Boheme Opera NJ is thrilled to be virtually presenting its Lecture Performance Series at Monroe Twp. Library this fall. The series is sponsored by the Monroe Twp. Patrons of the Arts in collaboration with the Monroe Twp. Cultural Arts Commission.
Grant funding has been provided by Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through a grant award from the Middlesex County Cultural and Arts Trust Fund. Boheme Opera NJ would also like to thank the NJSCA/Dept. of State for their continued support during these trying times.
Special thanks go to Monroe Township colleagues Nancie Gunkelman, Leah Wagner and Stephen Hrubes, Monroe Township Library and Staff, to Boheme Opera NJ President and Series Creator and Narrator Jerrold Kalstein, and Boheme Opera NJ videographer Johannes Lang.
All events in this Zoom-based series are available free to the public via the Monroe Township Library website at: http://www.monroetwplibrary.org/news/boheme-opera-nj-programs/. They will all take place on Wednesdays at 1:00pm.
There are four episodes in this Boheme Opera NJ Series at Monroe Twp. Library, offering a wonderful opportunity to hear several young singers in an intimate setting for Zooming pleasure in the comfort of private homes. The first episode will take place on November 18 at 1:00 pm, entitled “The Path from Opera to Broadway”. This features music from Carmen, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, South Pacific, Girl Crazy and more, starring three singers. Soprano Brynn Terry has performed numerous roles, including Queen of the Night, Frasquita, Marguerite, Adele, Konstanza and multiple characters in a newer American work, Speed Dating Tonight. Soprano Rebecca Shorstein has performed in theaters across North America and Europe, having sung Berta, Gretel, Despina and Noemie, as well as soprano soloist on the concert stage with Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Baritone Charles Schneider has performed more than 30 roles throughout the country, having sung Schaunard, Sharpless, Ford, Conte di Luna, and Baron Scarpia, among others, and enjoys a thriving teaching schedule, while on the voice faculties of Westminster School of the Arts of Rider University and The Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ.
The second episode will take place on December 2 at 1:00 pm, entitled “A Night in Vienna”. This features music of the composers Johann Strauss, Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, Kurt Weill and others, also starring three singers. Soprano Eve Edwards has performed extensively in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania, portraying Mimi, Violetta, Desdemona, Butterfly, Pamina, Marguerite, Micaela, Rosalinde, Donnas Anna and Elvira, Antonia and many others. Mezzo-soprano Eva Kastner-Puschl, a native of Graz, Austria, is also an actress, collaborative pianist, and vocal pedagogue, having sung on opera, concert and choral stages in the Princeton and Philadelphia areas, as well as having extensive teaching experience. Tenor Vinny Beck is a junior at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ studying to earn his BFA in Musical Theatre, with credits that include Lt. Joseph Cable in South Pacific, Freddy Eynsford-Hill in My Fair Lady, Curly in Oklahoma, and Mayor Josiah Dobbs in Bright Star for which he earned a Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival award nomination in 2019.
The third episode will take place on December 9 at 1:00 pm, entitled “Unique Broadway”.
This features music from West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Trouble in Tahiti, Yentl and more, while headlining five Boheme Opera principal and supporting cast artists. Mezzo-soprano Amy Maude Helfer, equally versatile on the opera and musical theater stage, has gained attention at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Sanibel Music Festival, NY G&S Players, and Madison Lyric Stage, and starred as Dina in Boheme Opera’s 2018 Bernstein Centennial production of Trouble in Tahiti. Baritone William Lee Bryan has performed with Opera Colorado, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theater, Opera Wilmington, and Skylark Opera, and starred as Sam in Boheme Opera’s 2018 Bernstein Centennial production of Trouble in Tahiti. Rising star tenor Errin Brooks has sung leading roles with Utah Festival Opera, New Amsterdam Opera, and Boheme Opera NJ, and in spring of 2017, won the $10,000 First Prize George London-Kirsten Flagstad award for a promising Wagnerian Singer; he made his first appearance on the Metropolitan Opera stage in 2019 in its Porgy and Bess. Soprano Rachel Cetel has portrayed several supporting roles with Boheme Opera NJ, including Alisa in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sally in Die Fledermaus, Flora in La Traviata, The Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and the Young Shepherdess in Tosca. Baritone Joseph Lodato has been awarded prizes by the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Los Angeles Opera and Florida Grand Opera, is equally adept in musical theater and jazz idioms, and has recently been featured in several of Boheme Opera NJ’s outreach concerts. Also featured in this episode in a main stage excerpt from Trouble in Tahiti are trio ensemble singers soprano Brynn Terry, tenor Errin Brooks and baritone Wayne Hu.
The fourth episode will take place on December 16 at 1:00 pm, entitled “Giants of Broadway”.
This features solo and duet selections from Rodgers and Hammerstein plus Lerner and Loewe.
Shows include Sound of Music, South Pacific, King and I, My Fair Lady and Camelot. Songs will include Some Enchanted Evening, Getting to Know You, My Favorite Things, If Ever Would I Leave You, On the Street Where You Live and more. Returning to Boheme Opera NJ’s virtual stage are soprano Brynn Terry, soprano Rebecca Shorstein and baritone Charles Schneider.
Boheme Opera NJ Managing Director Sandra Milstein Pucciatti is the pianist for most of these virtual performances. Accompanying Ms. Shorstein in her solo selections is New York pianist Keith Chambers. Accompanying the solo performances by Ms. Helfer, Mr. Bryan and Mr. Brooks is the Boheme Opera Orchestra, Joseph Pucciatti conducting.
In addition to the Monroe Twp. Library virtual Zoom series, Boheme Opera NJ has been busy with its other virtual programming, much of which highlights productions, singers, and professionals from a 31-year history. Although live performances are currently prohibited due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boheme Opera NJ has a rich chronicle of main stage and outreach events. To date, the Company has completed the first two of its podcast series, as well as the first three in a series of educational streaming events and is now preparing more events in both series. These can be accessed via www.bohemeopera.com.