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JERSEY BOYS actors train at Frankie Camp

Frankie Camp - dancing with Danny Austin. Photo by Lyn Hughes
Actors in ‘Jersey Boys’ learn methods at ‘Frankie Camp’
To reach those sweet Valli highs

By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun
Full article at: The Baltimore Sun
November 8, 2013

Frankie Valli made it seem so easy, spinning out those distinctive falsetto notes in hit songs as lead singer for the Four Seasons, starting 51 years ago with “Sherry.” But what came naturally to Valli takes honing for the guys who have to approximate his vocal cords in the hit bio-musical “Jersey Boys.”
The success of the show depends to a large extent on filling that central role persuasively.
“The score is so difficult,” says Katie Agresta, the seasoned New York-based vocal coach who has worked with the likes of Jon Bon Jovi and Cyndi Lauper. “Typically, a lead in a Broadway musical has maybe five songs. In ‘Jersey Boys,’ it’s 27. And you have to act. That’s why we developed what we call ‘Frankie Camp.’“
The “camp” is held periodically in New York for actors who have shown potential. In addition to intensive sessions on acting and choreography, the camp focuses on the sound that made a short, Newark-born Italian-American one of the most instantly recognizable singers in pop music.
“Frankie had an amazing instrument with an amazing falsetto,” says “Jersey Boys” music director Ron Melrose. “Usually, a falsetto is soft and choirboy-ish, but there was a gritty, street sound to his.”
On the first day of camp, Agresta zeroes in on that technique.
“Frankie flipped into [falsetto] like ice skating in and out of a park,” she says. “He just did it. I work with the guys on learning how to do that smoothly.”
Agresta also gives the singers yoga exercises and diet suggestions to keep the voice in shape.

Full article at: The Baltimore Sun

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