GP TALKS: THE IMPACT OF CORONAVIRUS ON CATERING STAFF
The world has changed. Events and galas, which provided thousands of jobs for catering staff, often comprising artists, actors, singers and other creatives, have disappeared. Even as we slowly recover, there’s concern about what the future of catering and events will look like and what that means to the creative community who once perceived New York as a cultural center.
We’ve assembled a panel of incredible individuals across a variety of creative fields, all who have been a part of the Great Performances catering team and two notable catering historians. Along with Ronnie Davis, Managing Director of Great Performances, they discuss the joys and challenges of their roles, the impact of Coronavirus, and what they see for the future.
Matt & Ted Lee – Charleston, SC raised brothers Matt Lee and Ted Lee have had a twenty-year career in food-writing, featuring three award-winning southern cookbooks. Their latest book, Hotbox, is a work of non-fiction covering the catering industry and its roots in New York’s theatre community. The New York Times Book Review called Hotbox “The Kitchen Confidential of big-ticket catering.” Matt, his wife Gia, and their three sons live in Charleston, SC. Ted lives with his wife, the artist E.V. Day, in Brooklyn, NY.
Wes Mason – Wes is a Brooklyn based actor, singer, and guitarist who was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. He possesses an instinct for dialects and impersonations as well as vocal abilities that have earned him a reputation as a genre-defying artist from opera to rock. In opera, he is celebrated for his performances in American works such as Breaking the Waves, As One, and Three Decembers. On film, he recently appeared in the thriller Last Moment of Clarity. This past February, he made his Off-Broadway debut as Wotan/Gunther/Hagen in On Site Opera’s production of Das Barbecü.” This fall marks Wes’s sixth year at GP.
April Henry – April Josephine (Henry) has been with GP since the fall of 2017. Originally from Southern California, April moved to the Big Apple to pursue her theatrical career and continue to learn and grow as an artist. Select recent theater credits include West Side Story (Anita) Houston Texas; Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer National tour (Dance Captain) McCoy Rigby Entertainment; Up Here, La Jolla Playhouse. April also instructs dance, and choreographs youth theater productions, and hopes to combine her passions for both youth and the arts in an impactful way, while living in her favorite city.
Aubrey Elson – Aubrey is also originally from Southern California, and is an actress, singer, and dancer who has worked all over the country and internationally as well. She has performed and traveled with two national tours, at Madison Square Garden, as well as several regional musicals, plays, and readings. She just finished earning her MFA in Theatre Performance from Florida Atlantic University several months early because of Covid-`19, which she left NYC and GP to pursue. She is also a prolific audiobook producer and teaches Acting and Speech at the collegiate level. She has been with GP since 2009.
Nathan Matticks – American baritone Nathan Matticks is rapidly establishing himself as one of opera’s brightest hopefuls. A 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Regional Finalist and District Winner, last season was punctuated by a Carnegie Hall main stage debut in Vaughn Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem and Rutter’s Mass of the Children. Matticks joined Florida Grand Opera for their 2019/2020 season as Conte Robinson in Cimarosa’s rarely performed Matrimonio di Segreto, covering the title roles in Rigoletto and Don Giovanni. He was with GP for the past three years.
Moderated by Ronnie Davis, Great Performances, Managing Director