Wednesday, June 28, 2017 This Week's Paper

Romantic Arias

// Annual holiday opera concert to benefit Classical Tuesdays

October through February, the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town series offers free classical concerts the second Tuesday night of each month. Though the program is put on in part through grants from the Tacoma Arts Commission and local businesses, in order to keep the program going every year it too needs some help. Enter the fourth annual benefit “Wine and Song,” which will be taking place Dec. 14 in Old Town.

“This event is special because usually we have the Classical Tuesday programs in Slavonian Hall, but for this event we go across the streets to John Connelly (Law Offices) as they have a grand piano,” Pamela Ryker, artistic director of Classical Tuesdays in Old Town,said.

The 2010 benefit theme is “Romantic Arias.” Featured artists will be soprano Alexandra Picard and baritone Charles Robert Stephens (who has sung for the series on a number of occasions). Denes Van Parys will accompany both on piano.

“Charles Stevens has sung with us a few times in the past and we love him,” Ryker said. “He has a wonderful baritone voice and used to sing with the New York City Opera and then moved to the Northwest. We see his name often now in programs around here and with the Seattle Opera as well. Alexandra Picard spends half the year in Vienna and half in Seattle; her career is really taking off for a young soprano.”

As for what the singers would be performing, Ryker is keeping the actual event program a mystery for now. “All I can say at this point is that there will be romantic arias, both solo and some duets,” Ryker affirmed.

For the wine aspect of the event, the reception will be offering some snacks and vino to concertgoers to give attendants the opportunity to chat and mingle after the concert.

“We do have a very festive reception afterward,” Ryker said.” We have a table setting with wine and savory foods and lots of seasonal cookies. A few examples are stuffed dates, spring rolls, and lots of multicultural finger foods.”

The event is the perfect opportunity for adults to go off and enjoy a holiday date night for themselves when the babysitter is available and also a great friend and family adult outing for opera fans.

“This is more for adults as it’s a 21 and over event,” Ryker said. “A lot of people come and sets of couples will come and make an evening of it. Many go out in the neighborhood before for dinner and come to concert at 7 p.m. and we have some core regulars who love opera who come each year. It always attracts a new audience, and that’s exciting.”

The annual Wine and Songs benefit will take place Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. at John Connelly Law Offices, located at 2301 N. 30th St. in Old Town. Tickets are on sale now for $25 at Bayview Optical, 2217 N. 30th St., or The Spar coffee shop. All proceeds go toward funding the Classical Tuesdays In Old Town series for next year. For more information, call (253) 752-2135 or visit