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Friday, Nov. 28, 2014

'Frozen' star Santino Fontana discusses experience with Mormon Tabernacle Choir in behind-the-scenes video

Recommended by Megan Christensen, Deseret News

Published: Tue, Aug. 26 9:36 p.m. MDT

Behind-the-Scenes: Santino Fontana on his Experience with the Choir

When Santino Fontana, the voice behind "Frozen's" Prince Hans, was asked to perform with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the annual Pioneer Day Concert in July, it wasn't the first time he'd heard of the choir.

In a behind-the-scenes video released on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir YouTube channel Aug. 18, Fontana described the choir as being part of American culture.

Fontana, who is from Richland, Washington, said he grew up among a large Mormon population, and some of his best friends are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

"I remember seeing (the choir) on PBS, but I never had a real in-depth understanding until I knew I was going to be doing this," Fontana said.

Fontana, who previously performed in Roger's and Hammerstein's "Cinderella" on Broadway, said he has several friends who worked with him in the production who were from Utah.

"They told me, 'The organist is incredible,’ ” Fontana said. "And Mack (Wilberg) is a genius. If I had to sing with another choir and a huge orchestra, I would want him leading the way."

Fontana said that he's performed in seven Broadway shows in seven Broadway venues, and they don't compare to performing in the LDS Conference Center.

"The experience of walking out from the backstage to onstage is overwhelming, it's so huge," Fontana said. "I feel like it was pretty easy to connect with the audience because it's still strangely intimate. Even though it's 21,000 seats, it actually feels very comfortable."

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has released additional behind-the-scenes videos from the Pioneer Day Concert, including Fontana discussing his invitation to sing with the choir and the making of the "Happy Medley."

Megan Marsden Christensen writes for the Faith and Family sections. She recently graduated from BYU-Idaho with a bachelor's degree in communications.

Behind-the-Scenes: Happy Medley - Santino Fontana

Behind-the-Scenes: Pioneer Day Concert Preparation with Santino Fontana

Recommended
1. Anchovey
Provo, UT,
Aug. 27, 2014

What a fun, middle-of-the-week article! The links are a delight to watch and listen to...! What a wonderful world this could be if we were all so happy....! Thank you to the Tabernacle Choir and Santino Fontana for the happiness they share and for the writer of this article. A perfect way to tackle the day! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!