Chautauqua Women's Club
Edward Barnes


An Affair to Remember: Veronica Bennett, Phil Spector & the making of "BE MY BABY"

Featuring Composer/Producer Edward Barnes


$75 per person

Hors d’oeuvres & Wine Reception from 5:00pm-5:30pm; Lecture Starts at 5:30pm.


Early 60s rock-n-roll, girl groups, Santa Monica Boulevard recording studios and an illicit love affair between a Washington Heights teenager and a crazy genius L.A. record producer. The story of 19 year-old singer Veronica (“Ronnie”) Bennett, who in 1963 became the musical and romantic obsession of the eccentric but gifted Phil Spector and gave voice to the rock classic “BE MY BABY.” Producer/Composer Edward Barnes takes a behind-the-scenes look at the “bad girl” from New York who inspired such passion in Spector that he turned his songwriting skills and recording studio into a powerhouse of creativity, manipulating his band, backup vocalists and tape decks in imaginative and innovative new ways to showcase her talent. The resulting multi-million selling “BE MY BABY,” not only captured Ronnie’s love but was a milestone in the evolution of rock, forever changing the music industry and the very concept of what a record could be. The truth behind an unusual romance and what Rolling Stone calls “one of the most influential songs ever written.”

about edward barnes:

Edward Barnes is an award-winning composer, producer and non-profit executive leader. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he is the winner of Guggenheim and NEA Fellowships, and the Stephen Sondheim Award for “the creation of innovative musical theater.” His opera, musical theater, and theater scores have been produced by L.A. Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lincoln Center Theater Company, Minnesota Opera, Mark Taper Forum, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Virginia Opera, Opera Company of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Company of Minneapolis and many more. As a producer, Edward’s credits include Tracy Letts’ play, Superior Donuts, on Broadway, Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at Carnegie Hall (starring Jane Fonda, Nathan Gunn and Victoria Clark), Gordon’s A Coffin In Egypt (starring Frederica von Stade) for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, and cast recordings of Kurt Weill’s Knickerbocker Holiday (Ghostlight/Sh-k-boom Records) and The Road of Promise (Naxos Records). He additionally has been Associate Producer for Teatro Paseo La Plaza in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and music producer of radio shows for Night Kitchen Radio Theater, SiriusXM, and WYNC/The Greene Space in New York City. A leading non-profit administrator, Edward has served as Executive Director of Gotham Chamber Opera, Producing Director of MasterVoices, and Managing Director of American Lyric Theater. A popular teacher and public speaker, he has for 10 years led sold-out seminars on musical theater and popular music at RoundTable Cultural Seminars in New York and is now on the faculty of the Juilliard School.