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Call for Volunteers

Enjoy meeting others in Rochester's opera community and contributing to the availability of opera activities by volunteering for the Opera Guild!  Learning a small job or part of a larger one will pay off in numerous ways for anyone who wants to participate.  Currently there are several jobs posted: Assistant Publisher, Publicity Manager, Mail & Database Maintenance Assistant, Document Designer, and Audio/Visual Technician.

If you would like to volunteer in some other way, just let us know what your interest is and we will certainly find a place to accommodate it.  Contact Carol Crocca, Director of Development, at


Edition Viva Voce, March 2016
The Opera Guild of Rochester, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with a mission to support opera and opera education in the greater Rochester area.

The Guild presents free opera lectures at local libraries, tours to productions of local opera companies and the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and our popular Beat-the-Blahs, Haskell Rosenberg Memorial Series, at Temple B'rith Kodesh in Brighton.

Our Website serves as a clearinghouse for local and regional opera, concert, and recital information, with links to other music organizations on our area. Please visit us at   

This newsletter is sent via eMail each month, currently to over 3,000 subscribers.  For a free subscription send your contact details, including your eMail address, to

The Opera Guild of Rochester is also on facebook. For up-to-date information on opera-related news and events, please visit us on

Reader Article submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month.


For Tickets and more information please click

FairportFairport Library
1 Fairport Village Landing, 
Fairport, NY 14450
(585) 223-9091 
The Guild lecture and listening series on operatic topics is free. 
The Opera Guild will celebrate the new opening of the Fairport Library.

"The Mezzo Voice in Opera" by Art Axelrod
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM 

Penfield Library
1985 Baird Rd,
Penfield, NY 14526
(585) 340-8720

The Guild lecture and listening series on operatic topics is free. 
We help celebrate the Penfield Library's "March into the Arts" program with

"Bad Girls in Opera" by Carol Crocca
Sunday March 13, 2016 from 2:30 - 4 PM 

eastmanEastman Opera Theater Season
Le nozze di Figaro by Mozart 
April 7, 8, 9 at 7:30 PM, April 10 at 2 PM 
Eastman Theater 
Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte's most popular and delightful comedy in which the servants succeed in thwarting the Duke's lecherous plans. 
Friends of Eastman Opera Annual Dinner
April 7 at 5:00 PM at Miller Center
Tickets sold through the Eastman Theater Box Office
433 East Main Street, Rochester NY
Tel: 585-454-2100

Except for April 7, introductory talks will begin one hour before each performance. 
More information can be obtained at   

METHDHD Season Live at the Met 

Manon Lescaut - New production
Puccini / Illica, Giacosa, et al
Mar 5, 2016, 12:55 PM
The Met stage ignites when soprano Kristina Opolais and tenor Roberto Alagna join forces in Puccini's obsessive love story. Opolais sings the title role of the country girl who transforms herself into a Parisian temptress, while Alagna is the dashing student who desperately woos her. Director Richard Eyre places the action in occupied France in a film setting. "Desperate passion" is the phrase Puccini himself used to describe the opera that confirmed his position as the preeminent Italian composer of his day. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the stirring score.

For a synopsis of Manon Click Here.

Click on the following links to get more information

Madama Butterfly
Puccini, Giacosa/Illica
April 2, 2016
Anthony Minghella's breath-taking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. One of the world's foremost Butterflys, soprano Kristine Opolais, takes on the title role, and Roberto Alagna sings Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly's heart. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.

For a synopsis of Madama Butterfly Click

Roberto Devereux - Met Premier
Donizetti, Cammarano
April 16, 2016

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky takes on the extraordinary challenge of singing all three of Donizetti's Tudor queens in the course of a single season, a rare feat made famous by Beverly Sills - and not attempted on a New York stage since. In this climactic opera of the trilogy, directed by Sir David McVicar, she plays Queen Elisabeth I, forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves. Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Devereux, and mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien complete the principal quartet in the bel canto masterpiece, conducted by Donizetti specialist Maurizio Benini.
For a synopsis of Roberto Devereux Click Here
Elektra - New Production
Richard Strauss, Hofmannsthal
April 30, 2016

The genius director Patrice Chereau From the House of the Dead) didn't live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme - unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner - who portrays Elektra's primal quest for vengeance. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra's fearsome mother, Klytamnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass Eric Owens are Elektra's troubled siblings. Chereau's musical collaborator, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducts.

For a synopsis of Elektra  Click Here

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LotteLenyaLotte Lenya Competition

The Kurt Weill Foundation will have their Lotte Lenya competition on Saturday April 16, 2016 at Kilbourn Hall.

For more information, see the competition website:

Annual Recital

The Annual Recital for donors to the Opera Guild will be on May 15, 2016. For the first time in 25 years we will offer a bass baritone, Carl DuPont. He is a mature, well-known singer whose theme for this presentation is power and corruption. He will sing Sarastro's aria "In diesen heilgen Hallen" from Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Wolfram's aria "O! du mein holder Abendstern" from Wagner's Tannhäuser, and Wotan's aria "Abschiedslied" from Wagner's Die Walküre, among others. 

Click here for the complete program

Click here for more information and Mr. DuPont's biography.

Carl DuPont
Carl DuPont

festivalGlimmerglass Festival Season 2016

La Boheme
Puccini / Illica & Giacosa
July 8 - August 26, 2016
Sweeney Todd
Sondheim / Wheeler
July 9 - August 27, 2016
The Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra) 
Rossini / Gherardini
July 16 - August 25, 2016
The Crucible
Ward / Stambler
July 23 - August 27, 2016
More information can be obtained at
or by calling (607) 547-2255

Single tickets from $26 on sale January 25, 2016

OperaTourGlimmerglass Opera Tour

The Opera Guild of Rochester will conduct a tour to the Thieving Magpie (La gazza ladra)
on July 25, 2016. The opera tour flier will be available in April. Please look for it and respond quickly if you'd like to go on the tour. The bus seats 55 people. Look for a reader article about the La gazza ladra in the April Viva Voce. Helga Strasser, our tour director,  obtains excellent seats in the Festival Circle, and our group is treated to a special introductory talk after lunch.

Return to Contents 

Robert's Wesleyan College
April 29 and 30, 7:30pm

The Old Maid and the Thief
Gian Carlo Menotti
- Intermission - 
Quintet from the Magic Flute, Act 1

Scenes from 
La Boheme 

Act 1  "Che gelida manina," "Si, mi chiamano Mimi," and "O soave fanciulla."
Act 2  "Quando m'en vo"
Act 3  "Donde lieta" and final quartet

The Boheme scenes will be performed by Robert's Wesleyan alumni Jessie Keim, Jessica Moss, Chad Dehaven, and Marc Falco. The Menotti and Mozart will be performed by our outstanding current students. The operas will be staged by Judith Ranaletta, resident stage director of the Rochester Lyric Opera, who directed the very successful production of West Side Story last season. Constance Fee is the producer, Paul Shewan will conduct.
Cost of tickets: general $12, seniors $10, students $5.
Box office: Tell: 585 594 6008, online:  or at the box office

NickelNickel City Opera Season

International debut of Persis Vehar's SHOT!
Libretto by Gabrielle Vehar

Shea's Performance Arts Center, Buffalo
Friday June 10, 2016, at 8 p.m. and Sunday June 12 at 2:30 p.m.
For details and tickets call the Box Office at (716) 939-3722

Shot is the seventh opera by Buffalo native and Composer-in-Residence, Persis Parshal Vehar.

The opera deals with the assassination of President William McKinley on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition. He was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz and died on September 14, 1901 from his  wounds. 
Persis Vehar
Persis Vehar
Photo: Jim Bush
The opera was commissioned by Valerian Ruminski, the Director of Nickel City Opera, who will be singing the bass-baritone role of President William McKinley.

Click here for much more information and a small preview:

For Nickel City Opera Facebook page click here:   
Geneva Light Opera
Die Fledermaus (The Bat)
Johann Strauss Jr.
One of the most beloved operettas of Johann Strauss Jr, it's beautiful music and comic situations add up to wonderful entertainment. This production is sung in English at the Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca St., Geneva NY. The Geneva Light opera is sponsored by American Landmark Festival.
Tickets at Tell: 315 781 5483. The Copy Shop, Seneca Falls), and Mobile Music, Canandaigua.
July 21, 23, 24 ,2016
$35 Individual, $50 Couples, $20 Students and Seniors, and free for Children K-12

ClassicalIdolClassical Idol competition
The 10th Classica ldol competition of the Rochester Oratorio Society will take place at Temple B'rith Kodesh on April 9 at 7 p.m. This is a fund-raising event, with dessert in the intermission. Many participants, such as Katherine Lewek, now have international careers.

Tickets are $75.00 per person, or $68.00 per person for a table of 8.
For tickets call the ROS office (585) 473-2234 or use

Rochester's most engaging vocal competition returns for its tenth year in CLASSICAL IDOL, Saturday, April 9, 2016, 7:00 P.M., at Temple B'rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Avenue in Rochester. In this gala event, ten rising stars of the international vocal performance scene demonstrate the expressive power of the human voice through polished renditions of the most moving classics of opera, art song and oratorio. Their thrilling performances mark careers in the making as distinguished judges offer constructive commentary in real-time. Cash awards and concert appearances go to the top performers. Audience members sample elegant refreshments in a cabaret setting, then submit their ballots for the Audience Favorite cash award.
Tickets are available through the ROS Office, (585) 473.2234 or online at 
Widely recognized as an essential career step for vocalists pursuing professional performance at the top levels, Classical Idol provides the opportunity for young artists to compete before a live audience and receive feedback from established authorities in the field. Selected from national and
international applicants, twenty vocalists come to Rochester for the semi-final round of the competition, held at Asbury First United Methodist Church on April 8. Panelists choose ten contestants to advance to the final round on April 9.
The 2016 Idol panelists include Metropolitan Opera star soprano and professional vocal performance coach, ERIE MILLS, and international performing artist, Vocal Program Director and Associate Professor of Vocal Performance at Roberts Wesleyan College, CONSTANCE FEE, and ERIC TOWNELL, Artistic Director for the Oratorio Society and for Rochester Lyric Opera. JAMIE JOHNS will be the accompanist, and BRENDA TREMBLAY, Morning Drive Host/Producer for Classical 91.5 FM, will emcee the event.

Rochester's Classical Idol is one highlight of the 70th season of the Rochester Oratorio Society, the region's leading large choral ensemble. Information on the ROS and on Classical Idol is at
Tickets to the final round ($75) are available at 
For more information, contact the Rochester Oratorio Society at (585) 473-2234 or e-mail

The Opera Guild will have three tables in the front.  If you would like to sit with the Guild, tickets to our tables are $68 each.  Please call Dennis Rosenbaum at the Oratorio Society Box Office (585) 473-2234 to register for and purchase Guild table tickets, and also eMail Agneta Borgstedt at for seating arrangements.   

FLOFinger Lakes Opera
 At SUNY Geneseo
La Traviata 
Giuseppe Verdi

Wadsworth Auditorium Mainstage
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Danielle Talamantes sings Violetta, Yi Li sings Alfredo, Mark Walters sings Germont
Friday August 12 
 7:30 pm
Sunday August 14  2:00 pm
Tickets at,  (585) 245-5650
Adults $ 75 Red Carpet seating, $50 Premium, $40 General, Students/Faculty/Staff $30 Premium/General.
The Opera Guild of Rochester will coordinate transportation for each performance; fliers will be sent out at the end of May.

SeagleSeagle Music Colony 
2016 Summer Season
999 Charley Hill Rd
Schroon Lake, NY 12870

The Most Happy Fella by Frank Loesser
      July 6,7,9 at 8 pm July 8 at 2 pm
      Tickets $37.50 adults, $27.50 12 and under
The Elixir of Love (L'elisir d'amore) by Gaetano Donizetti
July 20, 21, 23 at 8 pm, July 22 at 2 pm
Tickets $32.50 adults, $22.50 12 and under
Roscoe - a world premiere  
Music by Evan Mack, Libretto by Josh McGuire, based on the novel by William Kennedy
August 3, 4, 6 at 8 pm, August 5 at 2 pm
Tickets $32.50 adults, $22.50 12 and under
The Music Man by Meredith Wilson 
August 17, 18, 20 at 8 pm, August 19 at 2 pm
Full season tickets on sale now at 15% discount over single tickets. Individual tickets go on sale April 1, 2016. Call the box office at 518 532 7875 or visit for information
The Seagle Colony is one of the oldest organizations (101 years) that has helped young singers to develop their voices and find their repertoire. This is a wonderful vacation place where people with love for opera can discover young singers building their careers.

ReaderArticlesReader Articles

This section brings you articles written by anyone involved in opera, from impresarios, to singers, to fans.  If you have seen a performance that you want to review, or have attended a class or workshop that you want to write about, or have a story or a review that would interest others, we encourage you to submit it to us and we will schedule it for inclusion.  Please send your submissions to and please limit them to 500 words.  All submissions are subject to editorial review.

FEO Voice Competition Winners
Eileen Buholtz

Friends of Eastman Opera is proud to announce the winners of its fifteenth Voice Competition, which took place in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music on Friday, February 12, 2016.

The first prize went to Keely Futterer, soprano, who performed "Rusalka's Song to the Moon" from Dvorak's Rusalka and Mozart's "Martern aller Arten" from Die Entführung aus dem Serail.  She received the Lynne Clarke Vocal Prize, donated by John Clarke in honor of his late wife, a founding member of the Friends of Eastman Opera.

Emily Helenbrook, who performed works by Mozart and Massenet, received the second place award, the Annabel Muenter Vocal Prize, donated in memory of Ms. Muenter, a long-time member of the Friends of Eastman Opera who chaired the voice competition for many years. 

Third prize went to baritone Alan Cline, who performed arias by Gounod and Mozart. Emily Siar, soprano, received an Honorable Mention for her performances of arias by Weber and Gluck. 

The adjudicator for the competition was Kim Pensinger Witman, Senior Director of the Wolf Trap Opera Company.

The Friends of Eastman Opera celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year (2015-16).  In 1995, a group of local opera lovers approached the Eastman Voice and Opera Department and offered to fund a production of Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, and with that production FEO began.  Since then, FEO has granted more than $170,000 for 114 students to participate in critical summer programs in performance and language, to attend master classes with world-class teachers, and to enter and frequently win major competitions around the world.  Donor contributions have also provided supertitles, recording equipment, master classes and other support for the department.   

From your Opera Guild 
On Monday, Feb. 8, a large group of opera fans gathered at the Brighton Memorial Library to hear about Shot!, which will have a June premiere by Nickel City Opera in Buffalo (see listings.)  Interest was high as Valerian Riuminski, Director of Nickel City, detailed the process of commissioning and mounting a completely new venture, a work with a background of local history concerning an event of national importance.  The Guild is pleased to have helped bring the audience both an intriguing taste of the opera and a look behind the scenes.

The Opera Guild sends its condolences to the family of Dr. Bejan Iranpour, who died recently.  He and his wife Sharon have been supporters of the Guild for many years, as both donors and volunteers. 

Please consider the Opera Guild of Rochester among your charitable organizations for 2015. Donations to the Opera Guild of Rochester are fully tax deductible and donors will receive an invitation to the Annual Recital in May 2016, which is our gift to our donors, followed by dessert reception with the artists.

Enjoy our free Lecture/Listening series, which you can download from the web site at by clicking on Reading Room. While at our Website you can also learn about our opera program at Temple B'rith Kodesh, our opera trips to regional opera companies including the Glimmerglass Festival, and our Metropolitan Opera trips.

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Opera Guild of Rochester | P.O. Box 92245 | Rochester | NY | 14692-0245