Italian Ambassador gives Opera Lyra Ottawa a Helping Hand

Italian Ambassador gives Opera Lyra Ottawa a Helping Hand
Il Centro Comunitario Italo Canadese sponsorizza i cantanti dell’opera
Opera Lyra Singers are a hit with Ambassador and Guests

By: Ute Davis

The Ambassador of Italy and Mrs. Paola Meloni graciously hosted a garden party for the supporters of Opera Lyra Ottawa at their beautiful Gatineau residence on Tuesday, 10 July.

Canada provided perfect weather for the occasion, while our hosts provided excellent prosecco and hors d’œuvres to put the large crowd of guests in a mood to appreciate the entertainment. Comfortably seated before the natural stage provided by the portico of the lovely home, the audience enjoyed an eclectic selection of arias from Italian opera. These were sung by Laura Whalen (Soprano), Arminè Kassabian (Mezzo) and Brian Wehrle (Bass) accompanied by Judith Ginsburg at the piano. Opera Lyra expressed its gratitude to the Italian Canadian Community Centre for their much appreciated sponsorship of these artists. Audience appreciation was evident from the prolonged applause.

The programme concluded with Ms. Kassabian’s “hot” rendition of Astor Piazzola’s “Yo soy Maria”, producing a record high temperature for the day. The willowy ladies modelling gowns from Earlene’s House of Fashion provided a very tasteful foreground for the picturesque garden surrounding. Opera Lyra Ottawa board chairman Malcolm McCullough spoke, noting the recent severe financial difficulties of Opera Lyra Ottawa and sincerely thanked Signor Meloni and his wife for their help in a time of crisis Indeed it is appropriate to recognize that this group needs all the support we can offer if live opera is to continue at the NAC.

Please do support Opera Lyra Ottawa and purchase tickets for Puccini’s La Bohème, which is to be performed at Southam Hall, NAC with a wonderful cast, which will include Laura Whalen. Tickets are now available at the NAC box office for all four performances. The dates are 8,10,12 and 15 September 2012.