philly file · October 27 2017


There's nothing like spending a Wednesday at the opera with your best friend! With the Academy of Vocal Art's production of Il trovatore around the corner, Erin and I jumped at the opportunity to pick up tickets to their preview event. How could we pass up the opportunity to hear the spectacular voices of the AVA residents in a gorgeous establishment for free?

Looking back, my memory is filled with the sound of music. From The King and I to La Boheme, my mother Jeanne has always brought the classics into my life.  Throughout the evening I felt rich from this history as if was part of a secret society. I know what an aria is (a long, accompanied song for a solo voice), what makes a Mezzo-Soprano (vocal range between the soprano and the contralto), and who Luciano Pavarotti was (but who doesn't, really).

"I have always believed that opera is a planet where the muses work together, join hands and celebrate all the arts."
—Franco Zeffirelli

The evening was filled with beautiful moments that are unique to a preview. Peppered with personal annotations, the history behind the program was explained. Supportive winks were caught between a trio of residents after a portion of "Tacea la notte placida." We marinated in the voluptuous sounds of gifted and hardworking performers. Booming baritones and soaring sopranos bounded over the hard carved wood beams of the Helen Corning Ward Theatre. We're opera people!

Our top 3 takeaways from stage director Michael Scarola:

  • You gotta know how to say your feelings.

  • To whom much is given, much is expected.

  • The safety pin was created around the same time as Il trovatore.

Experience this aural delight for yourself! Don your finest for the opening night gala or attend one of the performances held at the academy. AVA-mazing!

Philed by Kim Iburg
Photos by Erin Diserafino

Academy of Vocal Arts
1920 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103 US

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