Wednesday, July 30, 2014


On Friday evening I was invited to attend my first Opera Notte at the Whit.  I was excited to
be attending and eager to see what a night of Opera would be like.  I am a fan of many
styles of music and enjoy Classical and Opera although I am not educated and
knowledgeable about composers, songs and such, I got a bit of an education that
evening, along with  wonderful memories!

I walked into the Whitney Center of the Arts which I am used to going to Art Shows and
Receptions in the recently converted Women's Club.  A project co-created by Lisa
Whitney and Ghazi Kazmi with a main Gallery and a smaller Colt Gallery with an office or
two thrown in upstairs, which was transformed that evening into a nice little Cafe with
round tables set up, the piano pulled out into the room  and people getting settled in with
their wine and munchies awaiting the performance.

The building in itself is charming and beautiful and with the hustle and bustle of activity
and people it felt very comfortable and welcoming.  The crowd was there and I was seated
with two people I didn't know and the wonderful Rudy Sacco ~ so I felt I was in excellent
company for a wonderful night!

They have a nice little menu which was on the table with food and beverages ranging from
an Italian Specialty Plate, Mediterranean Platter, Chips and Salsa and even a dessert of the
day and Coffee, Tea(s), Cava and White and Red Wines by the glass or bottle depending
upon your needs and a selection of Domestic and Imported Beers and a non Alcoholic
beer as well as Perrier and various Soft Drinks.

The servers flitted around getting the crowd set before the performance.  The wine flowed
and the conversations were plentiful as we all waited for the show to begin.  Lillian Strums
Collection was adorning the walls and the lady herself was also in the house!!!

We were treated to a wonderful and eye opening performance by Amber Naramore, Kara
Demler, John Demler, Joseph Sicotte, and Ron Ramsay.  Joe and Ron were on Piano as
well as singing during the evening.

Ron began the evening by instructing us on the correct responses for Opera Etiquette for
showing our appreciation for the performers and encouraged responses followed by a sip
of wine to show our love!

  • bravo! - Bravo is the Italian word for expressing appreciation to a male performer.

  • brava! -  Bravo is the Italian word for expressing appreciation to a female performer

  • bravi! -  Bravo is the Italian word for expressing appreciation to two or more performers.

I was mesmerized by a wide range of music from Carmen by John Delmer, followed by
Daughter of the Regiment by Amber who is amazing and, sadly leaving for Hawaii after a
wonderful season at the Whit which began in February.

Kara and John Delmer sang a beautiful Romantic Duet followed by an Aria by Joseph
Sicotte.  Kara and Amber followed with a beautiful Duet   I sat back and enjoyed every
Amber Star Naramore

Kara and John Delmer
Amber performing

 I think my ultimate favourite performance during the evening was an Aria from La Boheme
by Kara Demler who really included the audience including one of my table mates!  As she
scolded him in Italian I was really taken in by the powerful song and her rendition!

There was a special guest performer as well.  Lily Lothrop a 15 year old Sophomore from
Taconic High School made her debut at the Whit.  She has a beautiful voice and a wide
range and she delighted the audience.

They switched from Opera and broke into a series of different songs including one of my
favourites by George Gershwin "Summertime" sung by Amber which was amazing!  Joe
sang Adolpho   which required audience participation and I do believe everyone got into it!

Time flew and before I knew it Amber, Kara, John, Ron, Joe and Lily were singing the finale
from La Traviata and people took their leave.  I took the opportunity to introduce myself to
Lillian Sturm whose amazing Art Collection adorned the walls all month long, in order to
thank her for sharing!

She surprised me by telling me that she had noticed me during the show and could tell I
loved every minute of it.  I had to agree!  My first Opera Night was an amazing experience
which I hope to repeat!  Lillian was warm and friendly and has amazing taste in art so I was
amazed that she had noticed me at all!

I spoke with Lily Lathrop's Dad as I was heading for the door who told me that Lily will be
singing at The Colonial Theatre in the near future!  I cannot wait to see how this your
performer will develop over time!

One of the goals of the Whitney Center for the Arts is to bring Opera to the masses and
for everyone to have a great time!  I can agree that the masses got together indeed, on
Friday evening and everyone left after having a great time!

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