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Something Different will be something extraordinary

Mark your calendars for “Something Different.”

This first-time Pagosa event will feature international music and theatre stars, Victoria Liljenquist and Joseph Portal, singing our favorite Broadway tunes from “Phantom of the Opera,” “South Pacific,” “Chorus Line,” “Les Miserables,” “Cats,” “Oklahoma,” “Miss Saigon,” “Jersey Boys,” “Titanic”, and more.

“Joseph and I are so excited about this event,” said Liljenquist. “We’ve both entertained on and off Broadway, in a variety of beautiful settings. Still, nothing can beat singing to a wonderful audience in beautiful Pagosa Springs!”

While enjoying world-class entertainment, event guests will be treated to a delicious dinner and a silent auction with mystery boxes valued at $100 each. Guests bidding on the mystery boxes can win jewelry from The Artist Within, a round of golf at the San Juan Golf Course, a strand of Genuine Black Pearls with matching earrings, a Jay Strongwater hand enameled purse mirror set with glittering Swarovski® crystals in the designer’s signature style, an original painting by Rosie Vassallo, a wool pancho from Equador and much more!

Something Different takes place Saturday, April 2 at 6 p.m. at The Pagosa Lodge. Choices for dinner include prime rib, salmon and vegetarian. Tickets are $40 per person and $75 per couple and can be purchased at Wild Sprit Gallery, online at www.wildspiritgallery.com, and at the Chamber of Commerce. Seating is limited and tickets are selling fast, so buy yours today.

The entertainers

Victoria Liljenquist.

Victoria Liljenquist began her love of music at the age of 5, when Victoria began performing at events with her Musical Family in northern Utah.  Having parents who were accomplished entertainers vocally and her mother, a concert pianist mother, Victoria began starring in musicals as well as composing music at the age of 13.  Extensive vocal training with Dr. William H. Ramsey, at Utah State University (formerly the head of Stanford University of Music), Victoria was a scholarship student music performance major at Utah State University.  Victoria has performed operas favorites such as Madam Butterfly, La’ Boehme, Aida, and has sung music in five languages.

As a vocal entertainer, Victoria has performed throughout 8 European countries and has touched many with her crystal clear soprano voice.  A recording artist and actress, Victoria has had starring in lead roles since 1972 in many musicals, e.g. “Man of La Mancha,” “Brigadoon,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and in The American West Festivals in Northern Utah with actors Peter Strauss and Robert Peterson, to name a few.  As an award winning producer of “Encounters with Angels” documentary film at 2005 film festivals, Victoria’s composed and performed her original vocal and instrumental music, as well as filming the documentary.

A resident of Pagosa Springs since 2007, Victoria continues to share her talents with the community in many ways and has found this beautiful country an inspiration to her present projects in music and film.  Presently, she has her own screenplay which she hopes to produce as a feature film.  Victoria’s love of reaching out to people has also been in the healing arts where she has composed healing music CDs.  Victoria has been a therapist for 30 years.

Joseph Portal.

Since arriving in Pagosa Springs last fall, Joseph Portal has integrated into the local music scene with performances at the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Nello’s Wednesday Night Bistro and most revealing of all, Pagosa Music Boosters 2010 Holiday Production of “Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings.” And if you don’t recognize the “barely veiled” reference to the opening performance, just ask someone who was there — and never miss one of his opening night performances again.

Having been born in Jackson, Miss., he attended Southern Methodist University where he received excellent preparation for a professional music career, participating in the Dallas Opera and the Dallas Summer Musicals. Not many college grads hit New York with union memberships in two professional organizations — Actors’ Equity and The American Guild of Musical Artists — in their pockets.

Prepared for the Big Apple, he got the first two auditions and hit the ground running. One was a classical music gig as a soloist in Bach’s “St. John Passion” with Musica Sacra (an early music ensemble) at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and an off-Broadway New York premiere, “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill” (initially as the assistant stage manager and standby for three roles and eventually assuming one of the roles as his own for the remainder of the run).

Roles sung in New York, Washington, D.C., and Dallas include Rodolfo (“La Boheme”), Don Jose (“Carmen”), Alfredo (“La Traviata”), Tamino (“The Magic Flute”), Eisenstein (“Die Fledermaus”), Ernesto (“Don Pasquale”), and The Witch (“Hansel and Gretel”). His extensive four-octave range enables him to sing contralto, countertenor, tenor and baritone roles in opera and oratorio. Musical comedy roles include both Tommy Albright and Charlie Dalrymple in “Brigadoon,” Billy Bigalow and Mr. Enoch Snow in “Carousel,” Emile de Becque and Lt. Joseph Cable in “South Pacific” as well as Tony in “West Side Story” and Wang Ta in “Flower Drum Song.”

He also sang with the United States Army Band and Chorus in Washington, D.C. for a three year-enlistment, fulfilling assignments at The White House, the State Department and Arlington National Cemetery, among others. On the other side of the footlights he was the music, theater and dance critic for CUE, New York’s leading entertainment guide, for which he voted in the Drama Desk and Tony Awards.

National art show

The Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters organization (RMPAP) selected Wild Spirit Gallery to host the organization’s 10th anniversary National Show. An estimated 50 RMPAP artists will travel to Pagosa Springs, paint all-new, never before seen paintings en plein aire, and then submit up to six pieces for the show, Aug. 5-7. The gallery plans to invest close to $10,000 to host this international event. In addition, the Community Development Corporation (CDC) has committed to raise $5,000 through sponsorships. Funds raised through the “Something Different” event will be used to ensure that painters and show attendees are treated to a world class welcome that will keep them coming back to Pagosa Springs.

For examples of RMPAP work, visit Wild Spirit Gallery which shows the works of three RMPAP members — Robert Hagberg, John Potter and Dave Santillanes. For more information about RMPAP, the national Show, and the Something Different fundraiser, visit www.wildspiritgallerycom, www.pagosaspringscdc.org, or www.rmpap.org.

For more information, contact Madeline Lyon at wildspiritgallery@yahoo.com, www.wildspiritgallery.com, o) 264-9453.    

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