Henry Koperski: Halo Pop

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Henry Koperski

Halo Pop

The Duplex, NYC, June 12, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Henry Koperski
Photo: Alex Schaefer

Anybody who knows Henry Koperski would likely describe him as a kind heart who always seems to put everyone else first. It is probably one of the reasons he is a prolific accompanist showing up time and time again throughout the year. For once though, he decided to put on a show of his own. And, in many ways in typical Koperski fashion, took time out of his own spotlight to highlight the people that have made him who he is, even if he felt like he never lived up to their examples.

Aside from that, he also showcased a number of different tidbits of music making. First, he showed off his ability to find similarities between songs, pointing out that “Beauty and the Beast” shared things in common with Camille Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals. Using this as a launching point, he drew one’s attention to the fact that his opening song, “The Wizard and I” (Stephen Schwartz), the character “anthem” sung by Elphaba in Wicked, uses an adjusted version of the “Over the Rainbow’s” melody.

Discussing character anthems further, he decided to write one himself, based on what he learned from the greats, particularly John Williams. Selecting a volunteer from the audience, he asked a series of questions and composed a ditty underscoring her dramatic stage entrance as a plucky sidekick with a golden heart. This also introduced the concept of the “devil’s interval” as it is used in character anthems accompanying the introductions and appearances of magnanimous movie moments, like the entrance of the evil Empire in Star Wars: A New Hope.

Going back to the start, Koperski felt like the “Devil’s Interval” rang true with him due to the mistakes he had made in the past, but he’s a wonderful human being.

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And while he believes that he can do better, we all can always do better.

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Ending on a further positive note, he selected Beyoncé’s “Halo” and, as with every song in his set, he demonstrated his ample ability at the piano and belting out “I can feel your halo.”

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see StruckChris.com