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It's here again! Another free Bravo Nights event will be held on Wednesday, June 13 from 7-9 p.m. at the Little Café.  Click Here to scroll down to all the exciting details.  
REMINDER: Viva Voce is not published in July.  The next edition will be August.


Edition Viva Voce, June 2018

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.

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

Our Website and Facebook pages serve as a clearinghouse for local and regional opera, concert, and recital information, with links to other music organizations in our area. Please visit our Website at   

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.

The Summer Season
    Julius Caesar 
    The Great Gatsby 
    Billy Goats Gruff
    West Side Story
    The Cunning Little Vixen 
    The Barber of Seville 
    Silent Night
Geneva Light Opera
    The Barber of Seville 
    Die Fledermaus 
    Little Red's Most Unusual Day 
    Opera Pops 
    Don Giovanni 
    As One 
    The Merry Widow 
    The Consul 
    Rocking Horse Winner 
Bard SummerScape 

TheMonth June Banner

June 13   Bravo Nights at the Little Theater 

SaveTheDatesSave the Dates!

JULY 19 SUMMER SOIRÉE, the first ever Opera Guild benefit event, with the Young Artists of the Finger Lakes Opera. We are looking forward to sharing with you this evening of opera and festivity!

AUGUST 10-12 FINGER LAKES OPERA, Die Fledermaus, Little Red's Most Unusual Day, and Opera Pops.  

BravoNightIt's here again! Another Bravo Nights event will be held on Wednesday, June 13 from 7-9 p.m. at the Little Café. This time, three vocalists will be on hand to thrill the audience with beloved arias. These popular pieces are perfect for those new to opera as well as long-time aficionados. This cabaret-style event will be paced to allow attendees to converse between arias. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the cafe.

Join us for this free event. Food and drinks are available for purchase at the café.

PS - Our advice is to arrive early. This event was "standing room only" last time! 
Maria Vasilevskaya 
Maria will be singing arias from Rossini, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini and more. 
Gloria Engle 
Shaya Greathouse
Shaya will be singing arias from Mozart and Bizet. She and Kurt will perform a duet by Bellini.  
Kurt Griffen
Shaya and Kurt will be accompanied by Zalina Fedetov
Zalina Fedotov
Maria Vasilevskaya, from Novosibirsk, Siberia, is a Master's candidate in Vocal Performance at the Eastman School.  She made her operatic debut as Madame Larina in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with the Armenian National Opera and Ballet in 2016.  In December she was an alto soloist in Handel's Messiah at Kilbourn Hall.  She is the winner of the 2018 Friends of Eastman Opera competition and was also awarded the 2018 Jury Performance Award at Eastman.  This summer Maria will be one of the emerging artists at the Seagle Music Colony.

Shaya Greathouse, mezzo-soprano, hails from Washington State and received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the Eastman School. Shaya has performed with the Rochester Lyric Opera, the Rochester Philharmonic, in several Eastman concert series and with local choral groups. Her roles include Micaela ( Carmen). Anne Page ( The Merry Wives of Windsor) and the Countess ( The Marriage of Figaro). ). She has twice been the featured soloist in John Corigliano's Fern Hill and recently performed Robert Schumann's Frauenleibe und Leben among other chamber works.

Baritone Kurt Griffin of Rochester, NY, studied voice with Dr. Robert Shewan and Miss Judith Coen at Robert Wesleyan University, and continues his studies with Dr. Shewan.  He is a music, religion and history teacher at Chesterton Academy/St. John Bosco School in East Rochester. Kurt has performed with the Off-Monroe Players, the Rochester Philharmonic, Rochester Opera Factory, Rochester Lyric Opera, Buffalo Opera Unlimited, the Gregory Kunde Chorale, and the Robert Shewan Chorale.

Pianist Gloria Engle is a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School, an active collaborative pianist and chamber musician. She has appeared in music festivals throughout the United States, including the Aspen Festival, Colorado College Festival, the University of Houston's International Piano Festival, and SongFest. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Texas, Austin, and a Master's degree from Rice University.

Pianist Zalina Fedetov graduated from the 2nd Moscow Regional Music College with a degree in Piano Pedagogy, Chamber Music and Collaborative Piano.  She has worked as an accompanist for vocalists and instrumentalists for over twenty years.

Where: Little Café, 240 East Ave.
When: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 from 7-9pm
Cost: No admission fee. Food and drink available for purchase at the café.

Support opera here in Rochester
All proceeds will help support our mission to promote opera and opera education in the greater Rochester area.

Tickets are $60 and will include:
Performance by Finger Lakes Opera Young Artist Program
Hors d'oeuvres and desserts
Networking opportunities

Attire is summery and colorful.
Check, credit card, or PayPal

Monday, July 30, 2018
Matinee at 1:30 pm

Leos Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen

This opera incorporates Moravian folk music and rhythms as it recounts the life of a clever fox, accompanying wildlife, and some humans. It is a charming tale as well as an homage to creation and the natural cycle of life.

After June 7, go to our website at to access details of the trip and registration.

FingerLakesChoralInvitation to sing with the Finger Lakes Choral

2018 Choral Festival - Registration open!
Join us to perform Grande Messe des morts (or Requiem), Op. 5, by Hector Berlioz, with the Penfield Symphony Orchestra and auxiliary brass. With Daniel McInerney, tenor. We'll use Festival Founder Adrian Horn's revision. Eric Townell conducts. Performance will be at Sunday, July 29, 4 PM at Hochstein Performance Hall.

Registration is now open! To join, print and complete this  form . Mail the completed form with your payment to Finger Lakes Choral Festival, Inc., P.O. Box 30823, Rochester, NY, 14603. Then watch your inbox for further information!

The Mission of the Finger Lakes Choral Festival
The Finger Lakes Choral Festival, Inc., now in its 16th season, brings together singers each summer from more than 50 Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes area communities, as well as visitors from other states and countries. The Choral Festival has performed before more than 30,000 concert-goers, with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the 5000 seat CMAC Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra at Chautauqua Institution's Historic Amphitheater, with the Redwood Symphony at Louise M. Davies Hall in San Francisco, and at Hochstein Performance Hall in Rochester.

All singers with prior choral experience are invited to participate. For information on how to join the chorus, e-mail us with your name, address and voice part. To be added to our mailing list, please send your name and address--and also your voice part if you are interested in singing in future concerts.

IdolWinners Classical Idol Winners

On April 28th, the Classical Idol audience enjoyed the talents of nine finalists, all with impressive resumes, accompanied by Kevin Nitsch.  The winners were as follows:

First Place: Jorell Williams, baritone, who sang "Every Ranch Hand" from Floyd's Of Mice and Men.  His bravura acting and singing talents also won him the Audience Favorite designation. Mr. Williams will appear again in the Rochester region this summer as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus with the Finger Lakes Opera.

Second Place: Christine Lyons, soprano, who performed a little-known aria from Verdi's Il Corsaro with moving intensity.  

Third Place: Boris Van Druff, tenor, who gave a dramatic rendition of Puccini's Nessun dorma.

Fourth Place was shared by two accomplished singers with ties to the Rochester area:

Keely Futterer, soprano, who sang "Ah fors' e lui...Sempre libera" from Verdi's La traviata, is a doctoral candidate at the Eastman School, was a semi-finalist in the Midwest Region of the Met Council Auditions and recently covered for Renee Fleming in Puts' Letters from Georgia.

Tobias Greenhalgh, baritone, a graduate of Greece Athena high school, where he was Judith Ranaletta's student, and the Julliard School, performed the challenging Prologue from Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tiresias. Mr. Greenhalgh has a flourishing career on both sides of the Atlantic.

Opera Guild of Rochester Annual Recital for Donors

On May 20, many friends and supporters of the Opera Guild of Rochester attended the Annual Recital for Donors, where the recitalist was Mark Daniels, tenor. Mr. Daniels, who studied at the Eastman School in the studio of Rita Shane, was accompanied by his current coach, Rob Goodling. He gave a program reflecting both his experience as a singing waiter, with Neapolitan songs, most-requested arias, and Broadway numbers; and his opera career, with selections in four languages by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Verdi, Bizet, Donizetti, Bellini, Sartori, and - to an amazed and grateful audience - an encore of Puccini's Nessun dorma.  His beautiful voice and dramatic talent created a memorable concert experience for all those fortunate enough to attend.

A different kind of highlight was the presentation to Agneta Borgstedt, President Emerita of the Opera Guild, of the Partners in Excellence Award of Opera Volunteers International.  Candidates for this award are nominated and recommended by persons in their opera community and the recognition is for service to opera.  Dr Borgstedt, who served as President of the Guild for 17 years, was recommended by Eric Townell and Gerard Floriano, Artistic Directors of the Rochester Oratorio Society and the Finger Lakes Opera, respectively.  Carol Crocca, current President of the Guild, gave a tribute to Dr. Borgstedt, citing in particular her dedication to the promotion of opera and her personal touch in her dealings with supporters and volunteers of the Guild.

From your Opera Guild 
June and July are usually relatively relaxed months for the Opera Guild, but not this year.  We have a Bravo Night coming up June 13th and, requiring even more preparation, our first fundraiser, the Summer Soirée on July 19th.  The summer event will cap a year of transition for the Guild: a new president, new webmaster, new events and volunteers, new tasks for board members and an ongoing assessment of plans and goals for the future.  Our recent major support for the Finger Lakes Opera, while money well spent, together with rising costs and increased expenses for new activities, challenge us to be more effective and efficient at fundraising.  Outreach to more opera lovers and efforts to recruit the next generation (and those even further into the future) of opera lovers are vital to our survival as an organization and the success of our mission to promote and support opera and opera education in our community. We hope you will engage with us in these efforts, not only with financial sustenance, but also with your feedback, ideas, and participation.  Thank you for your support this year.  And here's to an even more fruitful and successful year to come. 

Please consider the Opera Guild of Rochester among your charitable organizations for 2018. Donations to the Opera Guild of Rochester are fully tax deductible and donors will receive an invitation to the Annual Recital in May 2018, which includes a dessert reception with the artists.


Enjoy our free Lecture/Listening series, which you can download from the Website 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.

Cindy B Advert


As an Amici, your contribution in any amount is greatly appreciated. All donation levels  receive an invitation to the Annual Recital (see the foregoing article); those listed below will be given priority until a date specified on the invitation. 

Chorus: $60-$99
Comprimario: $100-$149, one additional recital invitation.
Primo: $150-$199, $20 discount on trip (except to New York City).
Maestro: $200-$299, $30 discount on trip (except to New York City).
Impresario: $300 or more, $30 discount on trip (except to New York City); two additional recital invitations. 

You may also mail a check to Opera Guild of Rochester, P.O. Box 92245, Rochester, NY 14692-0245. Please include an email or other address for your tax receipt.

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ReaderArticlesOpera Essays

This section brings you articles written by Opera Guild docents, previously distributed at HD performances. Other essays previously published as Reader Articles are also published in this section. All these essays are also available on the Website in the Reading Room.   
There is no essay this month.  More articles will be returning soon.




Seagle Music Colony, 999 Charley Hill Road
Schroon Lake, NY 12870
(518) 532-7875
Leonard Bernstein

July 5, 6, 7 at 8 pm, July 6 at 2 pm

Seagle Music Colony's 103rd season will begin with our tribute to the 100th birthday of the great American composer, conductor and musical icon, Leonard Bernstein. This fantastical romp through time and cultures is based on the novel by Voltaire and features plenty of memorable tunes and quick-witted action.
Julius Caesar
George Friderick Handel

July 18, 19, 21 at 8 pm, July 20 at 2 pm
Julius Caesar (Giulio Cesare), is one of the most performed Baroque operas in the canon, but will be Seagle Music Colony's first production in the genre in many years. With a compelling plot and an incredible amount of virtuosic music, this opera will be a real showcase of the emerging artists' talent, and a joy for our audiences.

Sung in Italian with projected English supertitles.

Pre-Show lecture - 1 hour prior to curtain.

The Great Gatsby
John Harbison

August 1, 2, 4 at 8 pm, August 3 at 2 pm
This opera based on the novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald had its premiere at the Metropolitan Opera in 1999 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of James Levine with the Met. Seagle Music Colony is excited to be able to mount a new production of this beautiful and lyrical opera, and continue our tradition of cultivating new operas and giving our emerging artists a chance to sing the work of living composers.

Sung in English with projected English supertitles

Pre-show lecture - 1 hour prior to curtain.
Jerry Herman

August 15, 16, 18 at 8 PM, August 17 at 2 PM
Seagle Music Colony's 2018 mainstage season will close with this Broadway classic in its first SMC production. Based on the novel Auntie Mame, the story follows the eccentric title character as she finds her way from riches to rags and back again. A favorite for young and old, this show is sure to please.
Billy Goats Gruff
Children's Opera

July 14 at 10:00 and 11:30 am - Boathouse Theater
John Davies' take on the traditional fairy tale uses music of Mozart, Donizetti and Rossini in a delightful 35 minute show that teaches audiences about the perils of being a bully. Performances are free and will be enjoyed by young and old alike.
Billy Goats Gruff
Children's Opera - July 14 at 10:00 and 11:30 am - Boathouse Theater
Also on tour across the North Country - dates and locations TBA


July 7 - August 24
Our production of West Side Story gets a hip, urban look, and features the original Jerome Robbins choreography in one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musicals of our time.
July 8 - August 25
Inspired by "Vixen Sharp-Ears," a Czech cartoon, Janáček composed this poignant fable with lush orchestrations that summon the magic of a starlit night, the songs of birds and the peace of the ancient forest.

For information about the Opera Guild tour to The Cunning Little Vixen contact
July 14 - August 25, 2018
Rossini's comic bel canto masterpiece The Barber of Seville will be presented in a production directed by Francesca Zambello and conducted by Glimmerglass Festival Music Director Joseph Colaneri.
July 15 - August 23  
In a singular moment during the "war to end all wars," peace broke out on Christmas Eve. Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell's Pulitzer Prize-winning Silent Night brings to life the brief, legendary truce during World War I.




Rossini's Comic Opera
The Barber of Seville
Thursday July 26 at 7:30 PM
Saturday July 28 at 7:30 PM
Sunday July 29 at 3:00 PM

at The Smith Opera House in Geneva, NY
Featured singers include

Jimi James
Valerian Ruminiski
mezzo soprano
Sarah Nordin
conducted by
James Blachly
with a hand-picked
Chamber Orchestra

Tickets can be purchased by phone at 315-789-8660
and starting April 1st online at the website.

Tickets $75 - $10, Children K-12 free
82 Seneca St., Geneva, NY
For more information, Click Here


Finger Lakes Opera 
Summer Season

Finger Lakes Opera at Canandaigua Academy
435 East Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424
(enter at East Street entrance)

Johann Strauss Jr's  Die Fledermaus

Friday, August 10 @ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, August 12 @ 2:00 p.m.

This comedic masterpiece of mistaken identities and amorous double-dealing is sure to entertain and charm audiences young and old alike. Die Fledermaus features a sparkling musical score full of beautiful melodies and exquisite orchestration.

Cast of Principals
Elena O'Connor, as Rosalinde
Jonathan Michie, as Eisenstein
Bray Wilkins, as Alfred
Clara Nieman, as Orlofsky

Little Red's Most Unusual Day

Saturday, August 11 @ 10:30 a.m.

A captivating children's opera aimed at introducing our young audiences to the wonderful world of opera. This showing is FREE!

Opera Pops

Saturday, August 11 @ 7:30 p.m.

This program showcases some of opera's greatest hits, blended with a bit of Broadway, and performed by Finger Lakes Opera Orchestra and the Finger Lakes Opera Young Artists.



Saturday July 7, 2018 - 8:15 p.m.  

Amphitheater - - Purchase Tickets

Ned Canty, Stage Director
David Adam Moore - Don Giovanni
Richard Bernstein - Leporello

When legendary womanizer Don Giovanni goes too far, he finds himself tangled in his own web of lies and deception. Experience the magic of Mozart in the Amphitheater! With its perfect blend of tragedy and comedy, larger than life characters and stunning score, this opera is an irresistible classic.

Friday, July 27, 2018 - 4:00 p.m.
Monday, July 30, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.

Norton Hall - - Purchase Tickets

Jay Lesenger, Stage Director
Robert Orth - Voltaire/Pangloss/Martin
Leann Sandel-Pantaleo - The Old Lady

The naive young hero, Candide, is plagued by an endless series of bizarre comedic disasters on his globe-spanning search for the true meaning of life. Based on the sharply satirical story of innocence lost by Voltaire, Leonard Bernstein's darkly funny operetta receives its company debut, joining the centennial celebration of the composer's birth. With a delightfully tuneful score, including highlights such as "Glitter and be Gay" and "Make our Garden Grow," Candide truly offers audiences "the best of all possible worlds."

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 - 4:00 p.m.

Norton Hall - - Purchase Tickets

Music and Concept by Laura Kaminsky
Libretto by Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed
Matt Gray, Stage Director
Kelly Markgraf - Hannah Before
Sasha Cooke - Hannah After
Fry Street Quartet

As One is one of the most performed new operas in the country, and its exciting arrival at Chautauqua Opera reunites the original cast and ensemble of the 2014 premiere. Accompanied by the Fry Street Quartet, mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Kelly Markgraf again share the part of the transgender protagonist Hannah in the opera's sixteen vignettes that chronicle her journey toward self-acceptance with empathy and humor.

More Performances

In addition to our mainstage operas, the Chautauqua Opera Company presents over 30 programs each season, including concerts, recitals, and an opera for young audiences, and more.



THE 2018  

The Spa Little Theater
Spa State Park
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866


June 29 and July 13, 7:30; July 1 and July 8, 2 pm.

One of the most popular operettas across the globe,
The Merry Widow, returns to Opera Saratoga for the first time in thirty years. Hanna Glawari, the Merry Widow, is beautiful and rich... and she's captivated every man in the country. But Hanna is looking for true love. Will she be able to find a suitor that is not only after her wealth? Will the nation of Pontevedro slip into economic collapse if she marries a foreigner? Will all those dancing girls prove too distracting for the audience?! Franz Lehár's magical score features the famous "Vilja" song, the "Merry Widow Waltz," and many more beloved melodies.

, Menotti

July 7, 7:30; July 7 and July 15, 2 pm

In 1950, The New York Times hailed the Broadway premiere of The Consul as "a smash hit" and "an opera of eloquence, momentousness, and intensity of expression...written from the heart, with a blazing sincerity and a passion of human understanding... It is torn out of the life of the present-day world, and poses an issue which mercilessly confronts humanity today. And this is done with a new wedding of the English language with music in a way which is singable, intensely dramatic and poetic by turns, and always of beauty." Almost 70 years later, Gian Carlo Menotti's riveting opera still delivers a punch as powerful and timely as its subject matter - the struggle for freedom against oppression, and the maddening nature of unrelenting bureaucracy.

, Williams/Chatterton  

July 7, 7:30; July 9 and July 15, 2 pm

Both sung in English with English Supertitles

A modern adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's short story, Rocking Horse Winner explores the relationship between Paul and his emotionally distant mother.  The son becomes dangerously obsessed with solving the "bad luck" of his family in order to win her love in an intimate, psychological look at love, "luck", and greed.

This opera was one of the earliest collaborations between David T. Little and Royce Vavrek, whose critically acclaimed works also include JFK and Dog Days. Vinkensport is a bittersweet comedy in one act that explores the nature of competition and the need to win through the frame of an obscure Flemish folk sport, Finch-Sitting. We see a motley assortment of contestants battle to see who has the most melodious bird. As they compete, the joys, sorrows, delusions and all-too-stark realities of their trainers are revealed.  

Tickets, $50-95. Opera Gala, June 3, 4:30 pm, $175.

Click here for website and to buy tickets.

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BARDSummerScapeBARD SummerScape Festival

Photo © Cory Weaver

June 28-August 19, 2018
The fifteenth annual Bard SummerScape festival features seven weeks of world-class opera, theater, dance, cabaret, film, and music, including the 29th annual Bard Music Festival, Rimsky-Korsakov and His World. 
Anton Rubinstein's Demon
American Symphony Orchestra
Conducted by Leon Botstein
Directed by Thaddeus Strassberger
The rich choruses and fiery libretto of Rubinstein's 1871 masterpiece will be performed by an all-Russian cast in this rare new American production.

July 27
- August 5
Bard Music Festival 
Rimsky-Korsakov and His World
Bard Music Festival weekends include orchestral concerts, chamber and choral music performances, panel discussions, special events, and opera in concert.
Weekend One: August 10-12
Inventing Russian Music: The Mighty Five
Weekend Two: August 17-19
Rimsky-Korsakov and His Followers

June 28- July 22
Leonard Bernstein's Peter Pan
After the play by J. M. Barrie

Adapted and directed by Christopher Alden
Returning to New York for the first time since 1950,  the Broadway smash hit is rediscovered for Leonard Bernstein's centennial. This intimate new production grows by turns whimsical and sinister, joyful and dark, creating a gripping portrait of the boy who wouldn't grow up.  

For tickets go to

Submission deadline for the next issue is the 15th of the previous month

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