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Black Tie International:
The Glimmgerglass Festival Season Preview Party Reception


 Pianist Kevin J. Miller, Mezzo-Soprano Chrystal Williams, Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens, & Tenor Chase Taylor gave a Sneak Preveiw of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival 2012 Season at Harlem's acclaimed 5 and Diamond.  Photo by:  Karli Cadel

 Pianist Kevin J. Miller, Mezzo-Soprano Chrystal Williams, Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens, & Tenor Chase Taylor gave a Sneak Preveiw of the Glimmerglass Opera Festival 2012 Season at Harlem's acclaimed 5 and Diamond.  Photo by:  Karli Cadel


The Glimmerglass Festival Season Preview Reception at Harlem’s 5 and Diamond

Acclaimed Opera Company Brings Greater Diversity to the Stage


The Glimmerglass Festival’s Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello and Managing Director Linda Jackson hosted a lovely intimate cocktail reception and a sneak preview of the world-renowned opera festival’s upcoming 2012 Season at Harlem’s critically acclaimed 5 and Diamond Restaurant, 2072 Frederick Douglass Boulevard Street on Thursday, March 29.  The restaurant’s owners Lia Sanfilippo and Selene Martinez were on hand to greet guests to their chic restaurant that has become the haunt of the arts set on New York’s new Restaurant Row.


Guests mingled in the charming bistro sampling the delectable treats created by Valencia-born Executive Chef David Martinez, whose recent trip to his homeland clearly infused his hors d’oeuvres selection – mussels Ceviche, truffled mac & cheese, chilled watermelon gazpacho, short rib mac & cheese, mini Chesapeake crab cakes, Old Bay Aioli and spoons laden with fresh berries atop chocolate mousse and little cups of.  White Chocolate Mousse strawberries and whipped cream.


Ms. Jackson, the first African-American woman to head a major opera company welcomed the guests and spoke passionately of the Glimmerglass Young Artists Program which this year had over 1,000 applicants for 39 slots in the program.  She proudly shared that, of this group, 15 are African-American and 5 from South Africa.


Ms. Jackson then introduced Artistic & General Director Francesca Zambello who charmed everyone with her casual request to get comfy and enjoy the music to follow. She then gave a brief preview of what visitors to the pastoral setting at Glimmerglass would hear this summer and introduced the country’s most prominent African American bass-baritone, Metropolitan Opera star
Eric Owens.


Owens who will be this season’s Artist in Residence shared how he was “blown away” to be following the incomparable soprano Deborah Voigt who served in that role last year. Then he launched into a powerful rendition of "Infelice!.e tuo credevi" from Verdi's Ernani that had passersby in the streets stopping in their tracks to hear his soaring vocals.


At Glimmerglass, he will perform the role of Amonasro in Aida in his role debut, and he will sing the role of Stephen Kumalo in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars. He was recently seen as Alberick in the Metropolitan Opera’s Götterdämmerung.


Following Owens’ breathtaking solo, Chrystal E. Williams  who will be in the 2012 Young Artists program not only scored with her gorgeous voice but her delightful humor on two numbers:  Composer's Aria "Sein wir wieder gut" from Ariadne auf Naxos and "C'est ca la vie, C'est ca l'amour" from Toi C'est Moi , an operetta in two acts, by Moise Simons.


Her fellow Young Artist, the handsome Chase Taylor took to the stage and thrilled the crowd with "Ch'ella mi creda" from La Fanciulla del West and had audience members weeping with his powerful rendition of  "This is the Moment" from the musical Jekyll and Hyde.


Owens then closed the performance program with the haunting “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific that brought the crowd to their feet.


The four singers were accompanied by 2012 Young Artists pianist Kevin J. Miller


Among the enraptured guests were Glimmerglass Board President Sherwin M. Goldman and Trustee Martin L. Senzel; The Johnny Mercer Foundation Vice Chairman, composer  Jonathan Brielle with his wife Cherie King founder of The Development Wing; NAACP Award winner playwright & director Kenyetta Lethridge whose new drama Innocent Flesh is garnering critical acclaim with her producer Diana Zollicoffer, arts patroness Joyce Mullins Jackson and her husband The Honorable Bernard Jackson, The Event Office’s producer Scott Perrin, Dawne Marie Grannum, actress Cassandra Seidenfeld, German producer Markus Behrendt and his fiancé Melanie Konegen (the duo tied the knot in Central Park the next day!), writers Owen Levy and Vevlyn Wright.


GL!MMERATA, THE GLIMMERGLASS FESTIVAL 2012 SPRING GALA will take place on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at The Metropolitan Club 1 East 60th Street. New York, NY.  An evening of music, dinner and dancing with performances by: Klea Blackhurst mezzo-soprano.  Ginger Costa-Jackson mezzo-soprano, Dwayne Croft baritone, David Daniels countertenor, Elizabeth Futral soprano Karen Jesse soprano,  Eric Owens bass-baritone, Sean Panikkar tenor and Dominick Rodriquez tenor and dancing to the Peter Duchin Orchestra to benefit the Glimmerglass Young Artists and Summer Internship programs  Hosted by Francesca Zambello 2012 Gala Chairs: Patricia Kavanagh and James Grant &  Estelle Parsons and Peter Zimroth.

The 2012 Glimmerglass Festival mainstage productions include Verdi’s Aida, starring Eric Owens and 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Winner Michelle Johnson as Aida; Willson’s The Music Man, Lully’s Armide and Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s Lost in the Stars in conjunction with the Cape Town Opera of South Africa.  The productions will run in rotation July 7 through August 25 in the Alice Busch Opera Theater in Cooperstown, New York. For more information please visit




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