Joshua Benevento and Jacqueline Thompson Headline Enrico Caruso Room Tonight, 5/22

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Tenor Joshua Benevento, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut this season in Wagner's "Gotterdammerung" and soprano Jacqueline Thompson will perform together for the first time at The Enrico Caruso Room at Grotta Azzurra Ristorante in Little Italy tonight, May 22, 2012 at 8 PM. They will be supported on keyboard by David Schaefer.

There is a $20 cover charge and no minimum. The Enrico Caruso Room opens at 7 PM. Reservations are suggested by calling Grotta Azzurra at 212-925-8775. Grotta Azzurra is located at 177 Mulberry Street at the corner of Broome Street in historic Little Italy.

Joshua Benevento is the recent recipient of first place in the Lieder Division of the prestigious Liederkranz Foundation Competition, as well as the first place winner of the highly respected Mario Lanza competition. He has sung leading roles in numerous operas including iL Barbiere di Sivilia, Richard Coeur de Lion, Aida, Gianni Schicchi, Die Zauberflöte, Turandot, Carmen, L'incoronazione di Poppea, The Merry Widow, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Hänsel und Gretel. He has also had the honor of performing the challenging and exquisite role of Caliban in New York premiere of Lee Hoiby's brilliant opera, The Tempest, a role he later interpreted on a recording recently released by Albany Records to rave reviews by three of the major reviewers of recorded works. Mr. Benevento was also chosen to create the role of the Uncle in the highly acclaimed recent world premiere production of Raphaël Lucas's Confession, an opera that he also recorded with Albany Records. In addition to his work in opera, he has performed as soloist in orchestra performances of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, Handel's The Messiah, Bach's Magnificat, Orff's Carmina Burana, Carissimi's Jephte and Mozart's Requiem. Interestingly, Mr. Benevento's professional career began with a singing role in the HBO Series, The Sopranos. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut this spring singing with the men's chorus in the highly anticipated new production of Wagner's Götterdämmerung.

Joshua Benevento and Jacqueline Thompson Headline Enrico Caruso Room Tonight, 5/22Jacqueline Thompson is following in the footsteps of the American singers of the Golden Age. A versatile performer, she has succeeded in a broad range of styles including opera, operetta, concert, and musical theater. She was a winner of the Emerging Artists Business Committee for the Arts in New York City and has performed in a gala concert for Bohème Opera of New Jersey and in a concert at the Lincoln Center Library. As a member of Encores in NYC, she has performed in the Kerns and Hammerstein's Music in the Air. In May she performs as soloist in Mozart's Mass in C minor and Mendelssohn's Psalm 42 with the Fairfield County Chorale and the Westchester Choral Society. At Opera in the Heights in Texas, MS. Thompson has sung the title role in Massenet's Manon and has performed as Leïla in Les pêcheurs de perles. After her successful portrayal of Musetta in La Bohème under the baton of Maestro Anton Coppola with Metro Lyric Opera of New Jersey, Jacqueline made her Treasure Coast Opera debut in the same role and later returned for Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore. She was featured in a series of composer's concerts at both Queens College and Grace Church in Brooklyn, singing the music of Martin Halpern and Frank Retzel, performed in the opening gala for Opera at Florham in New Jersey and sang a solo concert for the Rochester Choral Society.

The Enrico Caruso Room also features a weekly Thursday Open Mic Opera Night where singers perform two musical pieces each. The Thursday Open Mic Opera Nights are open to up to 10 singers who must sign up in advance to guarantee a slot. There will be a waiting list at the door in the event some singers fail to show up. At the end of each month, one male and one female Open Mic singer will be engaged to sing at a future Tuesday Night Opera performance where they each will be paid $200/night. The music performances at the Enrico Caruso Room are being presented by Mort and Ray Productions and LS Communications.