Wine and song go together so naturally that Opera Las Vegas merrily served up both, with Opera Uncorked on Saturday, 16 November 2019 at 6:30 pm in the Las Vegas Artists Guild Gallery in the Henderson Galleria Mall.
Delighted patrons were treated to timeless tunes paired with exquisite wines, as OLV’s spirited songbirds and full-throated troubadors led a musical toast with some of the most celebrated drinking songs in all of Operadom. Four favoriteVegas vocalists also regaled attendees with a few more ‘sobering’ world-famous arias and duets that figure prominently on the opera hit parade.
The champagne-inspired, lilting score of Strauss’ Die Fledermaus started off an effervescent line-up of selections that equally tickled the nose, the palate, and the ear. The ebullient waltz rhythms of Drink, Drink, Drink from Herbert’s The Student Prince inspired jovial clapping and swaying. And the boisterous Little Brown Jug had the giddy attendees singing along with gusto.
The heartfelt sentiments Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes, the melancholy beauty of Drink With Me (Les Miserables), and the up tempo jocularity of The Night They Invented Champagne (Gigi) were but a few of the other tuneful delicacies. In additions to standards like You Go My Head, My Cup Runneth Over, and Love Potion No. 9, operatic hits filled the air with Una furtiva lagrima (The Elixir of Love), My Dear Marquis (Die Fledermaus), Seguedille (Carmen) and the famous toasting duet, Libiamo (La Traviata).
The four singers could hardly have been better at their task, being not only well-trained vocalists, but also seasoned pros as stage performers.
Soprano Bonita Bunt is as well known for her stage direction of such hits as last season’s Hansel and Gretel, as for her singing roles in UNLV’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and OLV’s Opera With Class tour of Who’s Afraid of Opera? Mezzo-soprano Ashley Stone is fresh off a star turn with the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s recent A Very Vegas Showcase concert, and she will soon reprise her role as the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, which she first winningly performed last December.
Tenor Jorge Ortiz scored a big success in the role of Pablo Picasso in OLV’s West Coast premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek’s 27, and he is a favorite among the Venetian’s corps of solo singers who enliven life along “the canal.” Randal Keith made his OLV debut last season with Holiday on Broadway, but his resonant baritone has been on display in such Strip shows as Baz, Showstoppers, and The Phantom of the Opera.
The Las Vegas Arts Guild Gallery proved to be a very inviting, convenient venue for Opera Uncorked, located next to Dillard’s on the second floor of the Galleria Mall. Since 1996, the Guild has been bringing talented artists and patrons together, raising the profile of the arts across the community. Brilliant local art on display by guild members provided a classy and colorful backdrop for an evening of memorable tunes and tasty tippling, marked by a united inspiration and passion for creative expression.