“The Maria Callas of American musical theater,” as Opera News has called her, referencing both her silken voice and dramatic, expressive intensity, Melissa Errico is an actress, singer, and author. First known for her starring roles on Broadway, she has since become a concert, cabaret and recording artist as well; her 2018 album Sondheim Sublime was called by The Wall Street Journal “The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded.” Along with her many appearances singing and playing Sondheim, she is also closely associated with the music of Michel Legrand—having starred in his sole Broadway show, Amour, she was asked to write his eulogy by The New York Times, and was then invited to become the sole American performer to participate in the extraordinary two-day memorial to Legrand held in April 2019 at Paris’s Le Grand Rex Theatre, work that led one critic to announce that, “Errico is, and will continue to be, the premier interpreter of the musical legacy of Michel Legrand.” Her album of Legrand’s music, Legrand Affair Deluxe Edition, appeared in 2019.
In the past few years her gifts and ambitions as a writer have become increasingly expressed, with a series of much-talked-of essays in The New York Times, touching, with wit, wisdom and insider mischief, on the many unseen aspects of the theatrical profession, from the pleasures and pains of being a “terminal ingenue” to the ambiguities of auditioning to the sheer pleasure of being fitted for a costume, post-pandemic. She is currently at work on a memoir that will include and expand on these “Scenes from An Acting Life”, as the Times, in a rubric specially invented for her work, calls them.
Melissa has released several studio recordings including her debut on EMI Records produced by Arif Mardin entitled Blue Like That. Her 2018 album, Sondheim Sublime, was called by The Wall Street Journal “The best all-Sondheim album ever recorded,” and led to sold-out concert dates around the country–from Ravinia to Caramoor and Wolftrap–and in London. She has sung many concerts (of Sondheim music as well as other repertoire such as Rodgers & Hammerstein, Scott Frankel, film evenings with Michael Feinstein, and more) at the 92nd Street Y, Birdland Jazz Club, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Joe’s Pub, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall and Lincoln Center’s Allen Room.
Errico’s history with Sondheim began when he selected her to star as Dot in Sunday In The Park With George at The Kennedy Center, then as Clara in Passion at Classic Stage Company, and then in the New York City Center Encores! production of Do I Hear A Waltz? In 2020, she sang “Children and Art” in the Sondheim 90th Birthday Concert Take Me To The World, and was featured on PBS television in a documentary special in which she sang “Finishing The Hat” and discussed Sondheim and his lyrics with Adam Gopnik and Raúl Esparza for Poetry in America.