Audience impressed by opera duet at The Maryland Theatre

April 17, 2011|By JULIE E. GREENE |
  • Elisabeth Turchi and William Davenport perform Sunday with the Maryland Symphony Orchestra at The Maryland Theatre. They sang a part from Giacomo Puccinis opera, "La Bohme."
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Opera fans or not, the audience at the Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s last concert of the season Sunday afternoon was enjoying the show.

The Maryland Theatre had an almost-packed house, which gave tenor William Davenport and soprano Elisabeth Turchi a standing ovation and “bravos” after hearing the love duet from the Act One finale of “La Boheme.”

Gay Ludington of Calvert County, Md., said she wasn’t really an opera fan, but Sunday’s concert, featuring highlights from popular operas, could make her one in a big hurry.

In addition to Davenport and Turchi, who lives in Franklin County, Pa., the Choral Arts Society of Frederick (Md.) and Hood College choir members also performed during the MasterWorks V concerts.

Board President Tony Dahbura told the audience the symphony needed $18,000 more to meet its goal of raising $50,000 by May 1, ensuring a Salute to Independence concert at Antietam National Battlefield on July 2.

Greg Evans, the symphony’s spokesman, said last week that MSO officials would know this coming week whether the symphony made budget this season.

Considering the state of many symphonies in the nation, Evans said he thought the MSO did well this year. Many symphonies have cut back on programming, but Evans said the MSO didn’t do that this season and has added a concert — an April 2012 pops concert — to next season’s schedule. Next season’s schedule will be announced in June.

Ludington and her husband, William Seabrook, became subscribers three years ago after going to an MSO concert to hear Seabrook’s WETA co-worker Jean Inaba, who is a second violinist with the MSO.

“I’ve never been disappointed,” Ludington said.

Sara LaRoche, 37, of Waynesboro, Pa., attended with her mother, Kathy LaRoche, 67, of Waynesboro, and friend Warren Zitlau, 43, of Arlington, Va.

“I love opera,” Sara LaRoche said.

“This is, like, the best of everything in one show, so how could you not come,” she said.

The threesome had front-row center seats, allowing them to see the expressions on Davenport’s and Turchi’s faces during the love duet, Kathy LaRoche said.

Angie Sievers, 50, of Hagerstown, said she wasn’t an opera fan, but she was enjoying the concert.

She and her husband, Don Beachley, 54, heard some familiar songs, including “March of the Toreadors” from “Carmen.”

Zitlau said he recognized “O Mio Babbino Caro” from the movie soundtrack for “A Room with a View.” The aria, sung by Turchi, is from the opera, “Gianni Schicchi.”

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