Opera students show passion

By Samantha Randol
April 24, 2008


On a typical Sunday, the Mansion is usually silent. However, on April 13, it was filled with the beautiful sounds of opera music.

Four students from the Academy of Vocal Arts, Jessica Julin, Nina Yoshida Nelsen, Joseph Demarest and Ryan Kuster brought their talent and passion to the opera selections they performed.

The Academy of Vocal Arts is located in Philadelphia. The Academy was founded in 1934 by Helen Corning Warden.

The mission of the Academy is to provide tuition-free training to vocalists of the highest talent and commitment. The resident artists’ train and gain exposure through professional performances.

The Academy boasts an impressive list of students who have gone on to outstanding professional careers in opera.

The turnout for this event was impressive. The seats on the floor were all full and people lined the balcony. Many students attended as well as faculty, staff and members of the community.

The performance was a fantastic opportunity for everyone to experience an afternoon of opera without having to travel into Philadelphia or New York.

Some of the pieces that were performed were “Flower Duet” from “Madame Butterfly,” “Old Man River” from “Showboat,” “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom of the Opera,” as well as many more.

The majority of the pieces were in other languages, such as French, Italian and German.

The performers put on a captivating show that demonstrated their passion and deep understanding of the pieces they were singing.

While most of the performers kept to the stage, during Nina Yoshida Nelson’s rendition of “Habanera from Carmen,” she took the song off the stage.

She walked around the audience, stopping to sing directly to some of the people in the crowd. The piece was entertaining, especially to the students in attendance.

“I liked Habanera the most because of the way she interacted with the audience,” Ali Kilpatrick, sophomore elementary education major, said.

The performance ended with a standing ovation from the crowd. Everyone in attendance was very impressed with the level of talent of the singers.

“Opera has been a passion of mine since I was a child. All of the selections were beyond my expectations,” Dr. Antoinette Iadarola, president of Cabrini College said.

Dr. Bethany arranged the event. She is the coordinator of all of the Cultural Events series, which consists of four professional concerts, four professional art exhibits and a student concert.

“We love getting to perform. It’s what we train for,” Nelson said.

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Samantha Randol

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