At least two people are coming all the way from Europe — the Netherlands and Germany, to be exact — to see the upcoming Pops Orchestra concert in Bradenton.
The attraction, at least for the Europeans, isn’t the orchestra itself, but Audrey Landers, who will be singing with the Pops in a concert titled “From Dallas, With Love.”
Landers is best known in this country as an actor, and particularly for her eight years as Afton Cooper on “Dallas.”
But she studied at Julliard and started her career as a singer, and in Europe she’s best known as a pop vocalist.
“I have lots and lots of hit records in Europe,” Landers said in a phone interview. “I frequently do tours over there. For this concert, I have friends and fans coming in from Europe.”
Landers has lived in Osprey for the past 18 years. She and her family had been living in California and fell in love with the Bradenton area when she came here to do a performance.
I have lots and lots of hit records in Europe.I frequently do tours over there. For this concert I have friends and fans coming in from Europe.
“I was in New York for 18 years and then Beverly Hills for 18 years and now Osprey for 18 years,” she said. “I don’t think we’ll be moving again.”
This will be her first concert with the locally based Pops Orchestra. She’s been surprised at the reaction she’s encountered when she’s told people she’s performing with that particular ensemble.
“People think that because it’s an orchestra it’s going to be classical music,” she said. “They’ll say, ‘I’ll never stay awake through a whole orchestra concert.’ I have to tell them, ‘Pops! It’s a pops orchestra!’”
Joining Landers and the Pops Orchestra for the concert is pianist Steve Orich. He doesn’t have Landers’ name recognition, but he’s a musical heavyweight who was nominated for a Tony Award for orchestrating the Broadway hit “Jersey Boys.”
For this concert, Landers is concentrating on the Great American Songbook. Her European fans may be disappointed, but she won’t be doing the songs that have earned her platinum records across the Atlantic. People who may have caught her Las Vegas act will have a good idea of what her concert here will be like.
I’ll be telling stories about “Dallas” and I’ll be talking about relationships because it’s Valentine’s Day.
“I won’t be doing my European hits,” she said. “I’ll be doing Gershwin, Carole King. I’ll be telling stories about ‘Dallas’ and I’ll be talking about relationships because it’s Valentine’s Day.”
(The concerts are scheduled for Sunday in Sarasota and Monday in Bradenton, a bit before the Valentine’s Day.)
Among the songs she has planned are the Gershwin Brothers’ “Someone to Watch Over Me,” King’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” an uptempo version of “Over the Rainbow” and “Stormy Weather,” the classic Harold Arlen torch song made famous by Lena Horne. (An unconventional song for a Valentine’s day concert, Landers admits, but still a beautiful song about love.)
“It will be all songs that people know,” Landers said. “Maybe I can come back another time and do a concert of the songs I’ve had hits with in Europe, if anyone wants to hear them.”
Details: 3 p.m. Feb. 11, Riverview Performing Arts Center, 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, Neel Performing Arts Center, at State College of Florida, 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton. $20-$25. 941-926-7677, thepopsorchestra.org.