Regina Opera Presents Puccini’s Manon Lescaut

On Saturday May 14, Brooklyn’s Regina Opera now in its 46th year presented Giacomo Puccini’s (1858-1924) Manon Lescaut, which was the composer’s first great success. Jules Massanet had already written his Manon in 1884 but Puccini felt two operas about the same fascinating subject could easily thrive. Manon Lescaut premiered at the Teatro Reggio in Turin, Italy in 1893. Its first performance at the Metropolitan Opera was in 1907 with rhapsodic tenor Enrico Caruso and the ravishing soprano Lina Cavalieri. Since then all the great tenors and great sopranos have sung the much coveted roles of Des Grieux and Manon Lescaut.

Manon Lescaut is in four acts and takes place in 18th century France. Renato Des Grieux, while cavorting with his fellow students, is smitten by a girl who is exiting a coach. She is escorted by her brother Lescaut on her way to a convent. Des Grieux, convinces her to elope with him. Geronte di Ravoir, an elderly official, plans to run away with Manon offering her wealth and jewels for his “fatherly affection.”

Des Grieux (Percy Martinez, left) learns that Lescaut (Nathan Matticks, right) has bribed a guard to free Manon from prison.

Des Grieux (Percy Martinez, left) learns that Lescaut (Nathan Matticks, right) has bribed a guard to free Manon from prison. Photo credit – George Schowerer

Tired of poverty with Des Grieux, Manon goes to Geronte and lives with wealth, but misses the passion of Des Grieux. Des Grieux, now wealthy from gambling woos and wins Manon again. Geronte denounces Manon as a prostitute. Instead of fleeing immediately, Manon tries to collect her jewels and, because of the delay in searching for and collecting them, is captured by the soldiers.

Manon is sentenced to exile in America with other prostitutes. Des Grieux begs the ship’s captain to let him come aboard as a cabin boy so he can be with his beloved Manon.

In the final act the lovers, having escaped the authorities, are on a desolate plain in Louisiana, starving and thirsty. Manon regrets her follies, expresses her love for Des Grieux, and dies in Des Grieux’s arms.

Des Grieux (Percy Martinez) holds the dying Manon (Sabrina Palladino).

Des Grieux (Percy Martinez) holds the dying Manon (Sabrina Palladino). Photo credit – Gregory Ortega

Manon was portrayed by soprano Sabrina Palladino.  Ms. Palladino has many fans in the metro area and New Jersey, where she is known for her dynamic and legendary performances. Her singing of “In quelle trine morbide” in the second act was magical. Her soprano, which has delicacy, color and grace, is not really one that dominates by size. It commands intimacy and pathos. Yet her voice carries very well and soared to the heavens when called for.  Ms. Palladino’s impeccable diction and vivid acting brought Manon’s plight to one and all. In the last act, her singing of “Sola, perduta, abbandonata” was heartbreaking in its lamentation. That she died “Le mio colpe sereno” with the love of her life was the only solace. Ms. Palladino’s interpretation was unforgettable. It simply stays with you in memory and won’t let go.

Des Grieux was sung by Percy Martinez, whose stalwart, serviceable tenor evolved to a memorable portrayal. His lighthearted singing of “Tra voi belle, brune e bionde” was nicely done. His “Donna non vidi mai” had him a bit short at the top, and went by sans recognition as the great aria it really is. His duets with Manon went from strength to strength and his big aria in the third act “No, no Pazzo son” found him on his knees sobbing, belting out full throated high notes with abandon and splendor. His laments at Manon’s death and their love duet “Manon, senti amor mio…” were extraordinary in their emotional wallop.

Manon (Sabrina Palladino, left) tells her brother Lescaut (Nathan Matticks, right) that she regrets having given up Des Grieux's love for Geronte's wealth.

Manon (Sabrina Palladino, left) tells her brother Lescaut (Nathan Matticks, right) that she regrets having given up Des Grieux’s love for Geronte’s wealth. Photo Credit – George Schowerer

Nathan Matticks was a clarion and robust voiced Lescaut.  Matticks’ resonant baritone was heard in “E a chi lo dite ed io da figlio” and other phrases with a suave and dominant tone.

John Schenkel portrayed Geronte as a cruel despot who did not enjoy playing the fool and gave Manon a very vengeful course leading to her tragic death. His adroit baritone was utilized to the fullest in a vivid portrayal. Schenkel also doubled as the captain.

Baritone Charles Gray was the Innkeeper/Sergeant, the versatile Wayne Olsen was the hairdresser and Reuven Aristigueta Senger was the hurried, harried Dancing Master.

David Bailey was Edmondo and the Lamplighter, his lilting tenor sparkled; Noelle Currie’s fine soprano served us well albeit briefly, as the Madrigal Singer.

The excellent ensemble and chorus consisted of Shelly Barkan, Samantha DiCapio, Catherine Greco, Margaret Keymakh, Marta Kukularova, Lily Lu Lerner, Wayne Olsen, Jennifer Klauder and Ksenia Stepanova.

The lively and captivating children were Nomi Barkan and Isabela Decker.

Maestro Gregory Ortega led the superb Regina Orchestra in a thrilling musical journey of the suddenly blooming young Puccini with Wagnerian themes and great heartfelt melodies of pathos and power. The Intermezzo was a revelation with bursts of beauty, sweep and grandeur. Yelena Savranskaya, violin concertmaster, was an inspiration, as was Michael Vannoni on the viola. Kudos to Michael Sirotta on percussion, Kathryn Sloat on the harp and Richard Paratley on the flute.

The costumes by Julia Cornely were brilliantly ornate when needed and threadbare when the times were not so good for poor Manon.

After having danced a minuet with the dancing master (Reuven Aristigueta, in pink wig), Manon (Sabrina Palladino,in white gown) flirts with the elderly Geronte (John Schenkel, far left with back to the audience).

After having danced a minuet with the dancing master (Reuven Aristigueta, in pink wig), Manon (Sabrina Palladino,in white gown) flirts with the elderly Geronte (John Schenkel, far left with back to the audience). Photo Credit – George Schowerer

The backdrops by Richard Paratley who also serves as principal flautist, evoked both the extravagant and the unfortunate aspects of Manon’s journey from opulence to demise.

Tyler Learned’s lighting touch added greatly to the scenes and Linda Lehr’s stage direction went brilliantly and smoothly.

Linda Lehr’s special theatrical skills carried us on that fateful journey of Manon Lescaut and Renato Des Grieux and left us with a priceless tableaux and memories of Puccini’s first masterpiece.

We thank the Regina Opera staff for a brilliant 46th season of opera in Brooklyn. Here’s to Regina Opera’s 47th season. Bravo to all!

Acclaimed Pianist Rosa Antonelli Performs at the Argentina Consulate

Reviewer Nino Pantano, Pianist Rosa Antonelli & Commendatore Aldo Mancusi Photo by Judy Pantano

Reviewer Nino Pantano, Pianist Rosa Antonelli & Commendatore Aldo Mancusi. Photo by Judy Pantano

As part of the Alberto Ginastera Centennial celebration, the gifted Argentine-American pianist Rosa Antonelli gave a concert on Wednesday, May 18th at the Consulate General and Argentine Republic at 12 West 56th Street in Manhattan. The special guest in attendance was Alberto Ginastera’s daughter Georgina Ginastera.

Rosa Antonelli has been hailed as a leading exponent of Spanish and Latin American music and has appeared at many venues worldwide as well as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Ms. Antonelli’s two CDs titled “Esperanza” and “Remembranza” have been acclaimed. I am proud to have her newest “Abrazando-Latin Embrace” in which she demonstrates her pianistic wizardry with several immortal Latin composers including Astor Piazzolla, Hector Villa-Lobos, Ernesto Lecuona and Isaac Albeniz.

I first became acquainted with Ms. Antonelli at a gala at the New York Athletic Club sponsored by the Enrico Caruso Museum based in Brooklyn. Aldo Mancusi, the founder and curator of the museum chanced to hear Ms. Antonelli play at a concert and asked her if she would play a selection or two at his special gala honoring his new title of Commendatore by the Italian government. She did play and later requested that we attend her special concert at the Argentine Consulate.

Ms. Antonelli, looking stunning in a sparkling red and silver gown, seated at her beautiful Steinway piano began playing “Idilio Crepuscular” (Romance at Twilight) from Ballet Estancia, the first part of a set by the Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983) and then from “Preludios Americanos” “Triste,” “Vidala” and “Homenaje” a Roberto Garcia Morillo. The tone poems of Ottorino Respighi could be heard in the vibrant rhythms of Pastoral with its dreamy introspection and the exuberant “Danza Criolla.” Ms. Antonelli and her instrument play as one and she is an amazing phenomenon.

The passionate rhythms and melodic outbursts of Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) followed. His four tangos entitled “El Mundo De Los Dos,” “Verano Porteno,” “Invierno Porteno” and “Libertango” were played with enormous zest. The tango like themes entwining like two dancers in an orgiastic blend in an explosion of passion. One could envision the dancers, drenched in sweat, breathing heavily, totally spent from this orgy of breathtaking musical madness. Ms. Antonelli left us all bedazzled.

The final group, again by Ginastera was from “Danza del Trigo” (Wheat Dance from Ballet Estancia) “Tres Danzas Argentinas,” “Del Viejo Boyero,” “De la Moza Donosa” and “Del Goucho Matrero.” All played with dexterity, finesse and strength fueled by an Argentine inner fire that warmed the soul and stirred the blood.

At the reception we met so many devotees of the art of Rosa Antonelli, who like fellow Argentine Pope Francis is of Italian ancestry. The trials of our being in a traffic jam earlier were drowned out by the beauty of the concert and the delicious meat and vegetable Empanadas, wines and cheeses served afterwards. I have relatives in Buenos Aires that we lost touch with and this concert in a spiritual way, brings me closer to them.

Ms. Antonelli was given a beautiful bouquet of flowers and we thank her for the unforgettable “bouquet” of musical roses she gave to all in attendance.

The Gerda Lissner & Liederkranz Foundations Honor Deborah Voight & Introduce the 2016 Winners of the International Vocal Competition

Gerda Lissner President Stephen De Maio with Met Opera Soprano Deborah Voight. Photo by Don Pollard

Gerda Lissner President Stephen De Maio with Met Opera Soprano Deborah Voight. Photo by Don Pollard

The Gerda Lissner & Liederkranz Foundations honored Deborah Voight and introduced the 2016 Winners of the International Vocal Competition on the afternoon of Sunday, May 1st. The vocal competition was held at Carnegie’s intimate Zankel Hall on Seventh Avenue.

Stephen De Maio, President of the Gerda Lissner Foundation was happy to announce this joint effort of both the Gerda Lissner Foundation and the Liederkranz Foundation and to honor Metropolitan Opera (Met) soprano Deborah Voight. Mr. De Maio then presented our host, Brian Kellow who is well known from Opera News and as an author of many bestselling books.

Mr. Kellow had us all join in applause for the herculean challenges of Stephen De Maio and his efforts on behalf of young gifted singers. Kellow then spoke admiringly of the talent and grit of honored guest soprano Deborah Voight whose own book entitled Call me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down to Earth Diva is getting rave reviews. Ms. Voight, who also hosts the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts, spoke of the importance of defiance and never losing sight of your goal. Deborah Voight is an American original-like Niagara Falls-she is a natural wonder!

Heather Menzies Ulrich, Michael Slade, Scott Barnes, Brian Kellow, Maria Mazzaro. Photo by Judy Pantano

Heather Menzies Ulrich, Michael Slade, Scott Barnes, Brian Kellow, Maria Mazzaro. Photo by Judy Pantano

Pawel Konik sang “Aleko’s cavatina” from Rachmaninoff’s Aleko. With his regal sounding bass baritone and beguiling presence, Konik sang with a sense of melancholy, foreboding longing and seamless breath control, power and presence, an unbeatable combination.

“Una voce poco fa” from Rossini’s Barber of Seville was given fresh insights by Samantha Hankey whose dark creamy mezzo caressed the ear. Ms. Hankey’s flawless diction, flashy cadenzas, coloratura embellishments exemplified the Rossinian style.

Fanyong Du revealed a brilliant sparkling tenor in “A te, O cara” from Bellini’s I Puritani nailing the high D. His Bellinian melodic line was filled with fervor and poignancy.

“Air des bijouix” from Faust was sung by soprano Alexa Jarvis who gave us a rewarding and tasty brew of Gounod’s masterpiece with perfect pitch, excellent trills and colorization. Her coloratura was impeccable.

It was nice to hear “Vision Fugitive” from Massenet’s Herodiade, by baritone Kidon Choi whose passionate lyrically precise outpourings captured this haunting aria.

Kang Wang tenor sang an exuberant and vibrant “Dei meie bollenti spiriti” from Verdi’s La Traviata.  A sparkling tenor, intense yet ardent, beautiful quality and effortless high notes.

Puccini was well served with “Si, mi chiamano Mimi” as sung by soprano D’Ana Lombard whose phrasing and charm blended with Puccini’s piquant themes from La Boheme. Lombard brought us all to that humble garret in Paris where love first bloomed.

The Wagner portion was well represented by the powerful radiant soprano skills of Amber Daniel. Her “Dich, teure Halle” from Tannhauser flooded Zankel Hall with golden brilliance of tone coupled with solid breath control and offered sparkling sunshine for all that rainy afternoon.

Tenor Kevin Ray showered us with Wagnerian gold in his fervent manly singing of Wintersturme from Wagner’s Die Walkure. Kevin Ray’s interpretation with such vocal brilliance evoked the greats of the past.

Mezzo-soprano Aleksandra Romano sang “Nacqui all’ affanno…Non piu mesta” from Rossini’s La Cenerentola.” She performed this powerhouse aria with grit, coloratura agility and the afterglow of a good warm Amaretto!

The haunting “Depuis le jour” from Charpentier’s Louise was sung by soprano Antonina Chehovska. Ms. Chehovska sang with power and lyricism, lovely floating tone, her pianissimos were gossamer wings on the dragonfly express.

Andrew Stenson sang an energizing “Firenze e come un albero fiorito” from Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. His vivacious and victorious lyric tenor and artful dodger gestures enthralled everyone.

“Care Compagne” from Bellini’s La Sonnambula was sung by soprano Hyesang Park whose excellent trills, romantic flights and perfect ascents captured the Bellinian line and whetted our appetites for more.

Galeano Salas sang Puccini’s “Che gelida manina” from La Boheme. His full lyric tenor combining ardor, sweetness, power and abandon brought great pleasure. A brilliant high C at the climax evoked the past greats reborn. Salas won top prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation and Deborah Voight gave him his award.

The sublime piano accompanists were Jonathan Kelly and Arlene Shrut.

2016 International Vocal Competition Winners. Photo by Don Pollard

2016 International Vocal Competition Winners Photo by Don Pollard

Lastly baritone Sean Michael Plumb whose brilliant singing of “Bella siccome un angelo” from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale receive an ovation. Plumb’s voice with its incredible agility, beautiful high notes, impeccable cadenzas and sparkling color brought golden age pleasure to one and all. The top prize was awarded to Plumb by Mrs. Lya Friedrich-Pfeifer Secretary and Trustee of the Liederkranz Foundation who also presented second prize to tenor Kevin Ray and soprano Amber Daniel.

The reception and dinner at the nearby New York Athletic Club was a true celebration of the inspiring concert we all witnessed. Stephen De Maio, President of the Gerda Lissner Foundation, Michael Fornabaio, Vice President and Trustee, Cornelia Beigel, Secretary and Trustee, and Trustees Karl Michaelis, Barbara Ann Testa and Joyce Greenberg are to be thanked for their monumental efforts on behalf of the young promising singers.

Photo by Judy Pantano

Photo by Judy Pantano

Countless people from the opera world were in attendance. At a glance one saw Sachi Liebergesell, President of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, sopranos and opera judges Martina Arroyo, Elinor Ross,  Elaine Malbin, Teresa Apolei, mezzo Nedda Cassei, Maestro Eve Queler, Gloria Gari, Philipp Haberbauer, General Manager of The Liederkranz Foundation, Opera News Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll, writers Scott Barnes and Meche Kroop and Brooklyn’s Bill Ronayne from the Mario Lanza Society to name a few.

At Zankel Hall, a large beautiful portrait of Gerda Lissner was kept on stage surrounded by flowers. I like to think that the flowers represent the singers Mrs. Lissner helped through her generosity and largess of spirit. Through the stewardship of Stephen De Maio and the Gerda Lissner Foundation and the Liederkranz Foundation, they will bloom and grow, like the Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. Bravo to all!

Maestro Eve Queler’s Opera Orchestra of New York Presents Donizetti’s Parisina d’Este

Italo Marchini, Aaron Blake, Angela Meade, Eve Queler, Yunpeng Wang, Sava Vemic and Mia Pafumi. Photo by Meche Kroop

Italo Marchini, Aaron Blake, Angela Meade, Eve Queler, Yunpeng Wang, Sava Vemic and Mia Pafumi. Photo by Meche Kroop

Maestro Eve Queler’s Opera Orchestra of New York presented Gaetano Donizetti’s Parisina d’Este on the evening of Wednesday, May 4th at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall at Columbus Circle on Broadway and 60th Street.

This is a rare presentation of a work that calls for a revival. Maestro Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra presented this work in a memorable Carnegie Hall Concert with Montserrat Caballe forty years ago. All that is needed are great voices and on this evening we had one in Angela Meade. The libretto is by Felice Romani after Lord Byron’s 1816 poem Parisina. The setting is Ferrara, Italy in the 15th century. The work premiered at the Teatro della Pergola in Florence, Italy in 1833.

Angela Meade, Metropolitan Opera soprano, resplendent in a red gown, sang Parisina, wife of Duke Azzo in love with Ugo. Ms. Meade sang with gorgeous tone and superb coloratura embellishments. Occasionally she would literally “touch a shooting star” by lightly hitting a note seemingly in outer space. Her caressing tone in her Piangi aria touched the heart. (That I am chosen to weep) Ms. Meade gave us some exquisite silken phrases both ethereal and on a thread of spun gold. This is Bel Canto singing of the highest order. However, there is another side to her artistry. In the final scene, after viewing her lover dead, her singing of “Ugo e spento! A me si renda!” had the passion of a Tosca and this “victimized” persona was struck by unfathomable rage as she kills herself after viewing Ugo’s body. It was an unforgettable operatic moment that one recalls for a lifetime.

Aaron Blake was Ugo, Parisina’s lover. His full lyric tenor was serviceable but he labored in passages where he should have soared. He tried to attain the tenorial heft needed both in duet and solo. The audience was supportive of his effort but one hopes he will stick to proper roles and not have to push hard in his upper register.

Duke Azzo was sung by Yunpeng Wang in a powerful  resonant  baritone that indicated the intensity and cruelty of his character. His “River Po” duet with his minister Ernesto was captivating. His shifts of mood, bad to worse, were heard in his vocal offerings and he was wholly believable and well defined.

Ernesto, Duke Azzo’s minister was sung by basso Sava Vemic. He attempts to be the peacemaker, even announcing that Ugo is the Duke’s long lost son, raised by himself, from the Duke’s first deceiving wife Matilde. Vemic’s basso cantante had nobility and depth.

Imelda, Parisina’s handmaid, vividly portrayed by soprano Mia Pafumi in her debut with the Opera Orchestra, made a very strong impression with her sympathetic portrayal, duet with Parisina, and vocal bursts of glory. One would like to see and hear more of Ms. Pafumi in the future.

We envisioned what a stunning staged opera this could be with knights, handmaidens, gondoliers, squires and soldiers in a fully costumed production.

The chorus from the New York Choral Ensemble under Chorus Master Italo Marchini sang lustily and with inspiration.

Maestro Eve Queler conducted the Opera Orchestra of New York with mastery and love. There were passages with the chorus singing and the trumpets playing with the full rich sound of Donizetti’s melodic music that made one say “thank you Eva Queler for all this glory.” The audience cheered for the ever youthful and indomitable Maestro and founder Eve Queler for this great triumph!

The Gerda Lissner Foundation and Stephen De Maio are to be thanked for nurturing so many of the wonderful singers.

Opera Index Honors Murray Rosenthal at 2016 Spring Lunch

Honoree Murray Rosenthal, Opera Index President Jane Shaulis & Presenter Philip Hagemann Photo by Judy Pantano

Honoree Murray Rosenthal, Opera Index President Jane Shaulis & Presenter Philip Hagemann. Photo by Judy Pantano

On the afternoon of Sunday, May 1st, Murray Rosenthal, the past President of Opera Index, was honored at the Spring Lunch at The JW Marriott Essex House on Central Park South.

Jane Shaulis, beloved Metropolitan Opera mezzo and current Opera Index President, spoke glowingly of Murray Rosenthal and listed the many singers who were assisted in their careers by Opera Index during his 17 years at the helm. The concert began and the reason for all this activity was beautifully demonstrated by the young awardees who sang.

Shea Owens sang “Largo al factotum” from Rossini’s Barber of Seville, his warm burnished baritone brilliantly negotiating the roller coaster Rossinian terrain with abandon, elan and a touch of the unexpected. Owens literally danced through the audience table to table making Figaro’s exuberance and hubris a gift to all. His patter and agility, range and vocal colors brought us the rainbow Judy Garland sought.

Pianist Michael Fennelly, Soprano Meryl Dominguez, Tenor Robert Watson, Baritone Shea Owens, Tenor Alasdair Kent, President Jane Shaulis Photo by Judy Pantano

Pianist Michael Fennelly, Soprano Meryl Dominguez, Tenor Robert Watson, Baritone Shea Owens, Tenor Alasdair Kent, President Jane Shaulis. Photo by Judy Pantano

Alasdair Kent sang “Una furtiva lagrima” from L’elisir d’amore by Donizetti. Kent’s beautiful haunting tenor with its mournful accents, crescendos and ravishing diminuendos made the final cadenza the stairway to paradise. He is a tenore di grazie with a Ferrari shift of gears taking us “out of the commonplace and into the rare” as in Kismet.

Meryl Dominguez regaled us with a silken “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta” from Puccini’s La Rondine, her beautifully placed soprano reveling in the high tessitura of this ravishing aria and carrying us all on the journey.

Lastly, tenor Robert Watson sang an old chestnut “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s Turandot and gave it new life by infusing it with introspective passion and dramatic flair, fine dark vocal color and an extraordinary climax and finale.

Michael Fennelly was the superb pianist and played with the style and sweep of the great ones.

Philip Hagemann who is a Vice President of Opera Index and a composer of acclaim, was the presenter to Murray Rosenthal. After listing Murray’s many accomplishments at Opera Index and outside of it as an eminent periodontist, medical expert for the federal, state and city levels and Army veteran, Murray is also an avid movie buff. Hagemann began quizzing him about films and casts from Hollywood in that banner year of 1939. Murray passed all the tests and he graciously accepted the crystal New York Apple given to him. Rosenthal then spoke of his formative years and how opera came into his life.

Jane Shaulis, Michael Fennelly Broadway actress Christine Ebersole, Murray Rosenthal & Basso Eric Owens Photo by Judy Pantano

Jane Shaulis, Michael Fennelly, Broadway actress Christine Ebersole, Murray Rosenthal & Basso Eric Owens. Photo by Judy Pantano

Two more surprises awaited him. The great Metropolitan Opera (Met) basso Eric Owens, a former winner of Opera Index who sat at the table of Brooklynite Janet Stovin from the Board of Directors, thrilled us all with a magnificent rendering of “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific. The second surprise was Broadway star Christine Ebersole beautifully singing George Gershwin’s “Our love is here to stay” and then, a la Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, danced between singing with Murray in a touching and romantic moment. It should be noted that both Murray Rosenthal and Philip Hagemann are Broadway, London and Australia investors and producers and share three Tony Awards and one Olivier Award as well.

Patron Karl Michaelis & Joyce Greenberg Photo by Judy Pantano

Patron Karl Michaelis & Joyce Greenberg. Photo by Judy Pantano

It was nice to see so many friends and special guests including Met legends sopranos Martina Arroyo and Elinor Ross, mezzos Rosalind Elias and Nedda Cassei, Opera Index Executive Director Joe Gasperec, Board member John Metcalfe, patrons Cesare Santeramo and Dr. Robert Campbell, composer Stephen Phebus and Linda Howes, Maestro Eve Queler, Gerda Lissner President Stephen De Maio, Karl Michaelis, Michael Fornabaio, Barbara Ann Testa, Joyce Greenberg, Duane Printz from Teatro Grattacielo, David Bender and Barbara Meister Bender from Career Bridges, Mara Waldman Music Director from the Encompass New Opera Theatre based in Brooklyn, tenor/film maker Michael Davis from Remi Arts, Inc. who sang Marius in Fanny and who is the son of the late opera legend Regina Resnik, PBS’s Midge Woolsey and spouse Dr. Jerry Stolt, Rebecca Paller from the Paley Center for Media and devoted opera fan Lois Kirschenbaum.

The party is over but the song lingers on. A memorable tribute to that “wonderful guy” who we all love – Murray Rosenthal!