Italian Garden Party Opera Audience is Weatherproof!

 It was touch and go all day.  Would the rain stop in time for the 6:00 p.m. start of Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Italian Garden Party at the Italian Ambassadors residence? 

 Well, it did…and it didn’t making it a very stressful day for everyone: the staffs at the Embassy and Opera Lyra as well as Earlene, her models, the singers, the pianist and guests. 

 By 5:00pm it was official – the event would go ahead.  Ambassador Andreas Meloni and his wife graciously invited everyone into their elegant house for the reception and fashion show by Earlene’s House of Fashion. Outside in the garden, chairs were wiped dry and the sound equipment weatherproofed.  By the time host Rob Clipperton began his introductions, everyone was assembled on the lawn. 

 The up and coming stars of the evening were Arminè Kassabian (mezzo soprano), Jonathan Estabrooks (baritone), Inga Filippova-Williams (soprano) and Graham Thompson (tenor). All are connected to the Company through its various education and outreach programs.  Judith Ginsburg, Principal Repetiteur for Opera Lyra Ottawa, accompanied the singers on a gorgeous grand piano.

 The beautiful program featuring 10 arias from a variety of popular operas just got going when it started to drizzle rain.  Most of the guests didn’t budge and ponchos were handed out to those without umbrellas.  When it was announced that the program would be cut short because of the weather, the audience was loud and clear that they wanted to hear it all! And hear it all they did.  The piano was rolled into the alcove and the performers (the show must go on!) continued under umbrellas.  The sold out crowd of 300 was extremely appreciative. Apparently it takes more than a spring shower to come between opera fans and their arias! 

Submitted by Sheilagh D’Arcy-Mcgee  

Marketing and Communications

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