LOS ANGELES (AP) – The coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a halt. It also slowed down Marie Osmond, but not for long.
The artist used the time to take her singing career in a different direction. She cultivates her childhood love for opera in a new album and an upcoming tour with a symphony orchestra.
Her special concert, “An Evening with Mary,” airs Friday on BYUtv. Shot earlier this year amid the red rocks of the Tuacahn Amphitheater near St. George, Utah, Osmond is joined by nephew David Osmond (son of his brother Alan) and the finalist for “America’s Got Talent” Daniel Emmet, as well as the Southwest Symphony.
The special features an excerpt from his 17-song album “Unexpected” which will be released on December 10th. Backed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Osmond sings a mix of classical, opera and Broadway arias.
“This album, it’s me who pushes me to be something other than what you perceive as Marie”, she declared. “I had a lot of people who listened to different songs and they said, ‘Who is this?’ It delighted me. “
Osmond stars in his third lifetime vacation film, “A Bridegroom for Christmas,” which airs on December 9.
“I love to play,” she said. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do since I was young. But it never worked.”
That’s because Osmond first hit it hard at the age of 13 with his # 1 country hit “Paper Roses”. At 16, she and her brother Donny were headlining their own television variety show. The mother of seven and grandmother of eight will turn 62 later this month.
In a virtual interview with The Associated Press, Osmond explained that she focused on performing with symphonies, whether she would sing with Donny again and what she had learned from 50 years in show business. Notes have been edited for clarity and brevity.
AP: What inspired you to bring classical, opera and Broadway together on your first album in five years?
Osmond: I would sample things in shows. I was in Vegas for 11 years so this gives you an opportunity. People, you would see them say, ‘Oh really? I didn’t know she could do “Nessun Dorma”. I didn’t know she could sing ‘Flower Duet’. I loved the opera. I was the weird child of my family. Even though I coined the phrase “I’m a little country” and it’s my love of music, I really like to challenge myself. Some people like to play instruments, I like to play vocal things.
AP: You’ve been in show business since you started at the age of 3 on “The Andy Williams Show”. After working with everyone from Lucille Ball to John Wayne, how has their influence affected you?
Osmond: I have worked with a lot of people and sometimes I thought to myself, “My God, they have nothing outside of their careers”. I never want that to happen to me because if their career fell apart, they did. You can never sit back on your laurels. That’s the only thing I’ve learned as a young girl is that you have to work hard. You can’t say, ‘Oh, I had a hit record, I’m cool.’ You have to say, “What’s the next thing I want to do? You always have to move. It’s something I learned from what I call great artists.
AP: After you and Donny completed your residency in Las Vegas in 2019 and left “The Talk” last year, how did that get you to relive your life?
Osmond: I like to work. I am used to working 300 days a year easily. But at this point in the game, for me it doesn’t work so many days, it works smart. I was sort of looking at my goal before the pandemic. I want more time to develop myself, to act, so the pandemic has kind of crept in there. More than anything, I just realized that life is short and really comes first.
AP: You hit the road in December for a series of Christmas shows on the East Coast with symphonies. Why work during the holidays?
Osmond: I love this kind of event shows. There is nothing more exciting than hearing a live orchestra and live vocals. There is just something magical about it. It is elegance in music. It’s just super fun to go out and be with people. Do not do five evenings a week, but do special weekends and events.
AP: Do you have a chance to come and sing at Donny’s new residence in Las Vegas?
Osmond: I don’t think so. We are more than ever musically different. He loves this boom, boom, boom. I love to sit down and explain why I am singing a song and help you understand the story behind it. I want to do symphonic music because I can work on the weekends and then take time off. My husband and I spent 25 years apart and then remarried and I love spending time with him.
AP: You and the rest of the Osmond family have suffered a lot of grief from critics over the years. Yet you endured and remained popular. Is there any satisfaction in proving the detractors wrong?
Osmond: It’s more of a big appreciation, it’s more of a thank you. Hey, I never would have thought that I would work five decades in my business, especially as a woman and most importantly have certain types of things that I would and wouldn’t do. I thought it would stop me, but it doesn’t. It is proof of being who you are, of knowing who you are and not letting anything change that.