Photo Flash: Opera in the Heights Hosts BRAVISSIMO! 2014: 'THE GRAND GALA'
The 280+ arts patrons who gathered May 30 at the Petroleum Club of Houston for Opera in the Heights' Bravissimo! 2014: "The Grand Gala" got a delightful surprise during the seated dinner: Stirring performances by rising opera singers and musical theater talents Alicia Gianni and Chris Newcomer. Scroll down for photos from the event!
Whether it be opera, jazz, blues, or musical theater, Alicia Gianni has shown tremendous versatility when it comes to crossing over as an artist. Nicknamed "The Chameleon" by colleagues, she can perform a wide variety of genres, roles/characters and has proven her voice can touch audiences across the world.
Countertenor Christopher Newcomer is making a name for himself in the worlds of opera and musical theatre. Chris made his Broadway debut in CHICAGO in 2012 and spent the last year in the international tour. He is back on Broadway this week and joins the cast of Williamstown Theatre Festival's 'The Visit' this summer before returning to the road with CHICAGO in the fall.
The singers performed individual opera numbers (from Puccini's La Boheme and Handel's Xerxes) as well as Broadway tunes, coming together in a rousing duet of "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess, much to the delight of party-goers. Joseph Li accompanied the singers on piano. An accomplished musician, he is Artist Teacher of Opera Studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and an alumnus of the Houston Grand Opera Studio.
Co-chairs for Bravissimo! were Kelly Mathena and her husband, Oh! board member Dan Mathena. Petros Carvounis, M.D., was honored for his significant contributions to Oh!, including financial support and his participation as a board member. Dan Mathena shared emcee duties for the evening with Oh! executive director Stephanie Helms and artistic director Enrique Carreón-Robledo.
Proceeds from Bravissimo!, including the silent and live auctions, help Opera in the Heights to enhance the careers of young professional artists and enable those of all ages to enjoy opera at affordable prices.
Photo Credit: Jesus Tirso
Alicia Gianni and Chris Newcomer perform a duet of 'Summertime' from Porgy and Bess
Michele Arra, Alicia Gianni, Chris Newcomer and Joseph Li
Oh! Artistic Director Enrique CarreÃƒÂ³n-Robledo with Bravissimo! co-chairs Kelly and Dan Mathena
Oh! Artistic Director Enrique CarreÃƒÂ³n-Robledo with gala honoree Petros Carvounis, M.D., and Oh! Executive Director Stephanie Helms, who is presenting a gift of appreciation to Dr. Carvounis.