Public Invited to opera sing-along in Fairfield
Connecticut Post
Phyllis A.S. Boros
Friday, August 26, 2011

Last call for singers.

That’s the word from the Fairfield County Chorale, which concludes its popular annual Summer Sings series Monday, Aug. 29, with a selection of pieces from beloved operas at Trinity Episcopal Church in Fairfield’s Southport section.

The 8 p.m. sing-along, with piano accompaniment, is open to the public. Conducting will be Argentine-born David Rosenmeyer, who is one of three finalists vying for the post of full-time FCC conductor (following the death of longtime music director Johannes Somary in February).

And singers just need to show up at the door in order to participate; admission is $10 and music rental is included. On the bill are: Verdi’s “Va Pensiero” (Chorus of Hebrew Slaves) from “Nabucco”; Verdi’s “Anvil” Chorus from “Il Trovatore”; Puccini’s “Humming” Chorus from “Madame Butterfly”; Wagner’s “Pilgrims’ Chorus” from “Tannhäuser”; and Bernstein’s “Make Our Garden Grow” from “Candide”; as well as one or two choruses from Mozart’s “Idomeneo.”

John Parkinson, the Fairfield County Chorale’s executive director, reiterated that “absolutely no experience is necessary” to participate and anyone wishing to listen is also welcome.

All one needs is a love of choral music and a willingness to have some fun in a “relaxed informal environment against the backdrop of a summer evening,” Parkinson, who also sings with the FCC, has said.

Parkinson noted that “Summer Sings” began in the late 1980s, the brainchild of Eleanor “Bunny” Watts, a former FCC executive director, as a way to enliven the summer doldrums, when most choral groups are on their yearly break. (The 100-plus members of the nonprofit FCC rehearse weekly September through spring, and perform regularly at the Norwalk Concert Hall.)

According to Parkinson, the sing-alongs attract 75 to 150 singers. The majority of participants are singers in chorales or church groups from throughout the state and New York who are eager to get their voices in shape for the upcoming fall season, he said. Sing-alongs usually run up to 2½ hours, with one break.

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