A “new kid” on campus

By Paula Cook and the Bella Vocci Team

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Singers at the Bella Vocci concert in April

Bella Vocci (ungrammatical Italian for “Beautiful Voices”) is like the “new kid” in the neighborhood, figuring out where it fits. The purpose of the organization is to bring great vocal music, mostly excerpted from favorite operas, live to Riderwood.

The first program, “Songs of Love and Seduction,” was presented in April last year. It was a trial run, to see whether there was sufficient interest at Riderwood to justify pursuing the project. Since then, the Bella Vocci team has presented “Songs” in October 2016 and “Songs For Two …or Three” in April 2017.

The performers are professional opera singers who are on their way up in the world of opera. The accompanist for the past two programs has been Katerina Souvorova, a successful concert pianist who turned her attention to creating “Bel Cantanti,” an opera company that presents several fully-staged operas a year, locally.

Our team of resident volunteers does everything needed to make Bella Vocci concerts happen. Joan Kugler and Millie Trimble were responsible for the excellent program notes. Beth Gordon created the great-looking flyer and Gene Martin is our technical advisor. Paula Cook is general manager. David Abraham is the Founder and artistic director; He selects the performers and, in consultation with them, determines the content of the programs. Ticket sales have covered slightly more than 40 percent of the cost of past programs. Mr. Abraham contributes the remainder, as his gift to the Riderwood Community.

The team is considering a third concert, for the fall, probably with a focus on “Songs by Donizetti.” The team is also compiling a mailing list and we encourage all residents to sign up. If you would like to stay current on Bella Vocci activities — and perhaps be invited to a special event — just send a note to cubby KC211 with your name and cubby address. We’ll get in touch. Enjoy the summer and we’ll see you in the fall!

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