Saturday, April 17, 2010
Getting ready for May 7th: Backstage with Maddalena and Bruce
Memo from Maddalena:
Good tidings to all our Opera lovers that grace the pews of St. Paul's on the first Friday of each month. There is much planning and details that go into each performance, from contacting singers, and musicians, coordinating volunteer efforts, logistics of the actual program including rehearsals and finally the kitchen prep for the refreshment hour. Isabella and I never lose our excitement and enthusiasm for presenting what we feel is a quality production. We love being privy to the "behind the scenes" activity and think that our audience will enjoy being in the inner circle of interesting tidbits. For instance.......did you know that our very own Dawn Zahralban is a certified open water scuba diver? Taking all AP courses in high school her dream was to be a marine biologist. Lucky for us that her interests were redirected when she fell in love with classical music. She will be running 261/2 miles in the GO! Saint Louis marathon on April 11 along side 170,000 runners. After her practice runs, Dawn takes ice baths!!
A note from Bruce Johnson:
I often think about the humble beginnings of the Opera Night series. A dozen or so listeners and a hand full of singers taking turns singing in front of an upright piano that sorely needed a tune up. Singers would often choose their selections on the spur of the moment and sometimes a listener would suggest an aria or song. It really was a lot of fun for everyone involved.
Well, Opera Night quickly outgrew Portofino Cafe and we were very fortunate to have St Paul’s available when the time came to move. This venue has been good for the development of the series because of the large space, fine acoustics, and accommodating church members. It was a good move.
As the series develops we continue to work to find new ways to help it grow and improve. Our latest “move” is to register Opera Night as a corporation. Hopefully, this will give us the flexibility and the structure that will allow us to develop the resources and programs we will need to realize the potential of Opera Night.
One possible change that could occur is the inclusion of dramatic scenes and set design in our programs. Another possibility is the production of an opera. One of the more ambitious ideas for future growth would be the goal of building an opera house in this area.
One thing I always try to keep in mind when thinking about the possibilities, is that whatever we do we have to make sure continues to be lots of fun for all involved. that is a humble, but
Opera Night Highlights....
Cheryl Savitt-Spielman, soprano, has taught vocal music and chorus in NYC and Long Island public schools for over twenty years. Previously, Cheryl was a principal singer with the LIGHT OPERA of MANHATTAN (LOOM) repertory company, performing leading roles as the widow Sonia in "The Merry Widow", Margot in "The Desert Song", Lady Kathryn in "The "Vagabond King", Kathie in "The Student Prince", Luisa in "A Night in Venice", Yum-Yum in "The Mikado", Josephine in "H.M.S. Pinafore", Julia in "The Grand Duke", and Elsie Maynard in "The Yeomen of the Guard". She received her B.A. degree from Sarah Lawrence College and her masters in music education from Hunter College.
(Cheryl will be performing on April 16th at the Steinway Gallery. Details below)