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Q&A with Angela Bacari

Photo: Allie Woodard Photos

This year’s CabaretFest continues its tradition of bringing the best in cabaret entertainment to Provincetown for performances, lectures, and workshops—all celebrating the unique art form of cabaret. This year, the festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award will go to the legendary Angela Bacari, a powerhouse performer in her own right and also former vocal coach to Liza Minnelli and grandmother of another successful performer coming this year, Nick King. Bacari took a few moments to answer some questions about her illustrious career in cabaret.

Provincetown MagazineHow did you get started in music, was it something you always planned to do?

Angela BacariSince I was a little girl singing and performing for anyone who would watch and listen, was the beginning of my desire to eventually pursue a career, which I did. One thing led to another and I was introduced to the booker for the Playboy club. That was the best that could have happened to start my career, city after city, show after show. Then I was signed to the William Morris Agency, then signed to RCA Records. I had a hit record on RCA called Baby I’m Yours and then continued to tour the U.S. and other countries.

PMYou were Liza Minnelli’s vocal coach. What did you work on with her and what do you remember about that experience?

ABI was introduced to Liza Minnelli after the Michael Jackson show in Madison Square Garden because the young boy I managed and trained vocally, Billy Gilman, was appearing on the show also. She was making a comeback with her career. After losing her voice, she was struggling trying to get her voice back. A few days later she invited us to her house to visit her. As she was singing for us and struggling, Billy told her that I could help her. I thought I would die.  But long story short, I ended up spending months with her. Got her voice back for her, and her comeback show was a huge success, and that started many years of working with her, touring with her, and a beautiful friendship.

PMYour grandson, Nick King is also a very successful performer now. Did you offer him any advice or vocal training as he was starting out? 

ABI knew Nicolas was very talented since he was two years old.  Before he could talk or walk he would be listening to music and snapping his fingers in time.  Blew me away.  He continued to show so much talent that I knew I had to have him sing in some of my shows. He was amazing. Then I knew I had to go further.  So I brought him to New York to audition for an agent who booked Broadway. Bingo! He got a part his first time in an audition: Beauty and the Beast. He played Chip. From then on he continued to prosper, and throughout the years I would advise him and help him, of course with his voice, and other things. He would watch so many people and learn so much from everyone. That’s how he is till today. He learned from the best.  

PMCabaret is a special form of performance, obviously celebrated here during CabaretFest. What do you think makes it special and different from other genres?

ABThe songs, the melodies, the lyrics, the stories that the songs tell, the relationship that is developed with the lyrics and vocalists, the expressions and the acting that is performed  during the song just reaches the hearts of all in the audience. The brilliance of the writers are amazing.  

PMWhat advice would you give to up and coming vocalists, as someone with vast experience as both a performer and as a vocal coach?

ABThis type of profession has so many ups and downs. You have to be strong and constantly keep pursuing your goals and never give up. There’s always the next performance. Just keep at it. You get better and more experienced.  There will always be criticism.  Keep positive and just keep improving on it. And take very, very good care of your vocal cords; they are very, very tiny and need to be very protected. Especially after you’ve just performed, you need to rest your voice. Don’t go into a loud room and try to talk over loud noise—the worst thing to do to your vocal cords after a show. Just notice what a horn player does with the instrument or guitarist. They put it in a case and protect it. We need to do the same with vocal cords.

Angela Bacari will participate in the Provinceotwn CabaretFest with a master class on Monday, June 3, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., and as host of the Angela Bacari Show on Saturday, June 8, 7 – 8:30 p.m., as well as performing in the Sundays at the Penthouse Brunch & Show on June 9, 11:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. All events take place in Provincetown. For specific show details, to register for master classes and events and to buy tickets visit

—Rebecca M. Alvin

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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