A Spellbinding Afternoon of Broadway and Opera

A Spellbinding Afternoon of Broadway and Opera

Last Sunday at the Rossetti Estate, we had a truly magical afternoon of Broadway and opera, celebrating the talents of mostly local artists and paying a heartfelt tribute to our local favorite, Rita Betti. The event, masterfully MC’d by Cathy Strauch, was nothing short of a triumph, captivating all in attendance with a blend of enchanting performances and heartfelt moments.

As the show began, the audience was immediately transported into a world of musical splendor. The first half of the program featured beloved Broadway classics, beginning with Matthew Merolla’s powerful rendition of “They Call the Wind Mariah.” His majestic voice set the tone for the evening, and from that moment, guests were thoroughly entertained and deeply moved.

Anne Marie Dupre, with her soprano voice, brought a touch of elegance to “Till There Was You,” while Cathy Strauch’s vibrant performance of “Cabaret” had everyone smiling. The duet “Make Believe” by Jan Clairmont and Anne Marie Dupre showcased a beautiful harmony that resonated throughout the hall.

Mary Sheller’s rendition of “At Last” was simply spellbinding, and the audience was enchanted by Christiana Gearon’s performance of “We Kiss in a Shadow.” Ken McGraw’s “Les Mis Medley” was soothing and captivating, leading seamlessly into Mary Sheller’s haunting “I Dreamed a Dream.” Jan Clairmont’s “Music of the Night” was a powerful performance that left the audience in admiration. The first half closed with the enchanting Phantom Duet by Ben Knox and Avynne Storey, followed by Jan Clairmont’s moving “I’ll Walk With God.”

After a brief intermission, guests enjoyed a crudité with ranch dipping sauce and caponata spooned onto crostini, prepared by local chefs Albert and Lou from Roberto’s restaurant. Case Quattro Winery also served their masterful blend of wines from the bar.

The second half of the program transported the audience into the world of opera. Brendan Lasavage and master pianist John Zinsky’s performance of “Habanera” was captivating, and Julie Ziavres and Anne Marie Dupre’s duet “The Barcarolle” was magical in its execution. Matthew Merolla’s “Marriage of Figaro” and the duet “Sul L’aria” by Julie Ziavres and Anne Marie Dupre were met with resounding applause. Jan Clairmont’s “Dein ist mein ganzes Herz” and Avynne Storey’s “Deh Vieni non Tardar” showcased their exceptional vocal talents.

Anne Marie Dupre’s powerful high notes in “Io Son Lumille Ancella” and Ben Knox’s stirring “La Donna e Mobile” were highlights of the evening. Avynne Storey’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” was met with more resounding applause, and Brendan Lasavage’s “Vocalise” moved many to awe. Christiana Gearon’s “Quando men Vo” and Matthew Merolla’s “The Elixir of Love” were spellbinding. Ben Knox’s “Una Furtiva Lagrima” and Julie Ziavres’ passionate “Vissi d’arte” were intense and captivating. The evening concluded with leading man Jan Clairmont and the entire company performing a rousing “O Sole Mio,” leaving the audience wanting more. Bravo! Brava!

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