Audra McDonald's "Go Back Home," Her First Solo Record in Seven Years, Out Now
Audra McDonald’s first solo album in seven years—Go Back Home—is out now on Nonesuch Records. After four seasons spent in Los Angeles playing Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s hit medical drama Private Practice, the acclaimed singer and actress returned to New York and Broadway last year, winning her record-tying fifth Tony for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. With Go Back Home, the Grammy Award-winning soprano, whose voice Stephen Sondheim has hailed as “one of the glories of the American theater,” makes her highly anticipated return to recording, presenting her most personal album to date.
To pick up a copy of Go Back Home, visit your local record store or head to iTunes or the Nonesuch Store, where CD orders include a download of the complete album at checkout; the album is also available there to purchase as MP3 and lossless FLAC files.
Many of the selections on Go Back Home are by composers with whom McDonald has long been associated (Adam Guettel, Michael John LaChiusa, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim, among others), while some songs, including the Kander and Ebb title track, are by names that are relatively new to her repertoire. In addition, McDonald continues her tradition of championing works by an emerging generation of composers, represented on this recording by Adam Gwon, Heisler and Goldrich, and Will Reynolds. The album was produced by Doug Petty, who also produced McDonald’s 2006 release Build a Bridge; musical director Andy Einhorn conducted the ensemble.
This Friday, May 24, McDonald headlines and hosts "Audra McDonald In Concert: Go Back Home," a national PBS telecast presented by the Emmy Award–winning series Live From Lincoln Center. The program was recorded live to tape on Thursday, May 9, when McDonald performed songs from the album as well as other personal favorites in concert at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall. The New York Times' Stepehn Holden, reviewing the concert, said it was "absolutely thrilling," calling McDonald "a defining voice of our time."
New York magazine lists the album and the TV performance as two of the must-do events this week. "It's entirely possible that Audra McDonald is the greatest singer alive," exclaims the magazine. "Her new album, Go Back Home, shows off her core strengths."
The New York Times recently visited McDonald to capture an intimate performance of "Migratory V," written by Adam Guettel for his song cycle Saturn Returns, later Myths and Hymns, and featured on the new album. You can watch the performance here: