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Vincent Ricciardi and La Toya Lewis Perform at Enrico Caruso Room Tonight

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The Enrico Caruso Room at Little Italy's famed Grotta Azzurra Ristorante will present monthly Tuesday Night Opera & Dinner Shows beginning tonight, April 9, 2013 when tenor Vincent Ricciardi and soprano La Toya Lewis share the spotlight.

Under its new policy, Grotta Azzurra (The Blue Grotto), which opened in 1908 and was a favorite of the great Metropolitan Opera tenor Enrico Caruso in the early 20th century, will offer a four-course dinner and operatic performances by talented opera singers on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:30 PM.

The cost is $55 per person for dinner and performance, plus tax and gratuities. Call 212-925-8775 for reservations. Or reserve online at www.bluegrotta.com Immediately following each Tuesday night performance, there will be an impromptu Open MIC with young singers sharing their talents with everyone in the historic room. Dinner will be available starting at 6 PM.

(Because of the Easter and Passover holidays, the April Tuesday Opera Night is being held on the second Tuesday of the month, April 9. In May, the Tuesday Opera Nights will resume on May 7.)

The Caruso Room at Grotta Azzurra is the perfect place in New York for those who love opera, terrific performers and excellent Italian cuisine in a famous venue in historic Little Italy. La Toya Lewis and Vincent Ricciardi are preparing a special evening of grand opera arias and duets, Broadway tunes, Neapolitan folk songs and more. They will be supported on keyboard by the Caruso Room's renowned Music Director David Schaefer.

Vincent Ricciardi possesses a romantic, warm, Lyric Tenor voice reminiscent of the great Italian tenors of yesterday. "He looks like Caruso, acts like Caruso and sounds like Caruso," says Dr. David Mercaldo of Skyline Theater Productions.

As a concert artist, Vincent has thrilled audiences throughout the Northeast-- in nightclubs of New York, and in the theaters of New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, specializing in Italian Opera, Neapolitan song, Operetta and Broadway show tunes. Career highlights include The Grand Opening of the Enrico Caruso Room at Grotta Azzurra in Little Italy, featured performer at the 2012 Mario Lanza Gala Ball in Philadelphia, Bella Napoli: A Celebration of Neapolitan Song and Dance in New Jersey and Lanza: a Musical Tribute at the Schubert Theater in New Haven, CT.

Recently, he has been seen in various operatic productions throughout New York and New Jersey with Amici Opera, DiCapo Opera Theatre, Regina Opera, and Opera of the Hamptons. He can be heard on the musical concept recording Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross and Charlemagne: Let Legend Mark Me as the King, opposite Sir Christopher Lee. Vincent's first solo album will be released in the spring of 2013. For more information visit: www.vincentricciardi.com.

Soprano La Toya Lewis is an emerging opera singer from Brooklyn, NY. In 2011, Ms. Lewis performed in various concerts and master classes in and around New York City. Most recently, she placed 2nd in the NATS Student Competition. After graduating from Binghamton University, where she was a resident artist with Tri-Cities Opera, Ms. Lewis returned to New York City and has since performed frequently with opera companies and in recital.

In 2010, Ms. Lewis was a Featured Singer with the Opera Singers Initiative. In addition to performing in concert at the historic Van Alen Mansion and the dazzling WMP Concert Hall, she was honored with the Young Opera Recording Award. She also made her company debut with the Light Opera of New York as Clementina in The Desert Song that same season. In 2009, she performed in concert with Chelsea Opera in Chelsea Opera Presents: One Night Only - Covers take the Stage. She also sang Fiordiligi (Cosi fan Tutte) with Underworld Productions.

That summer, she made her company debut and performed the title role of Susanna in Il Segreto di Susanna with Opera Manhattan Repertory Theatre. For the 2007/2008 season, Ms. Lewis was a Young Artist with the Utah Festival Opera. While there, she covered the role of Clara (Porgy and Bess) and performed the role of Consuela (West Side Story). She performed in various recitals around Logan, UT and was a featured soloist in the Carnevale Operafesta.

Ms Lewis completed her Master of Music degree with high honors while singing with the Tri-Cities Opera at Binghamton University. While there, she received the highly sought after Clifford Clark Fellowship, granting her full tuition scholarship and stipend. In addition to taking graduate courses, running a full voice studio, and teaching several music classes to undergraduate students, Ms. Lewis performed the roles of Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) and Micaela (Carmen) with Tri-Cities Opera. Ms. Lewis placed second in the 2nd Annual Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition in Greensboro, NC and was a Finalist in the Jenny Lind Competition.

The legendary Grotta Azzurra Ristorante, located on the corner of Broome and Mulberry Streets, opened in 1908 and was often frequented by the world famous Naples-born tenor Enrico Caruso and his friends. The entire restaurant was located in the exact same space as the current Enrico Caruso Room where the walls feature framed authentic collectibles, including vintage photos, old acetate music discs and records and caricatures drawn by Caruso himself, all of which have been donated by Cav. Uff. Aldo Mancusi, founder and curator of the Enrico Caruso Museum in Brooklyn.

The music performances at the Enrico Caruso Room are being presented by Mort and Ray Productions and LS Communications.

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