After a season full of recitals and supporting roles, the Studio Artists of Chautauqua Opera Company’s Young Artists Program can now try their hand at leading roles in scenes from a selection of famous productions at 4 p.m. today in Norton Hall.
Following the announcement of finalists Eric Einhorn and Steven Osgood in late May, Chautauqua Institution officials said they are nearing…
“I’m a Chautauquan, through and through,” Jo-An Webb said.
Sandy D’Andrade, a veteran costume designer from Philadelphia, has been creating handmade knitwear for well over 30 years. With her rich-colored collection of skirts, scarves, jackets and gowns, D’Andrade has turned her artistry to supporting the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists through the Chautauqua Opera Guild for the last 12 years.
Some people plan the dates of their Chautauqua visit around the morning lectures, and others around the opera or symphony schedule. But for the past decade, some Chautauquans have been sure their time spent at the Institution coincides with Sandy D’Andradé’s trunk show.
D’Andradé’s handmade knitwear exhibits craft and skill uncommon in today’s mass-produced culture, and with a more than 30-year career under her belt, D’Andradé still feels the demand for unique, intricate separates. For the first time in her 10-year presence at Chautauqua, she and her husband, Matt Alperin, have sold their clothing throughout the whole season, alternating between a showroom in the Athenaeum Hotel and the Main Gate Welcome Center.
In an event following the Chautauqua Opera Company’s pops concert on Aug. 4, the Chautauqua Opera Guild awarded 11 monetary prizes to members of the Young Artists Program.
Through several fundraisers held earlier this season, including the July 22 and Aug. 2 galas, the Opera Guild was able to disperse merit-based awards totaling $16,000.
As young professionals, recipients of the awards are often responsible for the price of lessons, coaching and any acting or movement classes they wish to take to further their craft. When musicians graduate from academic programs, the costs of keeping up their professional development can be overwhelming. The guild’s Young Artists Awards help with those expenses.
For decades, opera singers have been stereotyped as bossy, self-involved and demanding. Any number of encounters with Chautauqua Opera Company’s Young Artists would disprove that negative image, but one afternoon stands out as a myth-buster for Chautauqua Opera Guild President Barbara Turbessi.
When Turbessi arrived at Heritage Green Health Care Center to visit her husband on July 29, she found soprano Mandy Brown — her “adopted opera daughter” — and three colleagues preparing to give a recital to a group of the facility’s residents.
After presenting an afternoon art song recital with tenor Adam Bonanni, baritone Thomas Lehman and pianist Allison Voth during Week Four, Brown decided to take the already-prepared music to Heritage Green. They sang selections from Tchaikovsky, Barber, Debussy, Respighi, Rossini and Gilbert and Sullivan.
About a year before her death, Florence Norton dictated her memoir to her caretaker, Alice O’Grady, over breakfast each morning. The autobiography, titled Flossie: Recollections of the Life of Florence H. Norton 1913-2011, will be released during the Chautauqua Opera Guild’s annual gala at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Webb’s Restaurant.
The gala is one of the Opera Guild’s fundraisers for the Chautauqua Opera Young Artists Program. Proceeds from the event fund merit-based monetary awards for the opera company’s singers. The amount given depends on the guild’s fundraisers. Hale Oliver and Virginia DiPucci are event co-chairs.
Florence championed opera at Chautauqua Institution, a program with strong ties to the Norton family. Her husband’s grandmother, Lucy Norton, funded the construction of Norton Hall in 1929.
Not every singer working at Chautauqua will be on the Norton Hall stage this Friday and Monday. During the Chautauqua Opera Company’s performances of Manon Lescaut, coloratura soprano Deanna Johnson will be running her restaurant.
As owner of Intermezzo at Chautauqua, the restaurant located on the lower level of the St. Elmo, Johnson has found a way to support the opera even though her job prevents her from filling a seat. At 6 p.m. on Friday and Monday evenings, Intermezzo will host pre-opera dinners benefiting the Chautauqua Opera Guild. The dinner falls between the guild’s “Operalogue,” a 5 p.m. opera preview given by Chautauqua Opera’s Artistic and General Director Jay Lesenger in Norton Hall, and the opera performance at 7:30 p.m.
For the second time since they bought the Packard Manor in 2009, Robert and Sally Metzgar will open their home to the Chautauqua Opera Guild for their annual soiree benefiting the Chautauqua Opera program.
At 6 p.m. Sunday evening, Guild members who have donated funds at the benefactor level and above will gather for an elaborate supper and entertainment provided by the guest artists starring in Chautauqua Opera’s Manon Lescaut.
“This soiree is our most elegant event of the year,” said Barbara Turbessi, president of the Opera Guild. “We try to give a little bit back to the people who have given us so much. The people who give to the guild give very generously, and it’s a pleasure to have that kind of venue to entertain them.”