Opera East this July on Nantucket

Opera East this July on Nantucket

Nantucket Music Center is bubbling with excitement to introduce its fundraising event dubbed “Opera East” staring renowned Met Opera tenor Clay Hilley with award winning soprano Sara Duchovnay, and acclaimed pianist Barbara Pdoguski. Save the dates July 6 & 7th!

Friday, July 6th there will be a pre-concert recital “Bubbly & Blinis” at the NMC Parlor on 56 Centre Street. The classical and contemporary performance will be at The First Congregational Church.

Saturday, July 7 spend an intimate evening with Clay, Sara and Barbara performing from their personal song books at the iconic Masonic Lodge. Followed by music, art, cocktails and eclectic food by Nantucket Catering at the Quidley Gallery on Main Street.

Heldentenor Clay Hilley’s star is on the rise. According to The New York Times, he offers “vocal heft, clarion sound and stamina,” and Opera News credits him with “musical skill, emotional investment and attractive tone quality.” He recently premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role of Parsifal.  Known for the weight he can provide to demanding Wagerian roles, Mr. Hilley has received acclaim also for performances of Mozart, Janáček, Dvořák, Verdi, Strauss and Beethoven, including taking on, for the first time and with only one rehearsal, the tenor solos in Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde in Washington, D.C., last November.

Sara Duchovnay has been lauded by Opera News for “the agility with which she negotiated her beautiful upper register,” and by the San Francisco Chronicle for her “precision and expressive grace.” Highlights of her career thus far have included originating the role of Dorothea in Allen Shearer’s opera Middlemarch in Spring and debuting with Opera Delaware as Lauretta in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Ching’s “sequel,” Buoso’s Ghost. Her diverse repertoire includes Rossini, Mozart, Haydn, Handel, Bach, Paisiello, Donizetti and Vivaldi, as well as modern composers Previn, Conte, Skelton and Glass. Ms. Duchovnay is also a co-owner of Shoperatic.com, a peer-to-peer marketplace and community for female opera singers.

The singers will be joined by acclaimed pianist Barbara Podgurski.  Familiar to Nantucket audiences, Dr. Podgurski appeared at NMC’s 2016 gala, accompanying Elizabeth Pitcairn and the Mendolssohn Stradivarius “Red Violin.”  She has performed around the world, including numerous times at Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with world-class violinists, flutists, clarinetists, cellists, fellow pianists, and, of course, vocalists, including members of the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera.

Even apart from the quality of the music, OperaEast is sure to be an entertaining and memorable evening. Mr. Hilley and Ms. Duchovnay live full-time in an RV that they tow around the country to performance destinations. They are equally adept with showtunes and the American songbook, not to mention dynamic performances: in a January concert for the Wagner Society of New York, Mr. Hilley recognized Ms. Duchovnay’s birthday with a rendition of “Be My Love,” at the end of which he dropped to one knee (while rising vocally to the crest of the song) and proposed to her.  OperaEast is Nantucket’s opportunity to experience these performers on the cusp of greatness.

Even apart from the quality of their music, the NMC Opera East event is sure to be an entertaining and memorable evening! This is Nantucket’s opportunity to experience these performers on the cusp of greatness.

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