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FORT LEE CHAMBER AND ASSEMBLY STEAK HOUSE TO HOLD IRONMAN TRIATHLON DINNER

All-You-Can-Eat Pasta Dinner for Volunteers, Athletes, Sponsors, and Spectators on Wed., August 8

 

FORT LEE, N.J., August 2, 2012 – The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce is joining forces with the Assembly Steak House to support the upcoming NY/NJ Ironman competition with an all-you-can-eat pasta buffet dinner on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 for Ironman athletes, event sponsors and volunteers, and area spectators. The dinner will be from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the Assembly Steak House, 495 Sylvan Avenue in Englewood Cliffs. The price is $15 in advance through the Chamber’s PayPal portal (http://conta.cc/QgHH4M) or $20 cash at the door. The buffet will have a variety of pastas and sauces, salad, bread, and soft drinks; cash bar is available. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Ironman athletes, competition sponsors and the Ironman Triathlon committee. The Chamber is supporting the first-ever NY/NJ Ironman competition with an aid station on Bruce Reynolds Boulevard and Hudson Terrace; there are still volunteer spots available to set up, man, and take down the station. For details about the Ironman triathlon or to volunteer for the event send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (201) 944-7575.

 

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VERISMO OPERA INVITES PUBLIC TO OPEN HOUSE

 

Art Scene


FREE EVENT

 

 

 

           The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) invites the public to attend an open house on Wednesday, September 5, 7:00 p.m., at 44 Armory Street in Englewood, New Jersey.  Learn more about the fall season of the only grand opera company located in North Jersey and based in Fort Lee, New Jersey under Artistic Director and the great Met Opera star Lucine Amara.   

 

            Hear renowned Verismo Opera Music Director/Principal Conductor Anthony Morss, Chorus Director Mara Waldman, and Stage Director Evelyn La Quaif describe the opera company’s mission, and vision.  They will discuss the company’s new production of Giacomo Puccini’s tragic love story, Madama Butterfly, to be presented on Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey.  Auditions for the Verismo Opera Chorus, supernumerary roles, and volunteer opportunities will also be discussed.

 

            Light refreshments will be served.  For further information, call (201) 886-0561.


Funding

            Madama Butterfly is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.  Other supporters include Mary Casella Briggs Memorial Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund, Children’s Aid Foundation, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, Robert J. Campbell, MD and Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ.


Supporting Up and Coming Artists

            The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) has been a part of the New Jersey music scene since 1989.  The opera company, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, is the only professional grand opera company headquartered in the northern part of the state.  The organization provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists and sponsors an annual vocal competition held in November with finals generally conducted in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, drawing artists from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe.  The company also organizes opera workshops and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional operatic productions in the Bergen County, New Jersey community.

            For more information about the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, visit its web site, www.njavo.org, and follow the company on Facebook at http://bit.ly/9JXTP8 .

 

 

FORT LEE REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ANNOUNCES 2012-2013 PERSONS OF THE YEAR

Craig Weinstein and Mike Pollotta are Recognized for Their Civic Commitment and Involvement; Will be Honored at Annual Dinner Dance in November

 

FORT LEE, N.J., July 23, 2012 – The Board of Directors of The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce announced its “Persons of the Year” at the organization’s annual General Membership Luncheon on June 28th, 2012 at Doubletree by Hilton at George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J. Sharing the honor for 2012-2013 are Craig Weinstein, Esq. of Fort Lee and Mike Pollotta, retired construction professional and long-time Democratic political leader, of Palisades Park.

 

Every year since 1970, The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce (formerly The Greater Fort Lee Chamber of Commerce) has recognized individuals who have made a significant contribution to the organization and the community. Weinstein is being recognized for his civic activities and service to the Chamber; Pollotta is being honored for his lifelong contributions to various civic and charitable organizations as well as his extensive work in local and state politics.

 

“We all benefit from the dedication and energy Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Pollotta consistently give to their towns and to residents throughout the area,” said Kenneth A. Bruno, president of The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Their efforts set an impressive example and have improved the quality of life for the residents and businesses in Fort Lee, Palisades Park, and beyond.” The Chamber, based in Fort Lee, comprises member businesses in Fort Lee and surrounding communities: Cliffside Park, Edgewater, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Hackensack, Leonia, Palisades Park, and Ridgefield.

 

Craig Weinstein: Coach, Advocate, Sponsor, Adviser

Weinstein, an attorney with a general law practice in Fort Lee, is a past president of The Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on its Executive Committee. In past years Weinstein was instrumental in forming the Main Street Revitalization Committee and wrote the ordinance to allow outdoor cafes in town.  He has served on several town boards and committees.

 

He is counsel for the Fort Lee Education Foundation, the Fort Lee Girls Softball League, and the Fort Lee Girls Recreational Basketball League. He sponsors girls’ recreation basketball and softball teams and has coached many teams in the past.

 

Weinstein’s many other civic activities include providing a paid summer internship to a Fort Lee High School Academy of Finance student, serving as mentor and board member for the organization, and sending a high school basketball player to Jim Boeheim’s Summer Basketball Camp at Syracuse University, his alma mater, each year.

 

 An avid cyclist, Weinstein was a bike lead for the professional athletes in the July 2012 New York City Triathlon; he is currently co-chairing the Chamber’s Ironman Committee for the 2012 Ironman U.S. Championship to be held in New York and New Jersey on August 11 and which will take place partly in Fort Lee. In recent years, he has mentored a special needs boy in sports and coached a special needs adult in a Special Olympics Bike race.

 

Mike Pollotta: Building a Better Bergen County

Pollotta founded his construction company, A. Pollotta & Son, in 1950 in partnership with his father; they built many schools, houses of worship, public buildings, and shopping centers—among other projects—in Bergen and Hudson counties and elsewhere throughout New Jersey.  Countless thousands of students, worshippers, residents, shoppers, and public employees have passed through or used buildings and facilities built by his firm for over five decades.

 

Throughout his prolific construction career, Pollotta made time to raise funds for such organizations and causes as the Boy Scouts and multiple sclerosis research, served as president of the Lions Club and the Palisades Park Board of Education, and has been an active member of the Palisades Park PTA, Palisades Park Sportsman Club, Holy Name Society of St. Nicholas Church, and the Elks Lodge 1466.

Pollotta is also a well-known figure in Bergen County politics. He has served as chairman of the Palisades Park Democratic Club since 1961, was a national delegate to the 1976 Democratic presidential convention, and was inducted into the Democratic Bergen County Hall of Fame in 2011 in recognition of his many years of service and achievement. The Borough of Palisades Park honored him for his forty-plus years of community service by renaming the municipal complex the Michael A. Pollotta Municipal Complex in 2009.

Tickets for the 2012 Person of the Year dinner dance will go on sale in September; details will be available at www.fortleechamber.com.

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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS RECOGNIZES MEMBERS FOR CONTRIBUTIONS. ELECTS BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

      

           The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV) recognized several members for their contributions to the organization and elected the 2012-2013 board of directors at its annual meeting held recently at Samdan Restaurant in Cresskill, New Jersey. 

            LWVNV Past President Ann Moscovitz recognized Co-Vice Presidents Lucy Heller of Park Ridge and Joyce Luhrs from Leonia and outgoing Treasurer Carol Slote Bernstein from Tenafly for their many years of service.  They were presented with a special LWVNV wood box in honor of their contributions to the organization.

            Heller, who also serves as President of the League of Women Voters of Bergen County, was named as a director on the 2012-2013 LWVNV board of directors.  Joyce Luhrs, President of Luhrs & Associates, was named a director and assumed the position of chair of the public relations committee.  Bernstein will also continue to serve on the board of directors.        

            Vicki Sidrow of Fort Lee and executive director of Vantage Health System, Inc. was named the organization’s new Treasurer.  Tenafly resident Fran Molnar was elected Secretary and Ann Moscovitz of Fort Lee was named to the new position of Past President.   Ellen Bakish of Englewood and Arlene Horowitz of Fort Lee were welcomed as new members to the board of directors.

            The following members were elected and are continuing on the board of directors: Betty Frank and Lorraine Cohen of Englewood; Naomi Epstein of Demarest; Tenafly residents Bobbie Hass, the LWVNV Bulletin editor, and Shirley Shapiro; Anne Lander of Harrington Park; Nike Prieston Bach of Leonia; and Vi Ruschman of Park Ridge.

 

League of Women Voters of NJ President Speaks

 

            At the annual meeting, members of the LWVNV presented an overview of the organization’s work, events, and activities undertaken this year and plans for the future.  Guest speaker, Toni Zimmer, President, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, presented the "State of the League" and discussed the work the League is undertaking statewide in the areas of advocacy, voter education, enhanced outreach efforts to identify and recruit more supporters and members, and plans for the future.

            For further information about the League of Women Voters of Northern Valley, contact (201) 947-0756.

 

About League of Women Voters

            The League was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote.  With over 1,000 local Leagues throughout the country, the organization gained prestige by maintaining its nonpartisanship; sponsoring candidates’ forums for local, state and national elections; holding registration drives; disseminating nonpartisan information on candidates; and holding public meetings to discuss current issues.  League membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support its mission. 

            The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley draws members from Alpine, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Edgewater, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Leonia, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Park Ridge, River Vale, Tenafly, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake.

            For more information about the League, visit the organization’s website at www.lwvbergen.org.

 

 

 

NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities Awards Group Homes to New Concepts for Living, Inc.

Community News

 


              New Concepts for Living, Inc. (New Concepts) announced today that the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities has awarded the non-profit organization two group residences located in Garfield and Clifton that will provide much needed services to 11 adults with developmental disabilities.  New Concepts, a community based organization headquartered in Rochelle Park, works with people with developmental disabilities and their families throughout Bergen and Passaic Counties.

             “This is an important development for New Concepts and the persons living in these two homes.  Older parents want to see their adult children with disabilities living in appropriate housing with the necessary supports and services.  New Concepts will provide the residents with daily support, integration into the community, and fulfill their individual potential and dreams,” said Homer J. Cudia, Chairman, and Rachel Shemesh, Executive Director.

            With the addition of these two residences, effective June 28, New Concepts manages a total of nine homes, as well as a Day Training Program for people with developmental disabilities located in Rochelle Park.  For further information about the new residences, contact Adam Fishman, Director of Operations, at 201-843-3427.

            Over 30 years ago, New Concepts was founded by a small group of parents concerned about the future of their sons and daughters with developmental disabilities.  New Concepts is a community, non-profit organization committed to people with disabilities and their families.  Inspired by the vision of families and people with developmental disabilities, New Concepts enables people to realize their dreams and to achieve their individual potential through quality community programs and services that include housing, vocational and day program training, recreation, advocacy, and family education and support. 

            For further information about New Concepts, call 201-843-3427 or visit the organization’s web site at www.ncfl.net.

 

 

LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF NORTHERN VALLEY TO HOLD ANNUAL MEETING. STATE PRESIDENT TO PRESENT “STATE OF THE LEAGUE".

 

             The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley (LWVNV) will hold its annual meeting on Monday, June 4 at Samdan Restaurant, 174 Piermont Road, Cresskill, New Jersey.  The public is invited to attend. 

            Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner comprised of several appetizers, and a presentation.  The charge for the dinner is $30 per person with a cash bar.

            The LWVNV, covering over 20 towns in Bergen County, will present an overview of its work, events, and activities undertaken this year and plans for the future.  Guest speaker, Toni Zimmer, President, League of Women Voters of New Jersey, will present "State of the League" and discuss the work the organization is undertaking statewide in the areas of advocacy, voter education, enhanced outreach efforts to identify and recruit more supporters and members, and plans for the future.  A question and answer period will follow.

         "The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley had a busy year studying issues such as the role of the federal government in education and the privatization of government services, as well as providing voter services in various towns in Bergen County.  We are delighted that Toni Zimmer will speak at our annual meeting about the important work that the League of Women Voters is undertaking throughout the state.  This is a good opportunity for people to attend and learn more about the League’s work," said Joyce Luhrs, co vice-president, League of Women Voters of Northern Valley.

            For further information about the event or to RSVP, call (201) 568-0787.

 

About League of Women Voters

            The League was an outgrowth of the 19th amendment passed in 1920 giving women the right to vote.  With over 1,000 local Leagues throughout the country, the organization gained prestige by maintaining its nonpartisanship; sponsoring candidates’ forums for local, state and national elections; holding registration drives; disseminating nonpartisan information on candidates; and holding public meetings to discuss current issues.  League membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support its mission. 

            The League of Women Voters of Northern Valley draws members from Alpine, Bergenfield, Cliffside Park, Closter, Cresskill, Demarest, Dumont, Edgewater, Emerson, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Leonia, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Old Tappan, Park Ridge, River Vale, Tenafly, Washington Township and Woodcliff Lake.

            For more information about the League, visit the organization’s website at www.lwvbergen.org or contact (201) 947-0756.

 

 

Leonia Arts Launches New Web Site & Announces 2012 Board of Directors. Artists and Patrons Invited to Become Members.

 

 

Leonia Arts, a nonprofit cultural arts alliance in the borough, announces the launch of the organization’s new web site and the 2012 board of directors and advisory board.  Artists in the borough and patrons are invited to join the organization.


New Artists Link 

            The web site features an Artist Link page open to Leonia artists in all disciplines.  Artists are invited to join the new page and link their web site to the Leonia Arts’ web site.  The Artists Links’ page is presented in subpages by discipline. Borough artists interested in linking their web site and/or contact information to be listed on the relevant subpage, should send the following to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:  name and type of artist (photographer, actor, dancer, writer, etc.), one photo (optional), web site URL (optional), and a short bio or profile no more than two brief paragraphs in length.  

 

Announcement of Board of Directors and Advisory Board

            Leonia Arts announces its 2012 board of directors and advisory board.  Officers are Kathy Pecht, President; James Leynse, Vice President; Deborah Bigelow, Treasurer; and Nike Bach, Secretary.  Members of the board of directors are Douglas Chung, Mary Connor, Marsha Heller, Susannah Levy, Joyce Luhrs, Ryan Maxwell, and Sandra Pancrazi.  Dr. Frank Livelli and Paul Leibow are members of the organization’s new advisory board.

 

Membership

            Artists, patrons of the art, arts organizations, and arts groups in the borough are invited to join Leonia Arts.  Membership is free.  A Leonia Arts’ membership form may be completed on the group’s website, http://www.leoniaarts.org/membership-form/.   Leonia Arts membership entitles artists and patrons of the arts to connect with each other, arts organizations and groups, while also promoting networking opportunities.  Members can share their art or expertise with others in the community.  Artists and patrons of the arts can get involved in community art projects, volunteer in future arts events in the schools and other venue locations, or participate in Leonia Arts’ projects.  Members are also listed in the Leonia Arts’ town-wide database developed specifically for the arts.

            Artists from various fields, including writing, painting, photography, sculpting, crafts work, music, singing, acting, dance, filmmaking, mixed media, and others are invited to participate.  Patrons of the arts from any field are welcome to join.

 

            Leonia Arts has a mission to support, stimulate, enhance, promote and connect the arts within the borough and to outer communities.  The grassroots organization supports the arts by connecting the various diverse artists and creative groups in the town often called the “Athens of New Jersey.” 

 

            For more information about Leonia Arts, contact Leonia Arts President, Kathy Pecht, at 201-944-0510 or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Go to www.leoniaarts.org for additional information about the organization, to join Leonia Arts, to view a calendar of upcoming arts events, and much more.

LEONIA NATIVE LISA MATEO OF WPIX 11 TO BE HONORED AT HISPANIC BUSINESS COUNCIL SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION OF NJ GALA

 

 

Photo:  Lisa Mateo of WPIX 11.  Courtesy of WPIX 11.

 

 

           Leonia Native Lisa Mateo of WPIX 11 will be honored at the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc's. 21st Annual Gala on May 3.  The 2012 scholarship and stipend award recipients will be announced.

 

 

            The Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc. (HBCSF) announces that Leonia native Lisa Mateo (nee Nieves) will be honored at the organization’s 21st annual gala on May 3.  The HBCSF will recognize the awarding of $40,000 in scholarships and stipends for course-required materials to 19 current college and college-bound Hispanic students throughout New Jersey at the 21st Annual Scholarship Gala. 

            The gala, Developing Future Leaders, will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. at The Estate at Florentine Gardens, 97 Rivervale Rd. in River Vale, New Jersey.  The event is the nonprofit organization’s major fund-raiser of the year for scholarship and stipend support.

 

            The HBCSF is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization with a mission to advance the educational aspirations of Hispanic students so that they may become professionals, leaders and valued citizens of the community.  The foundation accomplishes this by providing scholarships for a college education based on academic excellence and financial need.

 

Gala Honorees

            Lisa Mateo, Features Reporter PIX Morning News and Weekend Weather Anchor PIX 11 News, WPIX Tribune, will be honored for her leadership and contributions to the community.  Ms. Mateo attended the Leonia Public Schools from the fourth through twelfth grades, graduating from Leonia High School in 1992.  She was involved in numerous activities in the school, including the newspaper and playing on the volleyball, track and field and basketball teams.  In 1992, she received the Most Valuable Player award for basketball. 

            Ms. Mateo is a two-time Emmy nominated Features Reporter for the PIX 11 Morning News.  She graduated from Rutgers-The State University of New Jersey with a double major in Journalism and Communications and a minor in Spanish.  She began her career in print news as a staff writer for the Suburban Trends newspaper in New Jersey.

            The gala will also recognize these honorees for their leadership and contributions to the community: Jose Nido, Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity, Wyndham Worldwide; and Miguel Alexander Pozo, Partner, Lowenstein Sandler.

 

Program

            The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by a program, dinner, and dancing starting at 7:00 p.m.  Ms. Mateo, who returns for a fourth year to the gala, will also serve as mistress of ceremonies.  Trio Cristal and Dynamic Sound Entertainment will provide the entertainment.  A silent auction will also be held during the event, with 100% of the funds raised directed to scholarship awards and stipends for course-required materials. 

            A highlight of the gala will be the announcement of the 2012 scholarship recipients and stipend awardees drawn throughout the state.  From 1993 to the present, the foundation has awarded $365,500 to 139 students throughout the state.


2012 Sponsors

            To date, the 2012 sponsors instrumental in providing funding for this year’s awards by platinum, gold, silver and bronze levels are as follows.  Platinum sponsors are Quixote Dunes, Inc. and Wells Fargo Private Bank.  Gold sponsors are Berkeley College and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC followed by silver sponsor Unilever.  The bronze level sponsors are Booz | Allen | Hamilton, Luhrs & Associates, New Jersey Accounting Services, Inc., PSE&G, The Center for Better Smiles, LLC and U.S. Financial Services, LLC.

 

Tickets & Donations

            General admission tickets to the gala are $250 and may be purchased online at www.hbcsf.org or by sending checks payable to the HBCSF, 429C Cedar Lane #313, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666.  Sponsorship opportunities are available at the levels of platinum, $7,500; gold, $5,000; silver, $3,000; and bronze, $1,500.

            For more information about the annual gala, sponsorship opportunities, donations, or the HBCSF, contact Hector Banegas, president HBCSF, at 201-226-3033, send an inquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit www.hbcsf.org. The HBCSF 2013 scholarship application may be downloaded at the organization’s web site.

 

 

 

    

Meet International Cast of Artists in Special Champagne Receptions

 

 

Verismo Opera Meet the Artists Champagne Reception, 2011.  Photo: Marilyn Monsanto

 

         See the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera’s new production, Il Trovatore, on April 20 or April 22 and afterward, attend a special Meet the Artists Champagne Reception at the Bergen Performing Arts Cabaret Room located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey.  Talk one-on-one with the international cast of artists performing in this new production.

            The receptions will be held on April 20 from 11:00 p.m. to midnight and April 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Guests will have an opportunity to meet the artists and have their photo taken with a performer, obtain autographs and discuss the company’s work. 

            Champagne and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  The event is open to the public.  A suggested donation of $15 or more is requested.  For more information and to RSVP, call (201) 886-0561.

 

Verismo Opera Announces Charles Schneider Replaces Gustavo Ahualli as Count di Luna in Il Trovatore

 

 

 

Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera), announces that baritone Charles Schneider will appear as Count di Luna in the company’s upcoming production of Il Trovatore on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey.  Schneider replaces Gustavo Ahualli, who had to leave the production due to illness.

 

Schneider, a resident of Highland Park, New Jersey, returns to perform with Verismo Opera for a second time.  He will debut in the role of the treacherous Count di Luna.  Previously, he performed the role of Baron Scarpia in the company’s October, 2011 production of Tosca.

 

He has performed over 30 roles in more than 15 opera houses, such as the Des Moines Metro Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, the Princeton Festival, Opera New York, the OK Mozart Festival, Concert Operetta of Philadelphia, among others.  In 2009, he performed the role of Scarpia with the Lyric Orchestra in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Other notable roles include Count Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Michele (Il Tabarro), Belcore (L’elisir d’amore), and Hal in the world premiere of Grammy award-winning composer Libby Larsen’s, Picnic.

 

In New Jersey, he currently serves as an adjunct professor of voice at Rider University’s Westminster School of the Arts and the Lawrenceville School.  He specializes in the vocal pedagogies of the 18th and 19th centuries.

 

International Cast of Stars

 

An international cast of singers has been assembled starring Mexican tenor Roberto Esquivelzeta’s debut with the company in the lead as Manrico.  Canadian soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez returns to Verismo Opera to debut the role of Leonora, marking her second performance with the company after her triumphant appearance as Aida last year.  Other singers returning to Verismo Opera are mezzo-soprano Galina Ivannikova as Azucena, a role she previously performed in her native Ukraine. 

 

Bass-baritone Steven Fredericks from Tenafly, New Jersey plays Ferrando, a role he performed with Maestro Anton Coppola.  In 2010, Fredericks appeared as Sparafucile in Verismo Opera’s well received production of Rigoletto.  The company also welcomes back tenor Joel Cardona from Puerto Rico performing the role of Ruiz and New York soprano Jasmine Thomas in the role of Inez.  Cardona debuted with Verismo Opera as Spoletta in the 2011 production of Tosca and Thomas joined the company last year as the Priestess in Aida

 

Tenor Ivan Cardona, a native of Puerto Rico who grew up in Newark and currently resides in Haledon, New Jersey, will appear as the Messenger in his first opera performance.  Cardona has appeared in various stage productions, including Les Miserables, La Traviata, Don Giovanni, among others, as well as New York City cabaret concerts.  He has appeared in movies such as "El Cantante" with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez and will be seen in the upcoming movie, "The Dictator", starring Ben Kingsley.

 

Baritone James Moy, a family doctor by day, will appear as the Gypsy on April 20.  Moy, a resident of Colts Neck, New Jersey and New York City, has sung with the Verismo Opera Chorus for the past six years in all of the company’s productions.  Baritone Robert Peter Jenkins of Midland Park premieres with the company in the role of the Gypsy on April 22.

 

The new production is directed once again by Evelyn la Quaif.  Principal Conductor/Music Director Anthony Morss conducts the full opera orchestra and chorus.  Mara Waldman, Chorus Director, returns to lead the Verismo Opera Chorus.  Costumes are designed by Catherine Mirabella and Barbara Konig.  Gerald Cassese designed the period sets.

 

Champagne Receptions

 

The public is invited to join Verismo Opera after each performance and talk one on one with the artists in two special Meet the Artists Champagne Receptions to be held at the bergenPAC Cabaret Room located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood.

 

The receptions will be held on April 20 from 11:00 p.m. to midnight and April 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Guests will have an opportunity to meet the international cast of stars and other members of Verismo Opera, have their photos taken with an artist, obtain autographs and discuss the company’s work. 

 

Champagne and hors d'oeuvres will be served.  The event is open to the public.  A suggested donation of $15 or more is requested.  For more information and to RSVP, call (201) 886-0561.

 

Tickets for Il Trovatore

 

Tickets may be purchased online at www.bergenpac.org, at the bergenPAC box office, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.   Discount ticket rates for children, ages 12 and under, are available for $10.  For special rates for group sales of 10 or more people, call (201) 224-2809.

 

Funding

 

Il Trovatore is made possible, in part, with funds provided by the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, through grand funds administered by the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.  Other supporters include Mary Casella Briggs Memorial Fund, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Inc., Vanguard Charitable Endowment Fund, Children’s Aid Foundation, Paul Weiss Matching Fund, Robert J. Campbell, MD and Cesare L. Santeramo, KSJ.

 

For more information about the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, visit its web site, www.njavo.org, join its Facebook page at http://bit.ly/9JXTP8, or call (201) 886-0561.

 

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