Opera meets musical theater in 'LaScala to Broadway'

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In musical theater, dialogue tells the story with the occasional burst of song, while opera productions only use music to tell the story. In "From LaScala to Broadway," a concert where opera Top 40 meets musical theater, these lines are unexpectedly and beautifully blurred.

The Orange County NY Arts Council (OCAC), in collaboration with OCAC board members Dr. Margaret Coughlin, opera gala event chair, and Susan Herrmann, event co-chair and performing artist, is proud to present "From LaScala to Broadway," a performance art fundraiser at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10, at the Paramount Theater, 17 South St., Middletown.

This unique blend of musical genres includes a combination of familiar operatic arias and Broadway hits to appeal to a vast audience. A select ensemble of three New York City opera singers and two Orange County opera singers will take the stage to present their own renditions of this beautiful music.

Guests can expect solo pieces from each of the singers, as well as a number of duets and quartets. Throughout the afternoon’s performance, the singers will be accompanied by three distinguished Orange County choral groups.

The Hudson Opera Theater Chorus will open the show with a popular opera chorus, The Middletown Concert Chorale will open the second half of the show with a medley from "Les Miserables," and the Warwick Valley Chorale will close the evening’s production with a classic piece from Carousel.

The featured opera singers and accompanist are:

Susan Herrmann, soprano

Shannon Carson, mezzo soprano

Edgar Jaramillo, tenor

Phillip Massengill, tenor

Fredrick Redd, baritone

Michael Pilafian, pianist

Sample opera selections include:

"Toreador," the baritone aria from Carmen

"Song to the Moon," the soprano aria from Rusalka

"Nessun Dorma from Turandot," a famous Pavarotti piece and one of the most beautiful arias.

"Libiamo Quartet" from La Traviata Sample musical theater selections include:

"On the Street Where You Live," from My Fair Lady

"All I Ask of You," a duet from Phantom of the Opera

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow," from The Wizard of Oz

"Maria," from West Side Story

Orange County Arts Council Executive Director Dawn Ansbro says “This is the first time that the Arts Council has organized an event like this and I am especially thankful to board members Dr. Margaret Coughlin and Susan Hermann for putting it all together. This performance is also meaningful for us as it gave us the chance to collaborate with these talented choral groups. The music is so inspiring!”

General admission tickets are $50 + service fee and should be purchased in advance either online at www.middletownparamount.com or from any Arts Council staff or board member. The ticket price includes intermission refreshments and a catered Meet and Greet Reception after the show with hot and cold appetizers, light entrees, desserts, coffee and soft drinks provided by Loughran’s of Salisbury Mills, NY.

The Orange County Arts Council’s mission is to champion the arts, connect artists with audiences, and foster the growth of the county's creative resources. To learn more about LaScala to Broadway and about how to become a member of the Orange County Arts Council, volunteer for a program, or post an event for free, log onto www.ocartscouncil.org. For additional questions, call the Orange County Arts Council at 845-469-9168 or email crounds@ocartscouncil.org.

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