Tuesday, September 18, 2012

2017 season

Performances take place on Long Island, New York
Suffolk County and Nassau County

Opera Night, 2018-2019
We have a new web-page

to reach the director, contact:
Isabella at vivaldi222@aol.com

This large body of professional operatic singers plus their piano accompanist will present an entertaining assortment of vocal excerpts from famous and beloved operas. This promises to be an entertaining evening for opera lovers and newcomers to opera as well!

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Opera Night, Spring, 2017

If Opera is nothing else, it is surely honest in its portrayal of love lost, lost found, jilted lovers, infidelity and more. And when added to the brilliance of the arias and overtures, what can we say we have? Nothing but a spectacular experience for the audience and singers as well.  The singers that Opera Night boasts to feature, feel they are in great company with professionalism, camaraderie , and talent abounding.  Saturday’s performance was nothing shy of superb.  Under the direction of Danielle Davis, the program came together flawlessly and artistically.  With the artful hand of Danielle, the evening was alive with a roster of a tenor, baritone, bass and five sopranos.  The attendance was good, as I am sure many music lovers have much to choose from on a Saturday night.  We are filled with gratitude that the choice they make is to come and hear great music!  The Barber of Seville’s most animated and exciting aria, “Figaro,” as many know it as, was sung by baritone, Jonathan Green. The spirit and fun that he brought to this piece held all of us captured by his command of a most challenging aria. We were wowed. Mary DeMarco sings one of my favorites, “Signore, Ascolta!” from Puccini’s Turandot.  I spent many evenings “you-tubing” arias by the great sopranos and this piece I return to time and time again.  “Sola, perduto, abbandonata” from Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” is one of opera’s dramatic arias that Danielle is undaunted to present. Manon is heartbroken, dying, and we are transported to a place of profound sorrow. Danielle’s beautiful and powerful voice takes us there and I do all I can to stifle back tears.  Kofi Hayford presents a Rachmaninoff aria “Aleko’s cavatina.” Now if you are a Rachmaninoff connoisseur, did you also know he wrote Opera?  I didn’t. This polished basso, so wonderful, so measured, keeps our eyes fixed forward and our ears attentive.  Listening to Kofi is a sensory pleasure unlike no other. We hope he comes back to Opera Night.  Terri Dierkes sings “Porgi amor,” an Opera buff’s delight.  Mozart’s operas can be playful and can also be gripping.  He is an unmatched genius of the music world, and Terri sings this aria with a soulful deliverance.  Just grand!  The Pearlfishers duet by Bizet, in the hands of Jonathan Green and Lindell Carter was marvelous.  This piece truly is a key moment in opera.  The story tells of a triangular relationship and how sometimes friendships win over in the end.  Asuko Uchida, soprano, takes us in a slightly different direction as she sings “My Lord and Master” from the musical, The King and I. Playing the role of “Tuptim,” Asuko charms us with her sweetness and grace. Kylie Lavernchik sings Puccini’s “O mio Babbino, caro,” with a composure that belies her youth.  Kylie is a high school senior now accepted to two distinguished colleges and we know singing at Opera Night can only be an asset towards her musical goals and endeavors. We wish her well. Giovanni Longo, piano accompanist, has played for Opera Night before.  With capable hands, Giovanni knows the repertoire so well, that he is able to support and enhance the singers.

Our newsletters always update our coming events, and if need be, you can always call 631-261-8808, and speak with our director, Isabella Johnson.

Review from April 8th, 2017 performance:  

Isabella, Bruce and I were quite taken by the unique design of our performance venue at the Church of our Savior, April 8th in Manhasset.  As we waited for singers to arrive, we looked into the courtyard that was unexpectedly bursting with hyacinths, daffodils and crocus, despite this very chilly spring.  The singers arrived one by one and hurriedly
began rehearsing.  The perks of the assistant director (yours truly) are many.  I get to enjoy the back stage banter, the flurry of activity, the nervousness that is part and parcel of the performing experience.  I am there to be a calm and happy entity and hopefully to set the tone for a smooth event.  The singers are a talented and colorful lot, and it is always a joy to see how the evening unfolds.  Now on to the program!

Danielle Davis is so much more than an accomplished soprano, artistic director, and stage choreographer. While I can go on to list her many attributes, I can see that she collects these accolades to her art as a testament to all her hard work and research.  Danielle sings “Vissi d’arte” from Tosca by Puccini.  One of my favorite arias is done with a depth of emotion that she imparts so well to this role.  Tosca is beseeching God to deliver her from her grief, and indeed we feel her pain.  Danielle brings to life a broken woman, victimized by her circumstances.  Sitting in the audience, I am moved by Danielle’s account of this operatic tragedy.  She pours her heart into this aria, and yes, she is Tosca.

Gary Lorentzson, baritone, has sung for Opera Night on many occasions. Truly an audience favorite who can both do serious opera as well as musical theater.  Tonight he pairs up with Mary DeMarco, soprano, and hand and hand they revel in new love as they sing “La ci darem la mano” from Marriage of Figaro by Mozart. The sweetness of this piece has a freshness that transcends time and place.

Eowyn Driscoll, a jewel of a contralto, is performing Wagner’s “Weiche, Woton, Weich” from the “Ring.” This is the first of four dramas that Wagner gives to the world of opera. So dramatic and challenging is this aria, that Eowyn (clad in a gorgeous, burgundy, off the shoulder gown) drives it forward with a passion and love of opera that soon becomes apparent to all of us who are true music lovers.  Wow! That is all I can say.

Max Vitagliano, tenor extrordinaire, sings “Di ad Irene” from Atalanta by Handel.  He brings to us a pastoral aria that was composed in 1736 celebrating the marriage of Frederic, Prince of Wales. This very complex story line delivered superbly to us, holds our audience throughout his vocal gymnastics, never second guessing where he is taking us on this saga of a journey. 

Rachel Hippert, soprano, ties up our evening with a soulful and stylized rendition of Gershwin’s “Summertime.”  She caresses the notes, the words, the sentiments, and places us all in the world of the struggling deep South, and the sorrow the slaves endured.  Porgy and Bess is a timeless and beautiful aria. Thank-you, Rachel.

The evening gives thanks to our accompanist, Rick Cordova, who we are able to secure for many performances.  A fine pianist, Rick travels the world and when he finds time, he is able to be a part of Opera Night. 

We thank Manhasset’s Church of our Savior, for welcoming us, and look forward to our next performance in May 6th in Northport. Please follow us at www.operanight.org, and help us spread the word. 


Danielle Davis, soprano
“Senza mamma” from Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini
“O patria mia” from Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

Heather Bobeck, soprano
“Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen” from Die Zauberflöte by WA Mozart
“Quando m'en vo soletta” from La boheme by Giacomo Puccini

Stephanie Leotsakos, soprano
“Deh vieni non tardar” from Le nozze di Figaro by WA Mozart

Kristin Starkey, contralto
“L'amour est un oiseau rebelle” from Carmen by Georges Bizet

Jose Heredia, tenor
“Vesti la giubba” from Il Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
“La roca fría del Calvario” from La Dolorosa by José Serrano

Robert-Heepyoung Oh, baritone
“Votre toast” from Carmen by Georges Bizet
“Nemico della patria” from Andrea Chénier by Umberto Giordano

Pianist: Giovanni Longo

 January, 2017

This large body of professional operatic singers plus their piano accompanist will present an entertaining assortment of vocal excerpts from famous and beloved operas. This promises to be an entertaining evening for opera lovers and newcomers to opera as well!

Melissa Block, mezzo soprano
Danielle Davis, soprano
Frances Fascetti, mezzo soprano
Kofi Hayford, baritone
Jose Heredia, tenor
Cheryl Savitt Spielman, soprano

special guests: Mike (artist) and Wendy Krasowitz (dancer) 

Light Refreshments


Purchase tickets in advance. No waiting on line. Click here

Act I

“Jasmine Flower” Traditional Chinese song
Danielle Davis, soprano & Arthur Lai, tenor
“What a movie!” from Trouble in Tahiti Leonard Bernstein
Erica Koehring, mezzo-soprano
“Signore, ascolta!” from Turandot Giacomo Puccini
Mary DeMarco, soprano
“O dischiuso ѐ il firmamento,” from Nabucco Giuseppe Verdi
Frances Fascetti, contralto
“Ah! Si, ben mio,” from Il Trovatore Giuseppe Verdi
Arthur Lai, tenor
“Deh vieni, alla finestra” from Don Giovanni W. A. Mozart
Gary Lorentzson, baritone
“Mario, Mario, Mario!” from Tosca Giacomo Puccini
Danielle Davis, soprano & Jose Heredia, tenor


Act II

“Pa-pa, pa…” from Die Zauberflöte W.A. Mozart
Gary Lorentzson, baritone & Asuka Uchida, soprano
“Je suis encore étourdie,” from Manon Jules Massenet
Asuka Uchida, soprano
“Mon coeur s’ouvre a ta voix,” from Samson et Dalila Camille Saint-Saëns
Frances Fascetti, contralto
“Votre toast, je peux vous le render,” from Carmen Georges Bizet
Gary Lorentzson, baritone
“La fleur que tu m’avais jetée,” from Carmen Georges Bizet
Jose Heredia, tenor
“Pleurez! Pleurez me yeux,” from Le Cid Jules Massenet
Danielle Davis, soprano
“Va! Laisse couler mes larmes,” from Werther Jules Massenet
Erica Koehring, mezzo-soprano
“La donna ѐ mobile,” from Rigoletto Giuseppe Verdi
Arthur Lai, tenor
Piano accompaniment by Giovanni Longo
Special thanks to Bethany Presbyterian Church

Review: "Opera Night in Huntington" November 4, 2016

The opening inspired duet "Jasmine Flower," a traditional Chinese song, presented by Danielle Davis and Arthur Lai set the tone for what will be remembered as an opera night highlight! The sweetness of this piece caresses us with memories of summer gardens, mint juleps, and lovely song birds. Can you trust my
instincts when I say The Chinese have always cornered the market on how to display all the beauties of the world through song and art. And Danielle and Arthur let us in through a garden path with this soulful rendition. Erika Koehring, mezzo soprano loved Leonard Bernstein, so much in fact that she lends verve and excitement to his composition, " What Movie! Trouble in Tahiti." Mary Demarco soprano sings for us Puccini's "Signore, ascolta" from Turandot with a charm and heartfelt love of music. Giuseppe Verdi, the king of opera created this spectacular work, Nabucco. Frances Fascetti, contralto, in her commanding
interpretation of "O dischioso e' el firmamento" kept all eyes and ears front and center. This unbelievable piece is the dream of all wonderful contraltos to sing. Frances does more then dream this, she masters and makes it her own. I loved it! When Arthur Lai, tenor, chooses Verdi's "Ah! Si, ben mio", from Il Trovatore, we are convinced of his love of opera. So delicately handled ,but with notes that carried us high and then softly brought us along in the story of Manrico and Leonora before they are to take their wedding vows. As luck does not have it Manrico is then told that his mother Azucena is to be burned at the stake. Oh Opera! Gary Lorentzson, baritone, and Asuka Uchida, soprano, rounds out our evening by reminding us that opera can be somber, riveting, tumultuous, fraught with sorrow, but then again can also underscore the wonderful aspects of the lightheartedness of life. We all thoroughly enjoyed Mozart's " Pa Pa Pa", from "Zauberflote" (Magic Flute). Jose Heredia, tenor, reminds me of Carreras when he gives to us the extraordinarily beautiful "La fleur que tu m'avais jetée" by George Bizet. We are all transported in this journey where Don Jose is about to return to his barracks, and he tells Carmen the flower she gave him helps to keep him strong. To some singers, this piece may just be a series of notes and phrases. But Jose is a professional, and his mastery of voice as he combines the drama, sadness, and beauty of the aria and hands it to us in compelling fashion. I held back some tears because beauty touches the heart, and Jose did just this. Danielle Davis and Jose Heredia tied up our first half with a bow, by presenting Puccini's " Mario Mario Mario" from Tosca. The musical interplay between two accomplished singers was an experience to behold !! Thank you for sharing your love of opera.

Most recent concert: 
October 8th, Saturday Night, 7:00 pm Opera Night Halloween Celebration in Northport (270 Main Street0

Act One:
"Der Holle rache" - Magic Flute- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Heather Bobeck, soprano
"Condotta" - Il trovatore - Giuseppe Verdi 
Eowyn Driscoll, contralto
"Questo o quella" - Rigoletto - Giuseppe Verdi 
Max Vitagliano, tenor
"Il tuo sangue o il mio amore"-Tosca-Giacomo Puccini 
Danielle Davis, soprano
"Re dell'abisso affrettati"- Un ballo in maschera- Giuseppe Verdi 
Eowyn Driscoll, contralto
"Dalla sua pace"- Don Giovanni- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Act Two:

"Habanera"-Carmen- Georges Bizet 
Eowyn Driscoll, mezzo
"Embroidery Aria" - Peter Grimes- Benjamin Britten 
Danielle Davis, soprano
"Come dal ciel precipita"-Macbeth- Giuseppe Verdi 
Kofi Hayford, bass
"Ah fors'e lui" - La Traviata- Giuseppe Verdi
Heather Bobeck
"La donna e mobile"- Rigoletto- Giuseppe Verdi 
Max Vitagliano, tenor
"Tu, tu, tu" - Madama Butterfly--Giacomo Puccini 
Danielle Davis, soprano

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

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

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

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. Bruce Soloman sang the whimsical "Me voglio fa na casa" by Donzetti. This little gem of a piece has been performed by Pavarotti, Cecelia Bartoli and Angela Gheorghiu to name a few who find this ariette worthy of performing. Bruce delivers this joyous sing song with a sense of happiness, and in its simplicity, the message we get is to love the labor of your hands. With his well trained voice and the love of his art, Bruce takes us all to a place of serenity and sweetness. And to think that a good singer can transform our mood and remind us that the important things in life are gifts that just keep giving.
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-Saëns
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

Sunday, August 5, 2012

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Opera Night in Lindenhurst