Franc D’Ambrosio is an artist in more ways than one. As a singer, he has studied with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti. As a Broadway actor, his debut in Sweeney Todd caught the eye of esteemed director Francis Ford Coppola who cast D’Ambrosio in The Godfather Part III. His one man shows have brought audiences to their feet and have received critical acclaim. More recently, Franc has created a splash in the art world where his divinely inspired artwork was recently exhibited at The ArtHaus in San Francisco. I’m exhausted just writing about some of the highlights of Franc’s career… we’re definitely in the midst of a modern-day Renaissance man.
How lucky is South Florida to have such greatness at the Broward Center! On Sunday, April 10th, D’Ambrosio will be conducting a Master Class from 12pm to 2:30pm. A frequent lecturer at many music conservatories, Franc loves to share his passion for music and teaching his craft with others. Don’t miss this chance to see and learn from one of the most respected forces in musical theater today. The comprehensive curriculum covers everything from vocal health, stage presence and dramatic interpretation to auditions and one-on-one coaching. Space is very limited so be sure to go to http://www.browardcenter.org/francdambrosio to reserve your $25 ticket (yes you read correctly, only $25).
On April 12th, Symphony of the Americas, Back By Popular Demand, Franc D’Ambrosio and Friends light up the Amaturo Theatre at The Broward Center at 8:15pm. Franc will be joined by Kam Cheng, Eduardo Aladren and Courtenay Budd for an evening of Broadway and Operatic favorites. For tickets, visit http://www.browardcenter.org/symphonyoftheamericasbackbypopulardemand. Ticket prices range from $58 to $75.
I have interviewed many actors as part of my “Unmasking the Actor” series. My interview with Franc takes on a very literal meaning. Known for his role in the stage version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera and called
“The Iron Man of The Mask”, he was awarded the distinction of being the world’s longest running Phantom. He retained that title for over a decade. Unmasking the actor indeed.
I had a chance to chit-chat with Franc who took time out of his busy touring schedule to answer some questions about his life and his upcoming appearance in South Florida.
ME: Hi Franc. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with me about your upcoming visit to South Florida. Okay, so I for one am so excited about taking your workshop and seeing your concert. Can you give us the inside scoop on what to expect from both events?
FRANC: In the workshop/master class I will be working with young performers to help them better understand the demands of being a performer and help them with their music and their acting. The show is a great line up of performers singing everything from Opera to Broadway. Amazing singers and beautiful orchestra!!
ME: Many artists struggle with the fear of failure. As a result, there’s the backup plan. My backup plan was to become a lawyer…. ha, I lasted two weeks in a law firm. If you did not follow the path of the artist, what was your backup plan?
FRANC: My family owned and operated Italian Bakeries in and around New York City. So… I guess I might have baked for a bit until I figured out my next step. If I didn’t perform, I might have been a doctor or a priest. Working my way in the business… I waited tables, and was a delivery boy.
ME: Congratulations on the expression of your artistry as a painter. What inspires you to stay curious and take risks? What has unlocking your potential through the arts taught you about Franc the person?
FRANC: Thank you… I enjoy painting very much. I began only a while back. After a very devoted time during Lent, I emerged being able to paint. I believe it is a gift from God. The arts have taught me many things about myself… work hard, be a good professional, be a good co-worker and always do your best.
ME: Do you have any upcoming projects that you want to share with your adoring fans?
FRANC: I am premiering a new Christmas Concert tour next year!!! Love singing the music!!!
ME: Franc, you are amazing. We look forward to seeing you on the stage!
FRANC: Thank you very much and always look forward to performing in Florida…. It’s like performing for a group of true New Yorkers… only tan and happier!!!
So there you have it my happy and bronzed South Floridians…take time off from having fun in the sun to play at the theatre. To find out more about Franc, visit his website at http://www.francdambrosio.com. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located at 201 SW Fifth Avenue Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For box office, call 954-462-0222 or visit their website at http://www.browardcenter.org.