The Marco Island Center for the Arts, as part of its “Up Close and Personal” intimate events, invites the public to spend an evening with Opera Naples Southwest Florida’s professional opera company next month on Feb. 1. The evening will begin with cocktails and a light supper at 5:30 PM and the performance at 6:30 PM. Tickets are $40 per person; please RSVP and arrive early as seating is limited.
Four talented soloists from Opera Naples’s Young Artist Program — Adam Barta (baritone), Justin Berkowitz (tenor), Katie Dixon (soprano), and Rocky Sellers (bass-baritone) — will perform selections from upcoming productions of “Pagliacci” and “The Barber of Seville,” as well as other popular arias and beloved songs from such composers as Mozart, Donizetti, Rodgers, Sullivan and Gershwin. A short introduction prior to each performance will help listeners understand the text and context of the arias.
All of these young artists have had extensive experience in the operatic world and are currently performing in Opera Naples’s 2014 season. Barta is the winner of the 2009 J. P. Opera Foundation’s Young Artist competition and most recently won first place in the Classical Singer Magazine’s annual voice competition. Berkowitz, who has been praised for his “exacting and animated” performances, recently completed his Masters in Voice Performance from the University of Michigan and spent the summer of 2012 as a young artist with the Ohio Light Opera Company. Hailed as “a natural with a sparkling personality and top notes to match,” Dixon has performed at opera houses around the country, including the Grand Opera in Fresno, Houston’s Opera in the Heights and Lincoln Center. Sellars is quickly gaining recognition as a “fiercely gifted” young singer and has performed with such companies as the Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera and the Manhattan Opera Studio. The soloists will be accompanied by Charis Dimaras, a professor of piano on sabbatical from Ithaca College.
Another “Up Close and Personal” event, this one — somewhat unusual — is planned for later this season. Guests will spend the evening with an expert in Bonsai gardening, learning all the intricacies and then feasting on a Japanese-inspired buffet complete with sake bar. For more information on the date of this event, please call the Center at 239-394-4221 or visit www.marcoislandart.org. The Center is located at 1010 Winterberry Drive on Marco.