A native of New York City and the Jersey Shore, Frances Newell has a B.A., high honors, in Music and Drama from the University of California, San Diego., followed by graduate opera study at the Manhattan School of Music. She began as a guitarist and singer of folk-rock and international song and composed her first musical to the Max Frisch play “Firebugs”, performed at the Joseph Jefferson Theatre in New York City.
Expanding into opera, she sang lead roles with the Rome Festival Orchestra, Bayreuth Youth Festival, concerts in Portugal, Austria, Mexico, and three recitals at the United Nations.
Frances’ original oratorio, “Soul’s Believing”, published by Fenwick Parva Press, premiered at St. George’s-by-the-River in Rumson, New Jersey. Her operetta, “Captain Charlie”, about a real-life story in Bar Harbor, Maine, had its opening run with members of the Monmouth Symphony in New Jersey. She was later commissioned to compose and record a symphony based on the life of Patrick Henry for Henry’s Red Hill Plantation in Virginia.
A carillonneur at St. George’s, Ms. Newell’s published works include compositions for carillon, chorales, and English handbells.
Works-in-progress include a symphonic tone poem to John Milton’s “Paradise Lost” .
Frances’ compositions have been performed in the USA, Canada, and Belgium.
Awards include the Talent America National Female Entertainer Award and the United Nations Certificate of Appreciation. She teaches Creative Writing and Composition at her community college.