On Saturday, June 6, 2015, Linda set out on the road to Cleveland, Ohio where she would perform at The Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square. It was to be her first show after taking a little time off, and it was evident from her performance as well as from the reaction of the audience that Linda and her fans were more than ready for an incredible night of music. Fans Eric Bluffstone and Sarah Maag have shared the experience of this evening in their own words and photos. 

Eric Bluffstone from Ohio writes…

Linda Eder
The Unassuming Diva

Fans of Linda Eder know her from her triumphant sweep to $100,000 on the original talent competition Star Search. I first saw her in person during Jekyll & Hyde’s long journey to Broadway. I stood at the stage door to meet her thinking that once the world got to know her, I would never have the chance again. When she came out the back door she wasn’t alone, but accompanied by the composer and her brilliant husband Frank Wildhorn. I stopped them, but wanted to be brief. I told Linda how appreciative I was and she hugged me. I then turned to Mr. Wildhorn, expressing my admiration of his writing. “Well,” he said, “Linda could sing the phone book and it would be amazing.” I laughed, shook his hand and knew he was right.

Linda with Fan Eric Bluffstone

On June 6, 2015, I sat at the Ohio theatre in Cleveland Ohio again waiting to see my favorite singer. When you see Linda Eder there are no back-up dancers, huge sets, special effects, or laser lighting. It’s just her and it’s more than enough.

The lights dim and a voice simply announces, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Linda Eder.” The crowd erupts in an ovation worthy of the end of a great performance that lasts several minutes. She graciously waits, smiles and then begins. What then transpires is a soaring non-stop hour and a half of a voice that is
unprecedented and four of the finest musicians in the business.

This evening Linda gave us a retrospective of her music with arrangements from Star Search, her Broadway career, favorites from her albums, and new renditions of tunes we’ve never heard her sing before. Linda sings the lyrics with such emotion but without grandiose gesture or unnecessary movement. She simply sings, and in doing so, touches her audience deeply with her voice and expressions. She has such color, range and depth in her voice that is seldom heard elsewhere as she easily glides from quiet intimacy to belting notes that seem impossible. Every once in awhile, Linda will give an eyebrow raise or a wink, hinting to the audience wait until you hear this note!

Then, just when you think she can’t do more, Linda becomes a coloratura, or the highest soprano possible, and does so with what appears to be little or no effort. There is no patter or script… she just talks naturally. It is unrehearsed, unassuming and so very charming. Linda Eder wins the audience over with her voice, humility and a performance that I can only describe as naked. Even her microphone seems unnecessary!

In Cleveland, the audience got what they wanted… intimate, beautiful moments, new thrilling songs, and the gigantic show stoppers that Linda is so very well known for, ending with the impossible arrangement of “Man Of La Mancha.” The audience jumped to its feet in roars demanding that she return just one more time, which she graciously did. She said goodbye with “Over The Rainbow” as only she can do in her signature way. Linda is lovely, soft spoken, generous, and simply the best singer I have ever heard. Linda Eder is a musical melange of all the greats rolled into one, yet uniquely herself.

After this evening’s performance in Cleveland, much of the audience lined up snaking through the gigantic lobby as Linda stood there talking, signing autographs and being photographed for an hour and a half. That’s as long as her performance was. It’s amazingly that many are still are unfamiliar with Linda Eder, but anyone hearing her for the first time will agree that she is the finest singer to have come along in decades.

Cleveland is always thrilled to have Linda perform here, and once again she gave us a night that her fans so appreciate and people new to hearing her will never forget.

Linda Eder is so very special and is truly… an unassuming Diva!

Sarah Maag from Ohio writes…

A Musical Trip Down Memory Lane: Linda Eder In Concert

I recently had the immense pleasure of attending Linda Eder’s concert in Cleveland, OH. Having seen Linda live before, I had an idea of what to expect. I knew that her velvety voice would fill the theater like warm chocolate, and I knew that her banter would be entertaining and witty. I was, of course, not disappointed. However, in the end I got much, much more.

Fan Sarah Maag

Linda’s “Memory Lane” show is a wonderful and nostalgic tour through her musical history. I thoroughly enjoyed her song selection, and I loved every moment of her clever and very accessible interactions with the audience. She was especially excited that night because she had earlier witnessed American Pharaoh become a Triple Crown winner – a feat which has apparently not been achieved in thirty-seven years. Anyone who is a fan of Linda’s knows her immense love of horses, so this was a big day for her.

Her enthusiasm and joy for performing kept me engaged from the very beginning. My favorite parts of the evening, other than being wrapped in the richness of her unbelievable vocal ability, were the moments in between songs during which she shared each number’s back story and significance to her career and life. I especially enjoyed hearing about how “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long” almost ended her career when her piano player once began it five keys to high, her tender feelings for her son before she sang “If I Could,” and her touching and very personal message of gratitude toward the late great Judy Garland – this, of course, was immediately followed by her stunningly simply and sweet rendition of “Over the Rainbow.” I may have teared up a bit during this song, but I’m not telling.

The bottom line is that, in a world in which mediocre singers rule the airways and auto-tune creates entire music careers, Linda’s voice remains proof that true talent, skill, and artistry have not been forgotten. She sounds as amazing as she ever has, and she has a magnetism that draws the audience in, not only to her voice, but to her heart. She does not simply sing, but rather her amazing voice reaches out to people, transcending any boundaries, and touches their hearts and souls with its beauty and power. Her voice, which in my opinion is one of the most wonderful voices out there anywhere, continues to lift music and lyrics to a higher plan and connect us all.

I also must acknowledge the fabulousness of her band. Each ember was at the very top of their game and showed incredible mastery of their respective instruments. Also, in case you’ve never seen Linda live before, be aware that Linda is hilarious. Her humor is one of my favorite things about her live performances. Though she is endlessly talented and gives her music her all, she does not take herself too seriously. She is humble and gracious and just all out funny – especially when she forgets the words and finds a way to bring the audience on her journey to remember them.

If you ever get the chance to see and hear Linda perform live, don’t hesitate, just go. The combination of all of her talents is not something to be missed. She is truly one of the best vocalists of our time and, speaking as one of her students, an amazing teacher as well.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Linda, and I can honestly say that it has been an immense blessing. Knowledge and guidance pass from her so easily and readily that I can’t even begin to express how much I have learned. She is generous, caring, and kind, talented, funny, engaging, and many other wonderful things. She’s not only focused on helping her students learn vocal technique, but she works thoroughly on how to best perform a song. I’ve learned so much about letting go and trusting myself as a singer so that I can be free to feel and express the song. She’s given me so much confidence, and that is an amazing gift for which I am infinitely grateful. 

I first discovered Linda’s voice when I was around fourteen and heard her recording on the Jekyll & Hyde soundtrack. From that moment on, I was completely hooked. I used to sit in my room and try to imitate that voice, that amazing, amazing voice. But there can never be an imitator. She is a one and only, a true original, and a blessing to the music world, as well as the teaching world.

Linda, we thank you for sharing your unmatchable talent and beautiful self with all of us. From all of your fans and students that you have inspired and continue to inspire, we’re so very thankful that there is “someone like you” in the world.


On the weekend following the Cleveland show, Linda was traveling again, this time to Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Because there is no direct flight to Hattiesburg, Linda and the band flew to New Orleans and then went by car the two hours north to Hattiesburg.

The person who was responsible for bringing Linda to Hattiesburg is Mike Lopinto, the Artistic Director of FestivalSouth. The whole experience for him was a dream-come-true as you will realize when you read his thoughts about Linda’s appearance at the Saenger Theatre.

Mike Lopinto, Artistic Director of FestivalSouth writes…

Mike Lopinto (FestivalSouth Artistic Director), Linda, and Jay Dean (FestivalSouth Orchestra Conductor)

I have been a Linda Eder fan for almost as long as I can remember. I grew up on a steady diet of recordings of great singers, so discovering Linda Eder was a natural progression of sorts. Even though I had lived in Houston during the time she was on stage, I somehow never made it to see her. Though her CDs and mp3’s were never far from my stereo and her song books rarely leave my piano, it was still a goal of mine to one day see her live.

I grew up in the arts so it was not unusual to find myself working in a small community that has a burgeoning arts scene and an internationally recognized School of Music. This led to duties creating and developing a multi-genre arts festival and eventually becoming its’ artistic director. As I faced the challenge of finding headliners for the three-week event, I mused all the dream names and hoped… one day. Then fate stepped in.

The reason Linda Eder performed with a full orchestra in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is a digital fairytale of sorts.

I posted a picture of my quite photogenic cat with appropriate hashtags. Within moments, Linda, an animal lover and activist, started following me. I was flabbergasted and proceeded to thank her in a Facebook message. To my surprise, she responded. Our banter was brief and mostly about my cat when I popped the question – I’m not sure what false bravado inspired me, but of course I invited her to sing at the festival. She sent me her agent’s contact info and I sent her mine. I had that sinking feeling that this was a kind rejection and that I would be speaking to a fast-talking curmudgeon who would laugh at me for being so bold as to ask THE Linda Eder to Mississippi of all places (sadly, that’s happened before). 

To my surprise, within hours, her agent replied and said Linda wanted to come to Hattiesburg – and to thank his cat! Within days the deal was done and this past June, Linda Eder took the stage with our Festival Orchestra for an unforgettable weekend for our musicians, audience and me alike!

I have been fortunate here in our small city, to work with some of the biggest names in the music business because of the incredible orchestra. Yes, right here in Mississippi, I have worked closely with everyone from Placido Domingo to Patti LaBelle and Renee Fleming to Dionne Warwick. Though I am often in awe of the surreal experience, I rarely get star-struck anymore.

I met Linda first at dinner with her band, our conductor and Ellen. For one of the first times in my life, I was star-struck. Here I was sitting next to the kindest, most laid back woman whose eyes are just haunting. We were chatting and all talking like we had known each other for years. It was all at once satisfying and unbelievable. We adjourned and met the next morning for rehearsal with the combo and later with the full orchestra. We work hard to make sure things are as perfect as possible from hospitality to the last phrase of music. I was doubly anxious that Linda would approve.

After several tunes during rehearsal, I went to sit next to Ellen who was observing from a few rows back and she commented, “She’s happy. The band’s thrilled. This is going to be great.” She asked had I ever heard Linda live before and I sadly admitted I had not. She told me it was even better than the recordings. And it was.

That night, a packed house with people from as far away as Dallas and Atlanta came to what has become one of the most incredible concert experiences I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. For almost two hours, Linda belted out showstopper after showstopper to a wildly appreciative audience that applauded like a “Name That Tune” winner at the first hint of each song. Multiple standing ovations throughout the program led to the most resounding final stand en masse that went on for quite a while.

Seemingly unfazed and with some inner strength, Linda signed copies of her CDs and many other items (including a shirt) for over an hour-and-a-half as the line wrapped around the lobby outside the theater. She posed for photos and was genuinely engaging with every last person.
The evening was electric. As the crowd cleared and the stage was struck. Linda, Ellen and I walked to the car. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend and at the same time, finally exhaling completely at the contentment to have checked an item off my bucket list in such an extraordinary fashion.

I was literally beaming on the drive home. Once there, I became “that person” and told my cat everything – half for her and half to convince myself that it really happened.


Never having been to Hattiesburg before, Linda had no idea what to expect, but it didn’t take her long to realize that the city is made up of warm, kind, and generous people and delicious food! On Friday evening, Linda and the band were welcomed by FestivalSouth Orchestra Conductor, Jay Dean, and FestivalSouth Artistic Director, Mike Lopinto, at a great local restaurant. It was a wonderful opportunity for everyone to become acquainted in a relaxed atmosphere and when the day of the show arrived, they would already be like old friends.


Saturday June 13th began with sound check followed by a lengthy rehearsal with the FestivalSouth Orchestra. Linda was thrilled to be performing with this professional orchestra from the first note they played. She realized what an incredible group of musicians she would be performing with that evening.

Following a great rehearsal with Jay Dean and the FestivalSouth Orchestra, Linda met with young performers from Command Performance Broadway Intensive for a Q & A session. These young people listened to Linda’s every word with rapt attention and welcomed the opportunity to ask her questions about breaking into the business. Two of these lucky young performers have shared their thoughts about this incredible opportunity they were given.

Linda with Fan Thomas Nelson


Thomas Nelson, a member of Command Performance Broadway Intensive, writes…

I met Linda Eder at CPBI, and one of the greatest things about her is her natural talent. You can't teach what she does. Her concert was amazing and great for my learning experience. She has a very calm way of performing, like she is so relaxed and comfortable doing what she does. It was awesome to meet her and ask questions about her amazing techniques and methods. It was also great meeting her because she's Linda Eder!!!




Linda with Fan Elise McMurry


Elise McMurry, a member of Command Performance Broadway Intensive, writes…

It was a blast having Linda Eder give me some advice about breaking into the business of Broadway.

After a long day of rehearsing and meeting with young students, it was finally time for the concert at the Saenger Theatre. The audience filed in with eager anticipation, many having never heard Linda before, either live or on her recordings. From the reaction after Linda’s opening number, you would have thought the audience was made up of long time fans from the enthusiastic applause and cheers. This response continued throughout the show from the first song to the last along with numerous standing ovations. A few fans who were in attendance have written about the evening from their point of view.


Lynn Smith from Mississippi writes…

I was Jay Dean's administrative assistant for six years for the University of Southern Mississippi Symphony and FestivalSouth. I have seen everything he has done for years and paid all the bills for all of it. Believe me when I say that Linda is the best ever. And we have hosted the absolute best here in Hattiesburg. It was simply one of the most wonderful concerts I have ever attended, and I have seen the best in the world, live, both here and in Europe.

I have loved Linda’s artistry for years. It was an honor to be in the audience for her first show in Hattiesburg. I sing professionally as well and I dislike diva attitudes among performers. I immediately recognized that Linda is not a diva like person. I could tell that she genuinely loves to share her gift. She understands what performing is all about. Believe me. I know great singing. I also know great singing with great giving. And Linda is a giver. She touched my insides.

And this further solidifies why she is so gifted. Singing is just an extension of her soul. It is her, turned inside out. It ain't about her. It is about her giving. I get it. She gave herself to the audience. Linda is gifted and genuine and kind. It is so evident when she performs.

We went away changed. I know everybody in Hattiesburg. They are all emotional and different after the night before last. Tell her we thank her very much. Jay and Mike have spoken very highly of her, and I would love to say how much we love Linda.

I will meet Linda one day, I am sure. She will be back. She knows we are also genuine. Music is the thing that heals us. It makes us better. It will be a while before I calm down about this. I'll listen to Linda’s album this week and relive it and deal with how it changed me. I am excited about the future and her possible return to Mississippi.


Linda with Fan Jaime Miley


Jaime Miley from Mississippi writes…

How wonderful to see such a command performance by Linda Eder at the Southern Music Festival. She is a rarity in the world of performing arts: An individual with a gift from God and the benevolence of a saint. Thank you, through all of these years, for bringing the truth of your music to the soul of our hearts!





Betsy Rowell from Mississippi writes…

I’ve been waiting for Linda’s concert from the moment it was announced she would be featured at FestivalSouth 2015! I would not be disappointed! It was an exciting evening for the sold-out crowd in the Historic Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg, MS. The story behind her Mississippi debut is delightful and shows how social media impacts us. Suffice it to say, Linda succumbed to a beautiful cat! 

What a treat to have Linda Eder in our community. She walked on stage in a striking black and white frock and immediately held the audience spellbound for the remainder of the performance. Her voice is incredible and her command of a variety of genres of music made for an evening of outstanding entertainment. 

It was fun getting to know Linda. Her concert was interspersed with antidotes of her musical career, starting as a youngster all the way to her Broadway favorites.  She had great fun with the audience and while signing autographs was a true gem of an entertainer. 

I have been a fan for many years so to have her appear in my home town was a real treat. I enjoy her music and that very large, smooth voice! What a range! I think my favorite part of the evening was just simply the fact that she was performing with the FestivalSouth Orchestra.  


Linda with Fan Kevin Breazeale

Kevin Breazeale, Director and Choreographer for the Command Performance Broadway Intensive, writes …

The ever incomparable Linda Eder gave a most anticipated and highly lauded performance to the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi during FestivalSouth, a music and arts celebration.

As director and choreographer for the Command Performance Broadway Intensive, I can unequivocally say that Linda is as much as a gem in person as she dazzles and delights on stage. She so patiently offered our CPBI students insight on what it means to be a multifaceted performer and the guts and the glory that come and go with showbiz. I've been a fan of Linda’s talents for many years and now I can add “a personal favorite” to the list! 

Thank you for shining your star on us here in Mississippi.