For many people, receiving a Tony Award nomination would be the ultimate highlight of their career. But for Michel, a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of “Joe” in Hal Prince’s production of Show Boat was just one of many diverse achievements. Mr. Bell also appeared on Broadway in the musical Civil War as well as Riverdance: the Musical. He also had his West End debut at the Prince Edward Theatre in Show Boat.
At the “America’s Millennium” celebration in 2000, Michel performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in front of more than 600,000 people including the President and First Lady.
This recipient of the Jefferson Award (Chicago), Ovation Award (Los Angeles) and the Outer Critic’s Circle Award (Broadway)and most recently the Kevin Kline Award (St. Louis) is especially known for his emotional portrayal of “Porgy” in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, which he performed in the United States, Berlin, Cairo, Tokyo, Pompeii, Paris and Eritrea.
Michel has performed with the San Diego Opera, Michigan Opera, Opera Pacific and Lyric Opera of Kansas City as well as the L.A. Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Berlin Radio Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Marvin Hamlisch.
Michel recently performed at the Royal Room Cabaret at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, and one reviewer wrote …"his take on "Ol' Man River," which closes the show, is simply the best. Ever. Period."
Michel was also formerly a member of the Fifth Dimension pop vocal group and has performed with entertainment greats including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Perry Como, Sammy Davis Jr. and Bill Cosby.
Catherine Matejka has performed internationally as a piano soloist, accompanist, chamber musician and conductor.
She has been pianist and conductor on productions of Porgy and Bess throughout the United States, Japan, Germany, Norway, Egypt and Eritrea.
Catherine was the Music Director and Conductor for the National Tour of the Harold Prince production of Show Boat, and also conducted the Toronto, Chicago and Broadway companies.
Her skill as an accomplished vocal teacher and coach of Broadway musicals often led her to perform in that additional capacity while on tour, working closely with members of the cast. She has been hired by companies of Porgy and Bess, Show Boat and Riverdance to work with the singers on repertoire and technique.
Catherine graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory, and received her Master of Music degree with Honors in Piano from New England Conservatory in Boston. She was awarded a Fellowship to the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, as well as receiving an Alumni Achievement Award at Baldwin-Wallace. Ms. Matejka has been on the faculties of Clark University, University of Massachusetts, Franklin Pierce College and Los Angeles Harbor College.
Catherine recently performed at the Colony Hotel in Palm Beach with Michel Bell, and a reviewer commented..."She does this with an impressive technique: coaxing a big sound from the piano when needed and, at other times, employing a noticeably soft touch that wrings every ounce of emotion out of the sweeter, quiet moments."
Ms. Matejka made her Carnegie Hall Debut in a concert of New American Music. She also recorded the music of Robert Schumann for the soundtrack of the movie "Spring Symphony."