On Wednesday, March 16, Opera Lyra Ottawa, in partnership with Health Arts Society of Ontario, hosted a concert at the Centre d’accueil Champlain, a long-term health care facility located in Vanier. Approximately 50 residents, staff, volunteers and guests were captivated by the engaging and dynamic performers who put on a lively and entertaining concert.
Three cast members from Opera Lyra Ottawa’s production of Lucia di Lammermoor, Gregory Dahl, Wendy Hatala Foley and Graham Thomson sang arias from their repertoire, including selections from La fille du régiment, Pagliacci, Samson et Dalila and Lucia di Lammermoor. Pianist Judith Ginsburg, Opera Lyra Ottawa’s principle repetiteur, accompanied the singers. Opera Lyra’s Chairman, Malcolm McCulloch was the event’s charming Master of Ceremonies.
The response from the audience started out with warm applause and grew in volume and enthusiasm with each performance. It was obvious that among the audience were both lifelong opera aficionados and newcomers to the art form. Sitting in chairs, wheelchairs or supported by walkers, the residents tapped their feet in time with the music and demonstrated their appreciation for the concert with shouts of “bravo!”
At the end of the concert, the performers were showered with hugs and handshakes from the residents, volunteers and staff. It was an incredible afternoon and we can’t wait for the next opportunity to perform in the community.