Remember when I asked your opinion 2 weeks ago on what I should wear for a masquerade party?
This is what I ended up choosing but instead of black pumps I worked some silver sparkly open-toes heels. Went perfect with my sparkly jewelry.
This past Friday, Ryan and I had the opportunity to attend a fundraiser for the opera, Verdi's The Masked Ball, being performed in the spring.
The event was held in the historic Beaux-Arts Mansion, The Oaks Cloister which sits on a hill overlooked Farimont Park. This was our first time driving into Philadelphia so it was hard to see the area in the dark but as we found the place it was located in tightly knit area in the along Wissahickon street.
This mansion was gorgeous! My LG Intuition phone camera does not do it any justice even though it would have been worse with the Droid phone. The invitation asked everyone to attend in their best cocktail / black tie attire. Masks were provided. Sad to say we got stuck in traffic and the best masks had already been claimed.
We were only allowed to certain sections of the mansion, but even so it was so breath-taking. Look at this staircase!
So who is ConcertOPERA Philadelphia? This company was established back in 1995 in order to provide a venue for rising professional singers. They hold very competitive auditions in the summer to then perform an concert version of a select opera.
Each performance is lightly costumed and only semi-staged but all performances are held in an intimate setting as opposed to being held in a big opera house. You are able to experience the singing so much better.
While I have yet to experience one of THIS company's performances, I did perform in a small opera company in Houston called Opera in the Heights that was very much like this company. I hope to check out their performances in early spring.
Sorry for the lighting but here we are trying to look stylish in our masks.
The evening started with some cocktails in the nice opening area with the staircase which followed with a dinner buffet. The food was VERY delicious and gourmet. There was some lightly dressed greens salad with pears, grilled chicken with pears and delicious and perfectly roasted potato wedges as well as some grilled asparagus.
After some introductions we adjourned to an adjacent room where we heard 3 performers. These 3 performers will be part of the opera.
This soprano's name is Galina Sakhnovskaya. She is a graduate of Peabody Conservatory of Music. Go read her bio HERE. She sang a selection from the opera and was really great! It was nice to be in this intimate setting listening to opera again.
The next performer used to be a baritone but recently decided to change singing tenor. It was very amusing because I had told my husband that he, Moses Yungbae Yang, reminded me of a famous baritone even though he was singing tenor. Even so, he sang a selection by Puccini and did pretty well.
The sound that most impressed me came from the baritone, Eric T. Dubin. He had such a rich and creamy tone that had me engaged the whole time. His interpretation of his aria was amazing and I cannot wait to see what he brings to the production come spring.
After the performers were done, in came 2 ballroom dancers who came in and taught the crowd how to dance salsa and a waltz. It was really lots of fun. You would think the night was over after that but then some instrumentalists from the Philadelphia String Quartet performed some dance selections giving some of us an opportunity to put our dance skills to the test. It was pleasant!
All in all, the experience was lovely and I thank the director, Diana Borgia-Petro for allowing us to attend this lovely experience.
Place these dates on your calendars, March 15th, 17th and 23rd for the Un ballo in maschera. I might have failed to mention this, but this company is run by volunteers and while the chorus involved in each performance are volunteers as well, the cast, musicians and conductor are all compensated.
Check this company out on Facebook as well.