The lives of artists are often the subject matter for operas, and after this event I felt I had a story to tell. It started with Jolanda Nel, she is a talented opera singer with Bella Voix and Klassika who serves up a cross-over pop format that pleases young and old audiences a like. On May 20th she had a concert at the Cuban Club in Ybor City. As an artist, I was lucky enough to be a participant and not the inspiration, even though the week leading up to it felt like a dramatic score of music! Jolanda has a strong belief in supporting the community and I became involved when she opened the theater lobby to artists and their displays.
Opera is a huge undertaking, made up of many different parts: overtures, acts, arias, and recitatives just to name a few. The week before the opera was full of drama and had so many operatic elements that Mozart would have been proud.
OvertureAn overture should foreshadow the plot and mood of the opera, it prepares the audience for what will follow later. In my “overture” the first initial obstacle was having no prints in stock. I needed to quickly have my artwork printed, matted, put in clear envelopes and priced. Luckily enough, my friend Dana was able to mat my art on short notice once I had the pieces printed. He's the owner of Montage Gallery located in Palm Harbor and he did his best to reassure me on the success of the show as I bagged the matted prints and priced them. The beginning of this adventure was rocky, but I felt positive about the story's conclusion.
RecitativeRecitative refers to the parts of an opera in which a performer imitates the rhythm of the spoken word. It serves to drive the plot forward rather than to present new musical material. Recitative is accompanied sparsely. At this point in my preparation, I found myself battling with a number of issues all alone. I dealt with the stomach flu, PayPal card readers, and even problems transporting supplies in my Fiat. I kept an internal dialogue and found myself chanting, “Damn, damn, damn,” under my breath as I drew closer to the event date.
I arrived early to set up my display and Chris showed up shortly after to provide the muscle. Within an hour our teamwork resulted in a beautiful display ready for opera go-ers. Jolanda's fans were incredibly kind and showered me with compliments as they filled the club - I now have several new collectors!
I really didn't know what to expect from Jolanda, but I was very impressed with the show once it started. Chris and I snuck into the back of the theater and stole a couple of seats. There were several different groups performing and they all had their special take on opera. Most of the music was comprised of pop music found on the radio that they had reformatted for opera. It was very unique and an all together enjoyable experience. I couldn't have been more pleased!
The finale concluded with a crescendo of thunder and the sky ripping open. It poured rain as we loaded the car. However by the time we returned home, it was all smiles. Jolanda just announced on the Bella Voix Facebook page that they will be auditioning for America's Got Talent in Orlando. She has also booked another show at the Cuban Club for December 8th, 2017. When she asked me if I wanted to show my artwork in the lobby again, and I gladly accepted. Great things are happening for Jolanda and I'm glad to be a part of it.