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HAPPY BIRTHDAY METROPOLITAN OPERA STAR LUCINE AMARA!

 

NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION OF VERISMO OPERA

CELEBRATES

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR LUCINE AMARA’S BIRTHDAY

 

 

Verismo Opera celebrates Lucine Amara's birthday.

 

Ms. Amara cuts the cake with Verismo Opera General Manager Evelyn La Quaif.

 

Canadian soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez makes a toast.

 

Canadian soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez, Verismo Chorus Director Mara Waldman, Lucine Amara, Maestro Anthony Morss, and Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sing Your Heart Out With the Verismo Opera Chorus

Art Beat

 

 

 

Verismo Opera Chorus performs in Il Trovatore.  Photographer: Marilyn Monsanto

 

 

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera will hold its final auditions for the Verismo Opera Chorus during March.  

 


If you have a desire to sing your heart out, the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) wants you.  Verismo Opera’s President, Giovanni Simone, and Artistic Director, Lucine Amara, announced auditions for the Verismo Opera Chorus are being held in March.

“We want to involve local performers of all ages in our professional productions.  Verismo Opera can provide artists and musicians with the platform to share their talents.  For others, we offer an opportunity to embark on a professional singing career.  Vocalists will learn a variety of skills, such as correct stage movement and voice projection with full orchestra accompaniment and perform in full costume,” said Simone.

 “I invite male and female vocalists, both amateur and professional, to apply.  Male singers, who are tenors, baritones, and basses, are especially needed,” said Amara.

 During this season, A Year of Love, Tragedy, and Suicide, the Verismo Opera Chorus will appear in the company’s grand productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s Il Trovatore on Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22 at 3:00 p.m. and Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly in the fall at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey and other venues. 

Auditions for the chorus will be held Wednesdays, March 14 and March 28 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at 44 Armory Street in Englewood, New Jersey.  Applicants should bring one or two songs to perform.  An accompanist will be provided.

Sight-reading ability is definitely a plus, but not necessary.  No prior stage experience is required.  An application may be downloaded at http://www.njavo.org/chorus.html.  For information or to schedule an appointment to audition for the chorus, call (201) 886-0561. 

Under Chorus Director Mara Waldman, singers will explore grand opera through active performances.  The operas will be fully staged and performed in costume accompanied by an orchestra under internationally renowned Principal Conductor/Music Director Anthony Morss in a number of performing arts centers.

 For more information, visit the company’s web site, www.njavo.org, join it on Facebook at http://bit.ly/9JXTP8, or call (201) 886-0561.

 

 

NJ Association of Verismo Opera Announces Supernumeraries & Volunteers Wanted. Discount Tickets for Il Trovatore Available Only in March.

 

 

Art Beat

 

 

 

 



Verismo Opera's Il Trovatore.  Photographer: Marilyn Monsanto.

 

 

 

Verismo Opera announces several supernumerary and volunteer opportunities are available in its productions, events and behind the scenes.  Special discount tickets to see Il Trovatore at the Bergen Performing Arts Center are available only in March. 

 

 

Have you dreamed about being a part of a live production and seeing the show unfold before your eyes while sharing the limelight with outstanding talent?  The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) has several opportunities for adult men and women and teens to perform important non-singing, non-speaking acting roles as supernumeraries (supers), similar to extra roles in a movie, or as volunteers working behind the scenes.

 

Supernumeraries Wanted


North Jersey’s only professional, grand opera company continues its season, A Year of Love Tragedy, and Suicide, with Giuseppe Verdi’s great work of love, vengeance, and betrayal, Il Trovatore, in April and Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in the fall. 

 

Verismo Opera has openings for supernumeraries, ages 16 and up, to play various roles, including followers of Conte di Luna and Manrico, a messenger, a goaler, soldiers, guards, noble men, noble women, and nuns in 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) in Englewood, New Jersey.  Others are needed to assume the roles of Cio-Cio-San's relations and friends, geisha, and servants for the performance of Madama Butterfly

 

No prior stage experience is required.  Supernumeraries will work closely with the company’s General Manager/Stage Director, Canadian soprano Evelyn La Quaif, a prominent voice teacher and performer. 

            

The operas will be fully staged and performed in costume accompanied by an orchestra under internationally renowned Principal Conductor/Music Director, Anthony Morss, in a number of performing arts centers. 

 

Volunteers Needed


Volunteers are welcome on an ongoing basis to work behind the scenes, assist with fund-raising projects, and help in various office functions. 

 

“Verismo Opera always needs volunteers to promote our elaborate productions and events, greet people at performances, assist with mailings, make phone calls, post flyers about upcoming productions and events, implement receptions and much more.  Members of the community interested in helping back stage with costume changes, using and gathering stage props, among other things should contact us,” said Giovanni Simone, President, Verismo Opera.

 

For information about appearing as a super or volunteering with Verismo Opera, call (201) 224-2809.

 

Discount Tickets to Il Trovatore


Tickets to Il Trovatore may be purchased through the bergenPAC box office.  This year, Verismo Opera has established for children, ages 12 and under, a special $10 ticket rate only available through the bergenPAC box office.

 

Verismo Opera is also offering a special discount of 35% off on $55 and $45 tickets ONLY on March 22, 23, and 24, 2012 for both the April 20 and April 22 performances of Il Trovatore.  The code for this special offer is TROV2. 


Discount tickets may be ordered only through the box office and are not available online.  Tickets may be purchased in person at the bergenPAC box office, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey, from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays or by calling (201) 227-1030.

 

Tickets not discounted may be purchased online at www.bergenpac.org, through the bergenPAC box office, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.  For special rates for group sales, call (201) 224-2809.

 

             

For more information about the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, visit is web site, join the company on Facebook, or call (201) 886-0561.

 

1 1/2 Yr. Old Male - Friskie is Looking for His Furever Home

Friskie is a 1 1/2 year old Black & White male.  His owner chose her boyfriend over him.  Friendly and Playful
Up to date with vaccinations, neutered and FIV/FeLV negative
Contact Vanessa @ 201-982-2219


www.chanceatlifecatrescue.com

Neglected Tabby - Mater Needs a New Home and Lots of Love

History & Fun: Great Together. League of Women Voters of Bergen County to Hold “Celebration of Women’s History”.

 

Community Beat


 

Commemorating the League’s 92nd Birthday & Women’s History Month

 

            The League of Women Voters of Bergen County will commemorate Women’s History Month and the League’s 92nd birthday with a special celebration on Sunday, March 4, 2 to 4 p.m., at the Park Ridge Community Center, 53 Park Avenue, Park Ridge, New Jersey.  The entrance to the library on the lower level should be used. 

             The public is invited to attend the festivities and participate in a three-part program that kicks off with Toni Zimmer, President of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, providing a special greeting.  Guests will be asked to select and discuss briefly a woman in history they admire.  Possible contenders may include foremothers who fought for suffrage, women who led the way for others in their fields, and others.  Dressing in character is optional, but always adds to the fun. 

            Back by popular demand, a skit reenacting a conversation between suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony will be performed by League of Women Voters of Fair Lawn members Nancy Wallace and Fran Davis.  Excerpts from Not For Ourselves Alone will be presented.  Guests are invited to stay afterward and enjoy a buffet desert table.

            The League of Women Voters 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.

            Membership is open to both men and women of voting age who support its mission.  For more information about the League, visit the League of Women Voters of Bergen County’s website at www.lwvbergen.org

            For further information about the celebration or to RSVP, contact Lucy Heller, President of the League of Women Voters of Bergen County, at 201-391-5617 or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  To car pool, contact Fran Davis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc. to Hold 21st Annual Scholarship Gala

Community Beat

 

 

 

 

         The Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc. (HBCSF) will hold its 21st Annual Scholarship Gala, “Developing Future Leaders”, on Thursday, May 3, 2012. 

         With a mission that advances the educational aspirations of Hispanic students to become professionals, leaders and valued citizens of the community, the HBCSF provides scholarships and stipends for a college education based on academic excellence and financial need.  A highlight of the event will be the announcement of the 2012 scholarship and stipend recipients drawn throughout the state.  $40,000 in scholarships and stipends for course-required materials for current college and college-bound Hispanic students will be awarded.

         The gala kicks off at 6:00 p.m. at The Estate at Florentine Gardens, 97 Rivervale Rd. in River Vale, New Jersey and is the nonprofit organization’s major fund-raiser of the year for scholarship and stipend support.  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.  Lisa Mateo of PIX11 Morning News returns for a fourth year to 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 and stipend awards.

 

Leaders to be Honored

         The gala will recognize the following three honorees selected for their leadership and contributions to the community:

                  • Lisa Mateo, Features Reporter PIX 11 Morning News and Weekend Weather Anchor PIX 11 News, WPIX Tribune;

                  • Jose Nido, Vice President, Global Supplier Diversity, Wyndham Worldwide; and

                  • Miguel Alexander Pozo, Partner, Lowenstein Sandler.

 

         A general admission ticket to the gala is $250 and may be purchased online at www.hbcsf.org or by sending a check 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.

 

Donate Today

             Donations are welcome and may be made online or sent to HBCSF, 429C Cedar Lane #313, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666.  For more information about the annual gala, sponsorship opportunities, advertising in the gala journal, 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.

 

 

Verismo Opera to Present Verdi’s Grand Opera, Il Trovatore. Special Children’s Ticket Rate & Time-Limited Discounts.

Art Scene

An international cast of stars from Mexico, Argentina, Ukraine, Canada, the continental United States, and Puerto Rico will perform on April 20 and 22.  Special children's ticket rates and time-limited discount tickets are available.

 

 

Il Trovatore.  Photo: Marilyn Monsanto

 

The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) brings back one of Giuseppe Verdi’s most mysterious, melodramatic operas, Il Trovatore, on Friday, April 20, 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 22, 3:00 p.m., to the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), 30 North Van Brunt Street, in Englewood, New Jersey. 

Verismo Opera, the only professional, grand opera company headquartered in North Jersey, presents Antonio Garcia Gutierrez’ powerful tragedy, El Trovador, filled with mystery, suspense, vengeance, death, and even love to the stage with an international cast dressed in full period costumes.  Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Salvatore Cammarano’s libretto will be performed in four acts with beautiful New York City set designs and a full orchestra.

Set in Old Spain, Verdi’s impassioned thriller shows powerful emotions twist the hearts and minds of the lead characters Leonora, Manrico and Conte di Luna, as fate slowly deals each a lethal hand.  Evelyn La Quaif’s intense stage direction leads the audience on an emotional rollercoaster, emphasizing throughout traditional Verdian opera.

La Quaif promises this production remains true to Verdi’s interpretation.  “The difficulty directing Il Trovatore is to project the historic, heroic nature of that era’s people.  Verdi brilliantly understood and conveyed each character's almost stoic dedication to respect, loyalty, and heroism.  Unfortunately, these qualities often appear fake by today's standards, making the period's true Spanish nature difficult to project correctly on the stage.  My interpretation presents real, three-dimensional characters.  This production will unveil a surprise ending never seen before on stage,” she said.

“Having sung Leonora in Il Trovatore many times at the Metropolitan Opera, I know this opera, the difficulties, and the enormous talent required to attempt this undertaking.  Tenor Roberto Esquivelzeta not only sings a high C but he carries it for several seconds.  This production will be stunning, and I can't wait to see this opera myself!” explained Artistic Director/Metropolitan Opera star Lucine Amara.

 

International Cast

 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.  Baritone Gustavo Ahualli from Argentina, who previously appeared as Silvio in the company’s production of Pagliacci, will perform the part of Conte Di Luna, a role he recently performed with Argentina’s Teatro San Martin.

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 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 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.

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

 

Special Ticket Offers for Children and Fans

“As our mission involves educating and introducing youth to the joy of fine music, Verismo Opera is delighted to offer for children, ages 12 and under, a special $10 ticket rate.  This offer is only available through the bergenPAC box office,” explained Amara.

Verismo Opera is offering a special two-for-one sale on tickets priced at $55 and $45 ONLY on February 23, 24, and 25.  The code for this special offer is “TROV1”.  Discount tickets may be ordered only through the box office and are not available online.  Tickets may be purchased in person at the bergenPAC box office, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street in Englewood, New Jersey, from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays or by calling (201) 227-1030.

Full-priced tickets may be purchased online at the bergenPAC box office, and by calling (201) 227-1030 or toll-free at 1-888-PACSHOW.  For special rates for group sales, 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.

 

Contact

For more information about the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, visit its web site, join its Facebook page, or call (201) 886-0561. 

 

 

 

 

STILL TIME TO SUBMIT SCHOLARSHIP, STIPEND APPLICATIONS TO FOUNDATION

Community Beat

           

            Don’t procrastinate.  There’s still time to apply to the Hispanic Business Council Scholarship Foundation of NJ, Inc.’s (HBCSF) 2012 annual scholarship and stipend awards program.  Applications are being accepted now for the Foundation’s scholarships and stipends for course-required materials for current college and college-bound students and those planning to attend a trade (technical) school during the 2012-2013 academic year. 

2012 Season

            Open to all New Jersey residents of Hispanic heritage, information about the program and the current, downloadable application are available at www.hbcsf.org.  Applications and all required information must be postmarked by Wednesday, February 29, 2012.  HBCSF will award a minimum of $40,000 in scholarships and stipends.  Scholarships up to $4,000 each will be disbursed directly to the college or university of the student's choice during the 2012-2013 school term. 

            A student must enroll full-time at an accredited college, university, community college or trade (technical) school in the United States and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.  In addition to tuition scholarships, HBCSF also awards $1,000 stipends for course-required materials, such as books, laboratory equipment, and other supplies. Upon acceptance into the program, scholarship recipients will be required to complete 80 hours of community service between June 2012 and June 2013.  Frequently asked questions are available on-line and may be downloaded.

         Interviews and the final award selection will be completed by the end of March. All the award recipients will be announced and the scholarship students will be   presented at the Foundation’s 21st Annual Scholarship Gala to be held again at The Estate at Florentine Gardens in River Vale, New Jersey on Thursday, May 3, 2012.  The annual gala serves as the major fund-raiser for the HBCSF.  Donations are welcome and may be made online at www.hbcsf.org, or sent to HBCSF, 429C Cedar Lane #313, Teaneck, New Jersey 07666. 

Making a Difference

            For 21 years, the Foundation has advanced the educational aspirations of Hispanic students in New Jersey to become professionals, leaders, and valued citizens of the community.  HBCSF, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization based in Bergen County, New Jersey, accomplishes this by providing scholarships and stipends for a college education based on academic excellence and financial need.  The Foundation has awarded $325,500 to 120 recipients throughout the state.

Corporate Sponsors

            Corporate sponsors are critical to supporting the organization’s annual scholarship and stipend awards program.   Sponsors instrumental in providing funding for this year’s program are Wells Fargo Private Bank, Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, Berkeley College, “PIX11 and Tribune Broadcasting”, Quixote Dunes, Inc., Unilever and Verizon.  Additional sponsors are Booz | Allen | Hamilton, New Jersey Accounting Services, Inc., haute couture designer Nicolás Felizola, "Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation" represented by the Hispanic Leadership Network, Prudential, and PSE&G.
             To learn more about the 2012 scholarship and stipend application or previous scholarship and stipend recipients, visit www.hbcsf.org.  Inquiries may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

           

 

NJ Association of Verismo Opera to Perform in Leonia

The NJ Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) returns to the Leonia Public Library, 227 Fort Lee Road, in Leonia, New Jersey, with its new program, Moments in Opera, Saturday, February 25, 3:00-4:00 p.m.   The event is FREE and open to the public.

 

Verismo Opera's international cast of stars will sing vignettes from past productions, including the well-received performance of Tosca at the Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC) in Englewood, New Jersey and excerpts from the upcoming production of Il Trovatore on April 20 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 at 3:00 p.m. at bergenPAC.  A special performance will be given by Metropolitan Opera star and Verismo Opera’s Artistic Director Lucine Amara.       

 

Among the artists appearing in Il Trovatore and scheduled to sing in Leonia are Canadian soprano Sharon Azrieli Perez, who will assume the role of Leonora and previously appeared with the company in Aida, and Mexican tenor Roberto Esquivelzeta will make his debut with the company as Manrico.  Verismo Opera newcomer Argentine baritone Gustavo Ahualli will perform the role of Count di Luna.  Other singers scheduled to appear in Leonia are Canadian soprano and Verismo Opera’s production director of Il Trovatore, Evelyn La Quaif, and Allegra Durante, who will sing in the Verismo Opera Chorus.

 

For further information about the program, contact the Leonia Public Library at (201) 592-5770.  Learn more about the NJ Association of Verismo Opera, follow the company on Facebook, or call (201) 886-0561.

 

 

 

 

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