Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2015 season


All performances take place on Long Island, New York

Suffolk County and Nassau County

Upcoming events: 

Opera Night in Oyster Bay
Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 4:00 pm

Christ Church

61 E Main Street

$15 minimum donation

call 631- 261-8808

Professional vocalists perform excerpts from favorite operas.

Overture to Don Giovanni, four hand duet
James Besser, Isabella Eredita Johnson, pianists

Act I, scene I
"La ci darem" duet

Act I Finale including the Gala (Party scene)
  • Lance La Bianca, pianist: Fantasy in d minor/D major KV397(385g), Mozart
  • Huntington Community Chorus, Judy Leopold, director: "O my luve's like a red, red rose", Clausen

Donna Anna's aria "Non mi dir"

Act II Finale including the Gala (Party scene)
  • Lance La Bianca, pianist:Sonata in D major, K. 400, Sonata in G major K.146 , Scarlatti
  • Jessica Stolte Bender, soprano "Signore Ascolta" from Turandot by Puccini
  • Lorraine Helvick, mezzo soprano "O Don Fatale" from Don Carlo by Verdi
  • Steve Fredericks, bass "Ella giammai m'amo" from Don Carlo by Verdi
  • Huntington Community Chorus: "Come live with me and be my love", Dickau

Keith Milkie, Don Giovanni
Jeremy Griffin, Leporello
Anna Viemeister, Donna Anna
Jessica Vadney, Donna Elvira
Danielle Davis, Zerlina
Arthur Lai, Don Ottavio
Marcos Sola, Masetto
Steven Fredericks, Commendatore

Memos from Maddalena: 

click HERE for more details

Opera Night Returns to Oyster Bay

Featuring highlights from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Opera Night returns to the Oyster Bay community with a gala program of classical music, Sunday, April 19, 4:00 p.m., Christ Church, 61 E. Main Street, $15 minimum donation.

Also gracing the afternoon’s program will be arias from favorite operas, virtuoso piano performances, and choral selections from the Huntington Community Chorus, under the direction of Judy Leopold.

Of special interest—and charm—for opera enthusiasts who attend, is the “parlor setting,” a pleasant and relaxed experience that harkens back to the 19th century, when music was performed in the parlors and living rooms of the elite.

Among the cast of professional singers are Manhattan-based  Anna Viemeister, Jessica Vadney, sopranos; Jeremy Griffin, bass baritone; baritones Keith Milkie, Marcos Sola, and Steve Fredericks, bass.  Continuing performers from the Opera Night family are sopranos Danielle Davis, Jessica Stolte Bender,  mezzo-soprano Lorraine Helvick,  and tenor Arthur Lai.  

Recognized pianists James Besser and Isabella Eredita Johnson accompanies the entire cast, and Lance LaBianca performs virtuoso piano selections from Mozart and Scarlatti.

For additional information, call (631) 261-8808 or visit www.operanight.org.

Following concert: 
May 1, 2015 7:30 pm
Opera Night in Northport
270 Main Street
(Suffolk County, New York) 

Opera Night Gala, June 20th in Huntington


Photo above (recent concert)
March 6th, 2015 7:30 pm

Opera Night in Northport
270 Main Street
(Suffolk County, New York)
$10 donation

March Newsletter (click the "M")

Opera Night honors

Roz Joel, Feb.15, 1922-July 13, 2014

photo above: Roz's 92nd birthday with friends. 
Opera Night's most enthusiastic member. We thank Roz for her joy and love of music which she shared with so many of us. . 

Past concerts:
October 26th Opera Night in Garden City
Garden City Museum
for information: 516-746-8900

October 26, 3p.m. (Seating at 2:30) Opera for a Sunday Afternoon:
Production by Opera Night, Long Island. Tickets available at the A. T. Stewart Exchange on the lower level of the Museum. Call: 516-746-8900
Performers: Jessica Stolte Bender, soprano, Lorraine Helvick, mezzo soprano, Arthur Lai, tenor

A review by Maddalena Harris:
"Album leaf" by Saint Saens performed by Isabella and James set the stage for what evolved into a wonderful evening of music appreciation. This masterful piano duet highlighted the skillful interplay of two artistes and the written notes on the sheet. For these gifted pianists to interpret great music and then share these works of genius.. well what can I say but its a beautiful thing! (especially for those of us whose lives are enriched through music). Bravo tutti due! Bass-Baritone, Gary commands the stage when he sang "La calunnia" from Rossini's Barber of Seville. Later on we were treated to a Broadway classic, "Luck be a lady tonight," from Guys and Dolls. Gary demonstrates that opera singers are a versatile bunch, and lightening up the drama and depth of opera is a refreshing departure every now and then. Soprano, Danielle takes us to Rome when she performs "Vissi d'arte" from Tosca, a heart wrenching plea to God to release her from her tragic circumstance. We all share in her sorrow as she sings in a most engaging fashion,"Dio, why have done me this way." Tenor, Arthur performed for us "Ecco ridente" from Barber of Seville. Arthur's love of opera is not lost on us. We feel his portrayal of Count Almaviva in this aria is of one whose heart is in his hands and his vulnerability gets him caught in life's fickle paths. This is the charge to the singers, to take what the great composers write about send it out there for us to make of it as we will. Art imitates life, and the opera composers know this all too well. "Ecco ridente" is an example of the bel canto style. The words melodic and poetic as one stanza reads,"O moments of love ! Oh sweet contentedness! Precious moment it has no equal!" Thank-you, Arthur. The vastness of the opera world is ours for the asking and soprano, Theresa's repertoire is impressive. Singing "Quando m'en vo," she vamps it up, sits with our patrons at the cafe and lets us know in no uncertain terms that "men find her most desireable." Cheryl is a soprano with a flair for center stage and she easily enveloped us in sweet refrain when she sang "Vilia" by Lehar. James presented Lizst's "Tristan and Isolda" transcription. Our listeners were enrapt. This is no ordinary work in the piano literature. In spite of its difficulty and demands, James managed to caress each note that needed caressing and dominated the notes that called for his control and passion. He leaves us wanting more, and yet we remained fully sated and happy. But then we expect nothing less of a pianist who is complex, driven, sweet and intense. As a bit of trivia,it took Vladimir Horowitz three days to record this piece to his satisfaction and then four days later he died in Nov.1989.

The Opera Night staff would like to thank the Universalist Unitarian for its generosity of heart and enthusiasm for the arts. We look ahead for a busy November and December. Check our web site for details, www.operanight.org

Recent program (October 26th in Garden City)

"Zueignung" , op. 10 #1 by Richard Strauss
Jessical Stolte Bender

"Habanera" from Carmen by Georges Bizet
Lorraine Helvick

"La Donna e mobile" from Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

"Quando m'en vo" from La Boheme, by Giacomo Puccini
Jessica, soprano

"Ai nostri monti" from Il Trovatore by Giuseppe Verdi
Arthur and Lorraine

"Air de Lia" from L'enfant prodigue" by Claude Debussy

"O don fatale" from Don Carlo by Giuseppe Verdi

"Ecco ridente" from Barber of Seville by Gioacchino Rossini

"Ave Maria" from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni

"Lakme" Duet by Leo Delibes
Jessica and Lorraine

(Encore: Libiamo from La Triaviata by Giuseppe Verdi
with Jessica, Arthur, Lorraine and Audience)

Opera Night's July, 2014 concert in Oyster Bay
July 12th, 2014 Saturday 7:30 pm
 Opera Night in Oyster Bay
61 East Main Street

Ariana Warren, mezzo soprano
"Things Change, Jo" from Little Women
"Faites lui mes aveux" from Faust

Theresa Dunigan, soprano
Ain't it a pretty night (Susannah)
Si, mi chiamano Mimi (La bohème)

Jessica Stolte Bender
The Song to the Moon
"Chi'l bel sogno" (Doretta's aria) from La Rondine

Arthur Lai, tenor
"Vaghissima sembianza" by S. Donaudy.
"Ah si, ben mio" from Verdi's "ll Trovatore"
Duet with Lorraine: "Ai nostri monti" from "Il Trovatore" with me?

Mary DeMarco Lee, soprano 
Ebben! Non andro lontano, La Wally

Lorraine Helvick, mezzo soprano
Mon Couer s'ouvre a ta vois, Samson and Delilah, Saint Saens
Joan of Arc's Aria from Pique Dame

Jeanny Schwartz, mezzo soprano
Come away, Death, Roger Quilter
Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffman, duet Jacques Offenbach with Marie Sanfratello, soprano

Maurizio Caza, tenor
Il mio Tesoro -Don Giovanni
Questa o quella Rigoletto

Heather Wells, soprano
'Steal me Sweet Thief' from Menotti's the Old Maid and the Thief
'Les Filles de Cadix' by Leo Delibes

Dawn Zahralban, soprano
Poor Wandering One, Gilbert and Sullivan
Lo! Hear the Gentle Lark by Henry Bishop 
Leslie Strait, guest flutist

7:30 pm: pre-concert of piano selections performed by James Besser and Isabella Eredita Johnson. Mendelssohn's "Allegro Brillant" op.92, four-hand piano duet,
Debussy's "Clair de Lune" and Improvisation

Below: Past concerts include: 
Sunday, February 23, 2017

Friday, January 3rd, 2014
Add caption

A note from our assistant director:
What has become of our Opera House? 

Inisfada: 1920-2013
Nearly half of the immense, 93-year-old St. Ignatius
demolished, Dec. 2013

Dreams are never dashed, only transformed and created anew.  Adversity 
can empower us in our quest to further the good news about opera. All our 
patrons know that one of our biggest and most triumphant galas took
place in the Manhasset mansion "Inisfada" on May 19, 2013. How we 
dreamed and fantasized having our own Opera home there, made many 
phone calls and worked hard towards that goal. Although that majestic 
estate has been reduced to rubble, it only served to strengthen our resolve 
to shore up the new "Opera Night" series in many positive ways.  Our board
of directors have grown in numbers, and we hold brainstorming 
sessions often to see how we can change, grow and improve. Our schedule
 of events are planned in six month increments and are usually posted in 
the back of our programs.  The monies we raise are judiciously spent towards
 this end, many times on a shoe string budget.  We have gained our 
not for profit status and our generous contributors can accrue tax incentives 
by donating.  The stipends we can give our singers assures us of their 
professionalism and participation in our concerts. Our contacts are growing
 as is our wonderful reputation. 2014 will see additional venues, new
 singers, and excitement that grows with every performance.  We now can
 offer free passes to newcomers, with hopes that they fall in love with what we 
 do.  Let us know your ideas, help us fund our projects and bring friends to 
make a great night of it! 

"Art on the Vine" Opera Night performs for the Friends of the Seminary of Lloyd Harbor
Sunday, December 8, 2013

Opera Comes to Garden City
photos, click  here


November 17th:
Opera comes to Garden City
Garden City Historical Museum
Sunday at 3:00
Barbara Divis, soprano
Lorraine Helvick, mezzo soprano
Robert Murphy, tenor
Isabella Eredita Johnson, piano accompanist
reservations required.
Call:Garden City Historical Society Museum

109 11th StGarden CityNY 11530
(516) 741-4145

program: "Habanera" from Carmen by Georges Bizet
Lorraine Helvick, mezzo soprano
"Quanto e Bella" from L'elisire d'amore by Gaetano Donizetti
Robert Murphy, tenor
"O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini
Barbara Divis, soprano
"Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix" from Samson and Delila by Camille Saint Saen
Lorraine Helvick
"Un bel di vedremo" from Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini
Barbara Divis
"Ah, mes amis" from the Daughter of the Regiment by Gaetano Donizetti
Robert Murphy
Duet from Lakme by Leo Delibes
Barbara Divis and Lorraine Helvick

November 15th
Sons of Italy of Franklin Square
Celebration of Verdi's 200's birthday
Barbara Divis, soprano
Isabella Eredita Johnson, piano accompanist

for additional info: 631-261-8808

(read about our 10th year anniversary here)

Below: An Opera Night Highlight that took place
May 19th, 2013 
Opera Night Gala
at the "Inisfada" mansion in Manhasset

mansion: 1920-2013

more photos by Ed Lee, click here

This large body of professional operatic singers plus their piano accompanist will present an entertaining assortment of vocal excerpts from famous and beloved operas.
for information: vivaldi222@aol.com

pictured (above) Opera Night in South Huntington, December 1, 2012
Bethany Presbyterian Church

(Below) Pianist Roman Markovich plays Chopin 

Opera Night Gala
Sunday, October 28th, 2012

 Photo credit: Mike Krasowitz

Click here for more photos-- enjoy the many photos taken by Mike Krasowitz and Bruce Johnson.



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Who Are We?

Opera Night Long Island is a not-for-profit community-based arts organization. It started seven years ago when Isabella Eredita Johnson took command of a honky-tonk piano at Caffe Portafino on Main Street in Northport and invited a handful of residents each month to enjoy an evening of classical music. Since then, Opera Night’s audiences have grown substantially. Our performances now take place at St. Paul’s Church and other venues on Long Island. Audiences typically number between 100 and 200 people.

What Do We Do?

Nowadays, attending an opera or a classical music concert in New York City can cost a family hundreds of dollars. At Opera Night Long Island, we provide quality performances for a fraction of that amount at easily accessible local venues. Although our concerts focus primarily on opera arias, our professional artists also perform art songs, Neapolitan classics, show tunes, and piano pieces. Enthusiastic audiences enjoy listening to a variety of musical masterpieces.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

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Opera Night in Lindenhurst