More than 75 excited opera buffs attended a garden party fundraiser July 16 at the home of Javier Morales and Sean Strub to show their support for the fourth year of the upcoming Opera! Pike! Park!
This opera will be held on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Ann Street Park.
Morales, founder and director of the opera was looking around the crowd and remarking about how the support has grown for this opera since its beginnings. “Look at this, it takes a village, “ he said proudly and slightly in awe of its success.
Last year there were 529 people enjoying the music performed by four very talented artists from the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts (AVA) in Philadelphia.
This year, Morales expects many more.
These singers are hand- picked by José Melendez, Collaborative Pianist and Vocal Coach for various AVA productions and events. Concert -goers last year happily commented on the caliber of talent of these singers. While they do sing some well-known arias, there will also be renditions of Broadway tunes and other songs.
Every year Melendez chooses four different singers (usually soprano, alto/ mezzo-soprano, tenor, and baritone).This year, however, the AVA is bringing back soprano Emily Margevich , by popular demand, whose spectacular performance won the hearts of the entire audience.
Opera! Pike! Park! was formerly under the umbrella of the Milford Enhancement Committee (MEC), but this year, concomitant with its burgeoning growth, it is now independent and is Pike Opera Inc., a 501 (c) (3 ) with its new board headed by Jim Pedranti. (Other board members are Roseann Kalish, Doug Manion, Carol Needleman, Cindy Stine, Megan Strub, Sean Strub, Sylvia Weir and Lisa Winkler.)
Jim Pedranti pointed out how much support the opera is getting.” The major sponsors at this point in time are Milford Hospitality Group, Greater Pike, Weir Design and The Old Lumberyard Antiques.
There are also lots of donations for $50 and $100, as well as sponsor levels of $350, 700, 1,000 and 2,500. In addition to the donations, he said, “it’s always a special day bringing our community together.“
Lorraine Gregory, a longtime Milford resident who supported the opera from the beginning said of the garden party, “It’s fantastic – the turnout and the support that the opera is having.”
Sean Strub pointed out that “the opera crosses every kind of line or divide in the community – age, politics, musical knowledge, etc.” Even the singers said it was the most respectful audience they have ever seen in an outdoor performance and the audience was incredibly appreciative.
When asked how the opera will be different, now that it is independent, he smile cryptically and said, “Stay tuned!”
Opera! Pike! Park! is family friendly and attendees are encouraged to bring blankets, snacks and beverages.
General seating is free; tent seating is $10 per person. Reservations via Eventbrite are required either way at www.eventbrite.com/e/opera-pike-park-2023-tickets