The New Jersey Association of Verismo Operaannounces that 13 vocalists have been selected to perform with the Verismo Opera Chorus. The new vocalists from the region are Colette Barca, soprano; Alexandra Bianculli, soprano; Joan Fazio Cohen, alto/soprano; Paul Kaufman, bass; Marissa Lynn Keegan, alto; Ruth Kenote, alto; Jasmine Manley, alto; Mary Mastranagelo, alto; Elio Messano, tenor; Bonnie A. Morrow, soprano; Mary Ann Trulby, alto; Lucia Wehr, soprano; and Beverly Withers, soprano.
They will perform with the Verismo Opera Chorus during the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s milestone 25th anniversary year. Their first appearance will be in the company’s new, lavish production of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata on Sunday, April 6, 3:00 p.m., at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey
“The chorus is the backbone of every opera company. Without a professional chorus that sings magnificently, an opera can be a big failure. Each of the new chorus members adds his or her flavor to the character thereby enhancing the principals' artistry. Nowhere else can one gain the needed stage experience. Never underestimate the joy and learning experience of being a wonderful chorus artist. This often leads to greater things--sometimes a leading role,” said Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of Verismo Opera.
All the vocalists underwent an audition earlier this year. They represent all ages and walks of life. “Many of them have extensive singing experience, including a retired Metropolitan Opera chorister, as well as voice majors from conservatories, who are developing their voices and careers by singing with a professional company. Some vocalists sing for the love of it, with varying degrees of training and ability, but we all work together to support each other in the learning process,” said Mara Waldman, Director, Verismo Opera Chorus.
Under Amara, one of the Metropolitan Opera’s luminary performers, Verismo Opera will launch its new season, Vive la France, with the beautiful production La Traviata in celebration of the 200th anniversary of Verdi’s birth. Set in the backdrop of Paris, France, this love story, shrouded in sacrifice and misunderstanding, will unfold on the stage under the direction of Stage Director and Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif. The fully staged production will be presented with the cast singing in Italian. English supertitles will be provided.
A live orchestra will perform under the baton of Principal Conductor/Music Director Anthony Morss. Waldman will direct the Verismo Opera Chorus. The cast will perform in period costumes designed by Catherine Mirabella and Barbara Konig.
Tickets may be purchased online at the bergenPAC’s box office, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, Englewood, New Jersey, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.