Maria Kesselman 'Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries'

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Last Show: Saturday 26 th June 2021

The Pheasantry (Chelsea)

Maria Kesselman is delighted to be returning to the Pheasantry with her accompanist James Church in her new show…’Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries’ (which kind of sums up the extraordinary year we have just had!).This wonderfully entertaining show celebrates life through storytelling... the highs, the lows, the laughs and everything in between, with the music of Piaf, Legrand, Hammerstein, Aznervour, Brel and more. Maria has played many West End and international leads including ‘Christine' in The Phantom Of The Opera.

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"She has the ability to make each and every audience member feel as though they have known her for years"

Bhakti Gajja (Jonathan Baz Reviews)

Maria trained at the Arts Educational School, The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and The Royal College of Music, studying singing with Marion Studholme, repertoire with Robert Sutherland and Piano with Peter Element, gaining her ARCM and dip. RCM diplomas. Maria maintains a varied performing career spanning musical theatre, theatre, opera, concert, recording, cabaret, and dance.

In musical theatre and theatre, Maria’s credits include numerous lead roles including ‘Christine’ opposite Michael Crawford in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ at Her Majesty’s Theatre; ‘Jenny Lind’ in ‘Barnum’,‘Maria Vittoria’, in ‘Which Witch’ at the Piccadilly Theatre; ‘Ruthie’ in The Royal National Theatre production of ‘Lady in the Dark’,‘Laundress’ in ‘Yerma’ at The National Theatre Studio; ‘Dvora’ in ‘Golem’ at The New End Theatre Hampstead; ‘Eliza Doolittle’ in ‘My Fair Lady’, New Zealand tour;  ‘Deanna Durbin’ in ‘Two Smart Girls’ at ‘The Queen Elizabeth Hall’; ‘Maria’ in ‘The Sound of Music’ at ‘The Everyman’. Maria also received critical acclaim and a ‘Time Out’ award for her performance as ‘Melinda Coverdale’ in ‘A Judgement in Stone’, with Sheila Hancock at The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith.

In opera, Maria has also performed widely, including: ‘Musetta’ in ‘La Boheme’ and ‘Despina’ in ‘Cosi Fan Tutti’ for Music Theatre London, in London and Amsterdam; ‘Musetta’ in the film version of ‘La Boheme’, for Channel 5, ‘Street Scene’ and ‘Katya Kabanova’ with The English National Opera, ‘Bess’ in ‘Porgy and Bess’ with the Bath Philharmonia Orchestra.

Maria also featured in The Royal Opera House documentary ‘Trouble at the House’ for BBC 2 singing ‘Vissi d’Arte’.

As an established concert performer, Maria has given solo performances at venues across the UK and Europe: including The Royal Festival Hall, The Queen Elizabeth Hall and The Royal Albert Hall. She has sung and recorded with leading orchestras including The Royal Philharmonic, The English National Orchestra and The BBC Concert Orchestra, and has given recitals for The English National Opera at The London Coliseum. Maria has made numerous TV and radio appearances, and is a regular star singer on ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ for BBC Radio 2 as well as performing with The BBC Big Band. She also performs as soloist for ‘The Last Night of the Proms’ open air concerts with The Royal Philharmonic at leading venues in the UK. Maria has also starred in national concert tours of ‘A Viennese Strauss Gala’, ‘Beyond Phantom’ and ‘A Night In Venice’ starring alongside G4’s Jonathan Ansell. She was the Principal Soloist in David Fanshaw’s ‘African Sanctus’ at major concert venues around the country and is a regular soloist for Raymond Gubbay at the Barbican, Birmingham Symphony Hall and Manchester, Bridgewater Hall in ‘The Sound of the Musicals’. She performed in ‘The Phantom Of The Opera 25th Anniversary’ concert at ‘The Royal Albert Hall’ and The 30th Anniversary performance at Her Majesty’s Theatre.

As a recording artist, Maria has released three solo albums, ‘Flight’, ‘Dance Me To The End Of Love’, and most recently ‘Maria Kesselman, With A Song In My Heart, Live In London’ and has recorded many albums for Carlton Records, including: ‘Maria’ in ‘West Side Story’; ‘Leading Ladies’; ‘The Love Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber’; ‘Showstoppers, Andrew Lloyd Webber’; ‘The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber’; ‘More Andrew Lloyd Webber Favourites’; ‘Mary’s Boy Child’, Christmas Single with Peter Straker for Masquerade Music; ‘The Word’, narration of The New Testament’; ‘Phantom of the Opera’ original cast recording; ‘Which Witch’ original cast recording; and a duet album, ‘Opera Angels’ duet album with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, for New Sound 2000.

As an experienced cabaret artist, Maria has performed her one woman show at many of London’s top cabaret venues, including: ‘The Pheasantry’, ‘The Crazy Coqs’,‘The Café Royal; The Savoy; Grosvenor House; The Dorchester; The Ritz; The Hilton; The Connaught Rooms;  ‘Pizza on the Park’ and theatres around the UK. Maria formed her own production company in 2002, and devised, produced and starred in a new show, ‘In a Sentimental Mood’, the songs of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Cole Porter, for the Gordon Craig Theatre.

As a dancer, Maria has played the role of ‘The Russian Girl’ in ‘Death in Venice’ at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and The Aldeburgh Festival, and in ‘The Nutcracker’ at The Royal Festival Hall with The Festival Ballet. Maria is also a leading Argentinean Tango dancer.

Band Line Up

Maria Kesselman (vocals)

James Church (piano)