought the show to a stop. They headlined again at Carnegie Hall to a packed house for 'A Great Night For The Irish' on February 23, 2007. Their PBS special, 'From Galway to Broadway' is currently airing throughout the United States. Gay is proud to hail from Beaufort, North Carolina.