Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2016 season



OPERA NIGHT, LONG ISLAND
Performances take place on Long Island, New York
Suffolk County and Nassau County

Opera Night 2016
Mark calendars for upcoming concerts: 

For those interested in purchasing tickets in advance, please click here

Save these dates: 

October 8th, Saturday Night, 7:00 pm Opera Night Halloween Celebration in Northport (270 Main Street)
$20

November 4th, Friday Night, 7:30 pm Opera Night in Huntington Station (425 Maplewood Road)
$15

December 18th, Sunday, 4:00 pm Opera Night Holiday Party in Northport
$20

January 14th (Snow date, January 21), Saturday, 7:00 Opera Night New Years Celebration in Huntington (Browns Road)
$20

most recent event: 




The Barber of Seville by Rossini's most renown aria is "Largo al factotum," or as we lay people like to just say "Figaro." It is considered one of the most difficult baritone arias to perform. Our newcomer to Opera Night, Eric McKeever began our evening with this most jubilant piece. Our patrons were hanging on to every tongue twisting syllable of this joyous, exciting, and effervescent aria that Eric sung with skill that most certainly engaged us all. Our very own Lorraine Helvick, a superb mezzo, prepared and served up Verdi's "O don fatale." Dramatic flair are the words I can't help but to describe her interpretation of this most gripping aria. Do we need the translation to feel her pain? On no! Not when this mezzo sings the tale of a woman exiled to a convent and curses her own beauty (the cause she believes of all her suffering). Brava Lorraine.
Danielle Davis, our Divina soprano, has mastered Verdi's "O patria mia." The untenable predicament that Aida finds herself in as an Ethiopian princess and was captured by the Egyptians, left us all feeling the anguish that Verdi intended us to feel. This is an amazing aria that only accomplished singers love to have in their repertoire and Danielle has made this masterpiece her own. Arthur Lai thrilled us with his performance of Massanet's "Pourquoi ne reveiller." This charismatic tenor is a real crowd pleaser and his choices of arias are diverse and beautifully delivered.
Coloratura! The thesaurus tells us that the synonyms of this word are "melodic, song like, tuneful, mellifluous, and poetic." All these words describe Asuka Uchida's performance of Gounod's "Je veux vivre." We loved it. Gary Lorentzson's role of Rigoletto lends credence to a man who's tortured, because his daughter has been abducted. Gary's deep and resonant voice is rich in expression and served to round out our program that featured, sopranos, mezzo, tenor, and baritone .

The piano accompaniment was unparalleled this Opera Night at the UUF. Director Isabella Johnson took control of the evening in superb fashion and brilliant artistry. Often times, the piano takes the place of a full orchestra, but the skill involved in developing the instrumental colors is indeed a challenge that Isabella meets head on. The singers who come to us unexpectedly, lend a fresh and spontaneous element to the performance. The hallmark of our Opera Night series is the dedication of our singers. They are the professionals that keep alive the Opera repertoire and bring to us the joy of music appreciation.



Opera Night in Huntington
August 20, 2016 ~ 7pm
Isabella Eredita Johnson, Executive Director, Pianist
Danielle Davis, Acting Artistic Director, Soprano
Act I
Largo al factotum della citta……………….......Rossini
Eric McKeever, baritone
Amour! viens aider ma faiblesse!...........Saint-Saƫns
Lorraine Helvick, mezzo
Dein ist mein Ganzes herz………………………...Lehar
Bruce Solomon, baritone
O patria mia…………………...…..........................Verdi
Danielle Davis, soprano
Cortigianni, vil razza dannata…..…………....……Verdi
Gary Lorentzson, baritone
Dei miei bollenti spiriti……........…………………..Verdi
Arthur Lai, tenor
Sull'aria ……………………………….……………...Mozart
Danielle Davis, soprano and Asuka Uchida, soprano
~ Intermission ~
Act II
La ci darem la mano……………....………………...…..Mozart
Asuka Uchida and Gary Lorentzson
Me voglia fanne casa………………………………....Donizetti
Bruce Solomon
Je veux vivre…....………………………………………..Gounod
Asuka Uchida
Infin che un brando vindice……………………………....Verdi
Gary Lorentzson
Pourquoi me reveiller..………………....................Massenet
Arthur Lai
O don fatale…….……………………..….………………….Verdi
Lorraine Helvick
Per me giunto………………………………………….….....Verdi
Eric McKeever
Dich teure Halle……………………………………….....Wagner
Danielle Davis
Please help make the concert an enjoyable experience
for everyone by:
o Silencing all electronic devices
o Refraining from flash photography





Our growing up was rich with music. The mandolin, accordion, trumpet and piano were as much a staple in our home as were flour, Parmigiano, and tomato sauce. One grouping fed our hearts, and the other fed our stomachs. If our Sicilian mother, Giuseppina, wasn't singing in the kitchen, then our Neopolitan father Filippo was either teaching trumpet to the boys or playing instruments himself. It was no small wonder then, that my younger sister, Isabella, took to the old piano like a fish in water, and made teaching and performing her life's work. Did I say work? No, I meant her life's love! We really weren't exposed to Opera, save for arias contemporized by singers like Mario Lanza, Sergio Franchi and Tito Schipa, because my Dad would say "Madama Butterfly make me too sad" and my Mom would say that the arias would "go into your brain." When the opportunity to accompany singers at a local cafe some twelve years ago presented itself, Isabella began an adventure that would take us to wonderful places and I hung on for the ride. The series "Opera Night" was born. Over the years, the caliber of singers has been stellar, the venue host always gracious and accommodating, and a future full of the prospects of bringing great music to our devoted patrons ensued. Many accomplished musicians have graced our stages as have interesting characters. The world of art and music, which Opera Night often pairs together, can be most colorful. Singers have gone on with our blessings to further their careers, and we joyfully are thrilled when they return to perform. Our family has grown to include interns, artistic directors, designers, chamber musicians, and a lovely growing audience. We thank our donors of the past, and we ask future patrons to help our series move forward. What would our parents have thought if they were still singing and cooking in the kitchen and playing instruments in the living room? I can almost hear them now.  

July, 2016
 July 1st, (Friday) at 8:00 pm: Opera Night, Long Island performs in Huntington Station)




Robert Cinnante, tenor
Lorraine Helvick, mezzo soprano
Lauren Haber, soprano
Bruce Solomon, baritone
Mina Cuesta, soprano

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Opera Night in Northport 
Saturday, May 7th, 2016 3:00 pm




Memos from Maddalena


At the helm of Opera Night's production of "Suor Angelica," was soprano with a flair, Danielle Davis. Her artistry of vocal and administrative acumen was only surpassed by her ability to orchestrate an extraordinary event such as this Puccini's masterpiece. The eight chosen singers, in full concert attire were assembled and rehearsed by Danielle, Jessica Stolte Bender, and pianist Isabella, to near perfection. The somber tale of a woman banished away to a convent because of disgracing her noble family, was underlined and driven forward by the wonderful pianist, Jesse Pieper, and performed by singers, Danielle Davis, Kristin Starkey, Jessica Stolte Bender, Theresa Dunigan, Sonya Rice, Lorraine Helvick, Kate Wood and Emillee Carratala. A tear was not spared by our patrons, nor were the compliments during the reception. But then again, the elements were all there. The genius of Puccini, the beautiful voices, the storyline of love, loss, scandal, betrayal, and unbounded human cruelty. For this is the essence of opera, and when our opera devotees come and become a part of Opera Night's event such as Suor Angelica, an emergence of creativity on all levels arise, and we are indeed awed and made better for it. It is a held notion that although Puccini was not political, his operas were a way of sending a message to a larger audience. In a review of "Il Trittico" from a 1920 New York Times paper, a critic speaks of women who were weeping in the aisles. When Danielle Davis sings "Senza Mama," I too get weepy. Oh those Italians! How impressive to us that eight women in limited space, one opera, one pianist, could fill the room with so much joy as it did. Special mention to contralto, Kristin Starkey in her gripping role of "La Principessa." Puccini understood the range of the singing voice, and how the musical score can enliven all emotions in us, good and evil, and translate this to the audience. The production was a hit, and there is now talk of a repeat performance possibly in a new venue. At the risk of blabbing a secret, I hear word around that a "Tosca" presentation is in the works. You didn't hear that from me.   
















Sunday, August 5, 2012


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Opera Night in Lindenhurst