By Jackie Moe
There is something about Marie. After several decades of success in all forms of entertainment — including, but not limited to, music, television, theater and film — the superstar Osmond sister continues to prove to the world she is the definition of unstoppable.
This December, the entertainment icon will release her new 17-track album “Unexpected” (out Dec. 10), kick off a tour, perform a slew of special Christmas shows, and produce and star in the Lifetime holiday film “A Fiancé for Christmas,” debuting on Dec. 9.
Her Christmas show, “Marie Osmond: A Symphonic Christmas,” will feature a 30-piece orchestra performing a mix of her hits, Broadway songs, and holiday favorites. Joining her on stage will be special guest David Osmond (her nephew) and America’s Got Talent finalist Daniel Emmett. She will kick off the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts season on Dec. 3.
Marie shared how she developed her strikingly beautiful opera vocals, what it means to perform with her family and friends, how she embraces change and growth, and the art of remaining fierce and fearless.
On developing her opera vocals
I did The Oprah Winfrey Show when my son passed away and I sang a song called “Pie Jesu,” which I put on this album. As you know, I’m kind of an eclectic person, as far as music. I love everything. I’m of course country; that’s the genre that I love to sing. But I never liked putting people in boxes, you know? I like trying new things. I’m not a one-note person. And when I did “Sound of Music” in Kimuni, I knew I couldn’t sing “The Hills Are Alive” with a country accent, so I wanted to have some vocal training. (The vocal coach) said, “Hey lady, you can sing soprano! You can sing opera if you want.” And I went, “Shut up!” (laughs) So I started to sing around the house and work on it, and I loved it so much. I did “Nessun Dorma” as a trial run to see if people were even interested, because I got a lot of feedback from the Oprah show. And when I put that into the show, people really enjoyed it. So that’s how this album was created. It’s kind of a long way around it, but it’s funny how things happen.
On returning to live Christmas concerts
To have the orchestra live, this show is going to be so much fun, I can’t stand it. One song I have pre-recorded background vocals; I just had to put them on there. It’s the Tabernacle choir from Temple Square and it’s on the last song that I do. Their vocals just give me chills, so I just knew I had to have them for Christmas. Everything else beyond that will be bona fide live.
On performing with nephew David Osmond and America’s Got Talent finalist Daniel Emmett
I believe for the holidays, his story needs to be told. He’s an incredibly talented guy, but he’s a miracle. I think his story is unique and I want him to perform so people will see why I have invited him. Also Daniel Emmet who was on “America’s Got Talent,” will be performing. He is so gifted. Oh my gosh, just wait until you hear this kid’s voice. Plácido Domingo singled him out as being brilliant. He recorded “The Prayer” with me on the new album, and we did it really simple with a piano, and then I go from simple to full on opera at the end and it’s really fun.
But by saying that we’re doing that, that doesn’t mean that I’m never singing my hits or singing country. It’s just an extension. It’s like adding another instrument to your repertoire, you know?
On constantly evolving
I loved watching Streisand perform and I love watching Bernadette Peters, but they don’t tour anymore. You know, there’s a time and season for everything. And right now, while my voice is in shape, I want to enjoy this period. There will come a time where I probably won’t be able to hit the high notes, but I’m not going to let the fear of having a perfect vocal stop me from performing. And I think that happens a lot with people. Like everybody expects them to be perfect. Live is not perfect. That’s why Broadway is so fun. I think that energy that comes from doing everything in one shot for the audience is just incredibly fun.
On new projects
On Dec. 9, my new movie will debut on Lifetime. It’s called “A Fiancé for Christmas” and I’m also producing it. And it’s the third year that I did this with Lifetime. I just finished their commercials for the holidays. They’re going to be cute fun. You know, acting’s something that’s new to me too. I don’t know what it is. Maybe you get over 50 and you want to just start over. At first, my acting was okay, but I feel like in this one, the acting is better. I think a lot of times, women especially, put a lot of pressure on ourselves as we get older, saying, “I can’t do that.” That is so far from the truth. I feel like when the kids are gone, you’ve raised them, and now you’re at the time to experiment and find life. So I have a film coming on the 9th, the “Unexpected” album coming on the 10th, and then I’ll be on tour.
On being fearless
Never settle for fear. I can’t stand fear. As a young girl, I hated change. I just wanted consistency. And I realized that the only thing consistent in life is change. And so I embraced it. Now I’m the kind of person that’s not afraid to try things. I’m the kind of person that’s not afraid to close doors, because new ones will open and new things will be found.
Marie Osmond: A Symphonic Christmas, With Special Guests David Osmond and Daniel Emmet
Theater: Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, 18000 Park Plaza Drive, Cerritos
Date: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 3
Ticket Prices: $110/$100/$90/$70
For more info: https://www.cerritoscenter.com/