Center Stage Opera Highlights Classics

The artists, from l, are Benjamin Bunsold, Sari Haidar, Shira Renee Thomas, Dylan F. Thomas, and Brian Onderdonk (conductor), with the Center Stage Opera Orchestra and Chorus.

Center Stage Opera presented a concert of opera highlights the weekend of Oct. 28 that featured excellent singing and expressive acting by young performers, augmented by fine work from the young orchestra, all working to gain valuable experience and poise in the operatic field.

The opening concert of the 2011-2012 season, the production featured famous arias from many favorite operas, as well as a medley of tunes from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, originally scheduled as the season opener.

Artistic Director Dylan F. Thomas demonstrated a wide vocal range and expressive voice in his solos from Aida, Tosca, and Turandot. E. Scott Levin stood out as the best actor of the day, exuberant, animated, and emotional in selections from Cosi Fan Tutte and The Magic Flute. He and the playful Jessica Mamey possessed a fine chemistry in “Pa-pa-pa Duet.” Phil Meyer gave a charming, teasing rendition of “La Calunnia.”

Lucine Zirekyants blew the audience away with her belting voice and fine stage presence for “Caro Nome.” Daniel Marcelle Bond brought a flirty, sexy confidence to “Habanera” from Carmen. Shira Renee Thomas captured the delicate and emotional colors of “Senza Mamma.”

Conductor and music director Brian Onderdonk achieved a lovely sound out of his over 20-piece orchestra, providing a strong support to the performers.

Center Stage Opera’s opening concert demonstrated the fine caliber of musicians and talent that perform for a diverse cross section of San Fernando Valley audiences, while augmenting their outreach, educational, and senior programs bringing great music to appreciative audiences.

Center Stage Opera presented Operatic Masterpieces on Friday, Oct. 28, and Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Madrid Theatre located at 21622 Sherman Way in Canoga Park.

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