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By Sloane Brown | February 4, 2001
Italy -- the home of good wine, good food and good opera. The same could be said of Annapolis, as all three were also found there at the Annapolis Opera's Italian Wine Tasting Evening. Arias soared in the background as wine expert Griff Hamilton introduced each wine to the gathering at the Naval Academy's Officers Club. Between sips, guests discussed each selection and nibbled on cantaloupe wrapped in prosciutto, stuffed eggplant, chicken rotolo and antipasto. Ah, la dolce vita. Among the 67 wine and song lovers: Melanie Teems, event chair; Anna Marie Darlington-Gilmour, Annapolis Opera board president; Victoria Waldner, board vice president; Sylvia Earl and Felix Rosario, board members; John Belcher, ARINC president; Bill Bol-dyga, retired Northrop Grumman engineer; Ardath Cade, Maryland State Arts Council past president; John Brooke Shehan, Legal Aid attorney; Anna Walker, Northeast High School teacher; Bruce Googins, AERA Inc. vice president; Linda Giuliani, Verizon central office technician; Jim Earl, retired University of Maryland professor; Dr. Jan Hegstrom, Anne Arundel Community College adjunct professor; Nancie Kennedy, Peabody Preparatory voice instructor; and Dr. Bill LeFevre, Prince George's County Schools regional executive director.
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By Mary Johnson and The Baltimore Sun | October 9, 2014
The 2014-2015 season of Live Arts Maryland's Annapolis Chorale and Annapolis Chamber Orchestra promises to be a celebration of music director J. Ernest Green's 30 years with the organization. Green has enriched Anne Arundel County's cultural scene by delivering extraordinary music to Annapolis, and Live Arts has even more to celebrate this year with the opening of the renovated theater at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Green conducted the first performance at the unveiling celebration Sept.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2010
Annapolis Opera closed its season May 16 with its annual vocal competition. At Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, the audience heard eight vocalists selected from more than 80 applicants who vied for $10,000 in prize money plus a study trip to Italy's Amalfi Coast. The competition boasted an unusual preponderance of male singers — three baritones, one bass, one tenor and one countertenor, with one mezzo-soprano and only one soprano in what is usually a crowded category.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and For The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, already a known Annapolis arts destination, solidified that role last Sunday with a celebration unveiling the results of its $1.6 million renovation - a project that includes 543 new seats, an orchestra pit, stage extension and improved acoustics. Brief performances were offered by Maryland Hall's four resident companies: Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, Annapolis Opera, Annapolis Chorale and Ballet Theatre of Maryland. The 170 voices of the Annapolis Chorale, together with the chamber orchestra, opened the concert auspiciously with "O fortuna" from "Carmina Burana" by Carl Orff.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
Annapolis Opera opened its 40th season with Giuseppe Verdi's 26th opera, "Aida," a performance that emphasized the music of this grand opera in an intimate setting that made a full staging impossible. Marking his 30th season as artistic director, Ronald J. Gretz chose to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth with the composer's monumental work in concert form. In contrast to the dazzling spectacle of a fully staged "Aida," we enjoyed the glorious music in the smaller Maryland Hall setting.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 2010
Four superb singers took to the stage during the Annapolis Opera's "Concert of Stars," welcoming the crowd to the beginning of the company's 38th season. The stellar performer was Annapolis resident and Metropolitan Opera baritone Jason Stearns, who has recently returned from performing in Oslo, Norway. Opening this program, Stearns delivered a compelling rendition of Umberto Giordano's "Nemico della Patria?" from "Andrea Chenier. " Later, the two-season Met performer sang a riveting "Credo in un Dio crudel" from Giuseppe Verdi's "Otello.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2012
Annapolis Opera is on fire with excitement about its 40th-anniversary season. That much is evident from its season brochure — the company's best ever — on which a flaming "V" proclaims a celebration of the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Italy's pre-eminent composer will be honored at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis Opera's productions of two masterworks — a concert version of "Aida" and a fully staged "Rigoletto. " This season also celebrates the 25th annual Vocal Competition, which introduces outstanding young singers from the Mid-Atlantic region who compete for more than $10,000 in total prizes.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | April 23, 2010
The folks at Annapolis Opera celebrated the end of tax-filing season and the arrival of spring last weekend with an "Opera Lite" concert featuring tuneful moments from comic operas and operettas. The program was created and conducted by Annapolis Opera artistic director Ronald J. Gretz. This final concert of the season was a nostalgic diversion and welcome antidote to the weekend news of volcanic eruptions Wall Street investigations. "Opera Lite" audience members were seduced by gorgeous melodies from the pens of Viennese composers Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar, and from Victor Herbert, who began his musical career in Vienna and came to the United States at age 27. Also on the program was the wit of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan and the melodic genius of opera composer Gioachino Rossini, who was so gifted that he was able to retire at age 37 after writing 30 operas and live comfortably for 40 more years without ever writing another opera.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith | March 10, 2002
Opera is everywhere this week. In addition to Baltimore Opera Company and Peabody Opera Theatre, Annapolis Opera is in full swing, offering Mozart's ever-popular Don Giovanni. One of three masterful collaborations between Mozart and librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, the opera provides a dynamic portrait of Don Juan. He never really gets a chance to do the nasty in the opera, for someone is always thwarting him at the last minute, but his trail of female destruction is still very much a part of the picture.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2008
True to its mission of introducing rising young opera singers to its audience, Annapolis Opera opened its 36th season with its first concert at Maryland Hall on Sunday. Noting before the concert that "more expensive fundraisers began and ended our past seasons," president Gregory A. Stiverson said, "This season will open and close with these new, less-expensive opera concerts to bring more great music in more operatic arias sung by rising young singers." The audience heard many favorite arias performed well by six young singers accompanied by the Annapolis Opera Chamber Orchestra, which was conducted by musical director and conductor Ronald J. Gretz.
NEWS
April 25, 2014
Sunday, April 27 Veterans event VFW Post 160 in Glen Burnie will host a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans event from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., with music by Jerry and the Heartaches. Monday, April 28 Photo club The Digital Photography Club of Annapolis meets at 7 p.m. at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St. in Annapolis. Wayne Bierbaum will make a presentation on "Bird Photography. " Information: 410-267-0461 or digitalphotoclub.net. Wednesday, April 30 Flower mart The Four Rivers Garden Club will hold its annual Flower Mart from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Market House in downtown Annapolis.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | March 25, 2014
Annapolis Opera's production of Puccini's "La Boheme" was a triumph at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, where it was enjoyed by a near-capacity audience at its opening and a sold-out house in its second performance. Excellent performances were offered by a cast of stellar singers in leading and minor roles. Vocalists were supported by Annapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians under the direction of Ronald J. Gretz, now in his 31st season as Annapolis Opera's artistic director and conductor.
NEWS
By Nayana Davis, The Baltimore Sun | February 6, 2014
J. Ernest Green, musical director of the Annapolis Chorale, has been performing with his group at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts since 1985. And for those nearly 30 years, Green has thought the facility has needed significant help. "Oh, I noticed it immediately," he said. "As soon as I got there. " Maryland Hall is housed in the former Annapolis High School building on Chase Street, constructed in 1932. The community arts hub took over the space in 1979, and its leadership team is now planning a five-year, $18 million renovation for the building, which has seen few updates in its history.
NEWS
September 6, 2013
Arts alliance The American Healing Arts Alliance seeks volunteers, 18 and older, to help with ongoing programs and special events. For information, call Alice Yeager at 410-956-0055, email info@americanhealingarts.org or go to http://www.americanhealingarts.org. Annapolis Opera Volunteers, 16 and older are needed to help with publicity, school outreach, ad sales, performance support, bookkeeping, computer work, receptions, support for the vocal competition and auditions and more.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | November 1, 2012
Annapolis Opera opened its 40th season with Giuseppe Verdi's 26th opera, "Aida," a performance that emphasized the music of this grand opera in an intimate setting that made a full staging impossible. Marking his 30th season as artistic director, Ronald J. Gretz chose to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Verdi's birth with the composer's monumental work in concert form. In contrast to the dazzling spectacle of a fully staged "Aida," we enjoyed the glorious music in the smaller Maryland Hall setting.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, For The Baltimore Sun | September 6, 2012
Annapolis Opera is on fire with excitement about its 40th-anniversary season. That much is evident from its season brochure — the company's best ever — on which a flaming "V" proclaims a celebration of the bicentennial of Giuseppe Verdi's birth. Italy's pre-eminent composer will be honored at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis Opera's productions of two masterworks — a concert version of "Aida" and a fully staged "Rigoletto. " This season also celebrates the 25th annual Vocal Competition, which introduces outstanding young singers from the Mid-Atlantic region who compete for more than $10,000 in total prizes.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | May 26, 2012
Annapolis Opera's fully staged production of Charles Gounod's "Romeo and Juliet" at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts last weekend proved a triumph to close the season. My only complaint when I attended Friday evening was the number of empty seats. Though the lower-than-usual attendance was perhaps the result of the move from the opera's usual March dates to May, the show itself was as satisfying as any this year. Based on Shakespeare's timeless tale of star-crossed lovers Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, Gounod's opera — sung in French to a libretto by Jules Barbier and Michel Carre — debuted at Theatre Lyrique in Paris in 1867 to mixed reviews, some critics pronouncing it tuneless.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson, Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2011
Compass Rose Studio Theater is a new company that opened its first production in Eastport Shopping Center on Oct. 21. Running Thursdays to Sundays through Nov. 20 is the Pulitzer Prize-winning work "Lost in Yonkers. " A welcome addition to our area, this new theater is also the home of a recently established acting school founded and directed by Lucinda Merry-Browne, who left her artistic director position at Bay Theatre to start this new theater teaching company. Her new venture is already paying dividends in supplying several talented cast members to this enjoyable opening "Lost in Yonkers" production.
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