Ernest Revell and Lori Frederics Set for Enrico Caruso Room Tonight, 7/17

When tenor Ernest Revell and soprano Lori Fredrics come together to share the stage at the Enrico Caruso Room in Grotta Azzurra Ristorante, 177 Mulberry Street, in Little Italy tonight, July 17, at 8 PM, they will have taken very different paths to arrive at the same destination at the very same time.

Lori, a native of New York City, and Ernest, who was raised in Paterson and Hawthorne, NJ, both have degrees from William Paterson University of New Jersey several decades apart….. and in vastly different areas of expertise. Ernest, whose vocal talent was first recognized at the age of eight when the Choir Director at Saint Anthony’s School singled him out of the chorus to lead vocal rehearsals, graduated from William Paterson with an advance degree in Business and went on to have a successful business career. Lori matriculated from the same university with a Bachelor of Music degree, and then earned a graduate degree in Voice Performance from the University of Texas in Austin, before becoming a successful opera and concert performer, a university instructor of voice and private coach to many professional singers.

Lori and Ernest will perform together in concert for the first time when they headline the Enrico Caruso Room on Tuesday, July 17, supported by David Schaefer on keyboard. They will be performing in the very same space where the legendary Neapolitan tenor Enrico Caruso dined and performed a century ago. There is a $ 20 cover charge. Dinner is available from 7 PM. There is no food or drink minimum. Reservations are suggested by calling Grotta Azzurra at 212-925-8775.

Anyone hearing the voice of Ernest Revell will have a hard time imagining that he only first began voice lessons just several years ago when he retired from the business world. His is a sound that brings the Golden Age of opera into the 21st century: a rich, ringing timbre, and the proverbial ‘tear’ in the voice that has been an essential component of every great tenor’s work for centuries. Still, it is difficult to fathom that he was in his fifties before beginning to seriously study music.

The son of a mother of Neapolitan descent and a father of French descent, Ernest always loved music, and the voice. With the influences of movies featuring Mario Lanza and recordings by Enrico Caruso to guide him, Ernest became fascinated with singing and hoped one day to be able to share the happiness it gave him with the rest of the world. But years would pass before that became a reality. There was marriage, raising three pre-teen stepsons and the inevitable, all consuming demands of family life. Later came the terminal illness of his father who, on his deathbed, and for seemingly no apparent reason, said to him: “Ernie, you know you could have been a professional opera singer.” That statement became an epiphany, and the start of a personal mission.

In 2008, with no idea about where to begin, and armed with nothing but telephone directory listings of voice teachers to guide him, Ernest began his search for a suitable teacher. His first voice teachers, Marlene Delavan and Reegan McKenzie, saw his potential and taught him the great tenor staples, such as “Nessun dorma’ and “Recondite armonia.’ Auditions, small recitals concerts, operas and musical theater roles would follow, but the road was still not without difficulties. Finally, in 2010, he read about an international vocal competition in Classical Singer Magazine. He decided to enter The Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition and won First Prize. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in January of 2011 at the inners Recital, less than three years after his first professional vocal lesson.

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by Richard Sasanow