By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Putting opera aside for an evening, members of the Italian Opera Company, a Brooklyn-based performance troupe, will entertain audiences with Neapolitan folk songs in a special concert at the Dyker Heights Library on Oct. 14.
The free concert, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Dyker Heights Library at 8202 13th Ave., will feature timeless classics, according to soprano Nina Di Gregorio, the company’s founder and managing director. “From ‘Mari Mari (Oh Marie)’ to ‘Santa Lucia,’ from ‘Vincino Mari’ to ‘O Sole Mio,’ we are thrilled to create a heartwarming program of arias, duets and ensemble performances of these beloved Italian songs for the people of Brooklyn,” Di Gregorio said in a statement.
Tenor Louis Vingelli said he loves singing Neapolitan folk songs. “As a tenor I still stand in awe as I sing the poetic lyrics and resonantly beautiful melodic lines of these timeless, classic folk songs,” he said.
The performers, who will sing under the musical direction of Thomas Siklos, include sopranos Nina Di Gregorio, Camille Simeone, Gloria Pandolfini, Florence Guida, Lucy Wussow, Angela Francavilla and Regina Celli; and tenors John Houlihan, Benny Togati, Erberto Modica, Vladinir Lokshin, Carlo Notaro, Louis Vingelli, John Bottalico, Enzo Guarino and John Gurrieri.
“My company and I have been performing these wonderful Neapolitan songs for almost seven decades,” Di Gregorio stated. “Rest assured our Italian Opera Company Oct. 14 concert at the Dyker Library will be a very special and memorable Neapolitan October-festa for all!”
Soprano Camille Simeone said it is a joy for the company to present these songs, “most of which were written and composed between 1875 and 1890.”
In addition to performing in concerts all over the tri-state area, the Italian Opera Company helps promote young singers by offering them the opportunity to work with vocal coaches and musical directors, according to the group’s listing on the Brooklyn Arts Council website.
For more information on the company, call Di Gregorio at 718 232-8162 or email Tony De Nonno at [email protected].