MICHELLE BERTING BRETT
SILICON VALLEY, CA -- Produced by MARK BRETT, her husband, MICHELLE BERTING BRETTs musical show "We've ONLY JUST BEGUN: Carpenters Remembered, is unique production.
For those familiar with the music of Composer/pianist/arranger RICHARD CARPENTER and the songs, sang by his younger sister KAREN, this musical show will be a mental tour back to the years 1970-1983, when KAREN's voice and RICHARD's arrangements were heard in every radio station.
Those songs, are the songs the audience will hear during MICHELLE's show, but this time, interpreted by her, with similar arrangements, and sounding great. Each word pronounced with perfect diction, each emotion interpreted, and in a similar-sounding KAREN's timbre of voice but produced with a more cultivated quality of its sound, and more volume. The production was designed to please good music lovers.
One of the reasons, is that if one remembers, KAREN CARPENTER was a natural singer with no singing training, whose voice was so soft, that needed to be amplified by a microphone. MICHELLE BERTING BRETT 's is also a natural singer, but she learned how to produced her tones using the Bel Canto (that we may translate as beautiful Singing) technique. A technique that teaches the singer how to produce her/his tone from a diaphragm, not the throat. MICHELLE studied how to sing opera at Dickinson State University in North Dakota.
As a singer, she has experience, singing in churches' choirs, in musicals, as Production Singer in the Norwegian Cruise Lines, as Guest Entertainer in Regent Seven Seas Cruises,Mediterranean and Caribbean cruises and in cabarets, theatres and hotels, including the only seven-stars hotel in the world the BURJ al Arab in Dubai.
Growing up, MICHELLE became acquainted with the CARPENTERS 's music , and years later during her shows, every time she interpreted one of KAREN's songs, when people in the audience talked with her, they often told her that her timbre of voice was similar to KAREN CARPENTER's voice. So, Encouraged by her husband, who offer to produce her show, she created "We've ONLY JUST BEGUN" Carpenters Remembered, a complete show based on the lives and music of THE CARPENTERS.
Dressed in a formal silver gown, accompanied by a 7men band of top Nashville Musicians: HARRY SHARPE, Music Director, Keys, and background Vocals. MIKE CLAIRBORNE, Bass guitar, GEORGE PERILL, drums, MATTHEW RAGONESE, Piano and Wurlitzer. MATT BERY, Guitar. RYAN LATHAM Tenor/Soprano Saxophones and Flute, and JAMIE LYNN CITERIN in the Background vocals, MICHELLE stands at the front of her band, and with different projections projected on a back screen, begins singing.
She looks comfortable on the stage as she sings or talks with the audience. She walks around, smiles, talks, and then brakes into song again, at intervals,even encouraging the audience to sing along with her.
On the night of October 12th, our "Tour to the Past" included songs like "We've Only just Begun" "Rainy days and Mondays, " "Close to you," "On Top of the World," and most of the CARPENTERS most famous songs, and close to the end, because she was visiting Silicon Valley, Burt Bacharach's "Do you know your way to San José ? that everybody applauded
As we looked around the auditorium of the HERITAGE THEATRE's in Campbell California, that was full on that night, everyone, including the young members of the audience, looked relaxed. As MICHELLE sang, Those from the mature audience, who probably remembered the CARPENTERS's stared at the the stage with a dreamlike expression in their faces, while others had a smile on their lips, as if remembering something. A few, sang along with MICHELLE, but they vocalized the lyrics of her songs silently
Every song that night was interpreted, not sang, because MICHELLE put meaning to her lyrics. Her orchestra, maybe using the the original arrangements of RICHARD CARPENTER, sounded marvellous. Every musician in her band mastered his instrument or instruments. As a voice accompanist, her pianist allows us to listen to her voice clearly. At the end of the show MICHELLE took the time to introduce each one of them to the audience. She also introduced the audience to JAMIE LYNN CITERI who sang marvelously her Background Vocals.
Interrupting her singing, MICHELLE told us the story of this boy called RICHARD CARPENTER, 23, and his sister KAREN 19, who were brought to California from New Heaven Connecticut , by her parents to give their son, a pianist composer, a better chance to sell his talent. And he did. with his sister, who had been trained as a drummer, not a a singer, they became the biggest selling recording act from 1970 to 1983, who produced 14 Albums, over 100 million records, toured internationally, won a number of Grammys, and still hold the records for most consecutive top ten singles in a row on the Billboard's chart. By 1970, THE CARPENTERS were, practically, on top of the World.
But fame has a high prize, and in this case, shy, young KAREN became obsessed with the magazines and newspapers mentioning her weight, so she became anorexic (an eating disorder) at the times very few psychiatrists very familiar with the disease. Undernourished, she died at age 32 in 1983 from a heart attack. As for RICHARD,later in his life he got hooked on Quaaludes and had to be treated. When RICHARD, who actually was the "brain" of the CARPENTERS, got well, he continued creating and arranging music, orchestrating all songs and to honor his late sister. Mastering all their recording using the new digital music technics.
In WE'VE Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered, MICHELLE BERTING BRETT brought to her audience in Silicon Valley happy and sad memories of their past. So, some smiled listening to her interpretations, others, stared at her with tears in their eyes. In her "unique" concert the feeling, in the way she sang her lyrics, had managed to pull the strings of our hearts.
We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered