Great news for all east end opera lovers! Sunday April 30, at 2:00 P.M. The Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) is presenting, “An Afternoon of Arias.” This presentation will be featuring the soaring talents of Sopranos; Amanda Levy and Mélissa Danis and Mezzo-soprano; Alexandra Fee. They will sing an array of memorable and beloved operatic tunes. The WHBPAC folks are promoting the program as a “From Verdi to Wagner, Puccini to Bizet,” and many more. This opera event will bring the best arias and duets to WHBPAC’s stage. Translations will be provided and a Q & A with the artist will follow the performance.
Heather Draskin, the Director of Marketing & Communications of WHBPAC is excited that this new opera programming has been so well received by the local audience. She said, “One thing that we have learned in the last two to three years is that there is a huge contingent of opera fans out here on the east end. People have been looking for something that is a little more opera centric, a little more opera focused. So, to fill that need we created the, Bubbly About Opera, series.”
Concerning picking the May 30th singers, Ms. Draskin gave a lot of credit to Alexandra Fee, who is preforming in the program as well as being a full time WHBPAC staff member (Box Office Manager.) Ms. Lee was an opera major and singer back in college.
Director Draskin said, “Through Alexandra’s passion for opera she was able to put us in touch with the right singers.” Then the proposed singers were approved by the WHBPAC Director of Productions (Frank Russell) and Executive Director Julienne Penza-Boone.
So, who will be performing? First there is soprano Amanda Levy, who is a native of Long Island. She currently resides in Houston, Texas where she is a recent graduate of the prestigious Houston Moores School of Music. At the Houston Moores School of Music, she received a Masters Degree in Vocal Performance. Ms. Levy is noted in the Houston area for her powerful performances in operas, concerts and recitals.
Then there is Canadian soprano Mélissa Danis. Ms. Danis actually won the 2018 Diane Forsyth Vocal Scholarship at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. The Royal Conservatory of Music is considered one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world.
The third performer will be WHBPAC’s own Alexandra Fee who is a Mezzo-soprano. She is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto where she earned her Masters in Music in Opera Performance. Ms. Fee also received her Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance from East Carolina University. Some of her recent operatic performances include roles such as Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s Bon Appétit!, Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Mother Marie of the Incarnation in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, Cecilia March in Adamo’s Little Women, and Mrs. McLean in Floyd’s Susannah.
The program will be an hour and a half. It is scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM and end around 3:30 PM. As Director Heather Draskin said, “People have asked in the past, can you ever bring opera singers and other sorts of classical music? We (WHBPAC) thought we didn’t really have a need for it until we decided to pilot this opera program and see and gage what the interest is. To see if the people will responded The people have overwhelmingly responded positively to our opera programming.”
Purchase tickets directly from Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (whbpac.org through ovationtix.com | 631-288-1500 | 76 Main St, Westhampton Beach, N.Y.