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A&E

Fox Valley's Soiree Lyrique to present 'Light Opera' gems

Soirée Lyrique’s largest production this season will be “Light Opera” at 3 p.m. April 23 at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Elgin.

It will feature excerpts from "Merry Widow," "Die Fledermaus", "Into the Woods," "Phantom of the Opera," "Enchantress," "Candide," "Barber of Seville," "Carmen", "Lakmé," "Norma," "La Cenerentola," "Rigoletto," "Gianni Schicchi," "Madama Butterfly" and "La Wally," as well as music by Brahms, Mozart, Paganini and Johann Strauss, according to a news release.

Performers will include soprano Genevieve Thiers, who sang the role of Praskovia in "The Merry Widow" at Chicago Lyric Opera, alongside Renee Fleming and Thomas Hampson, and the lead role in "Trouble in Tahiti" at the Goodman Theatre ; soprano Solange Sior, founder and artistic director of Soirée Lyrique;

Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Kosharsky, who recently performed the role of Carmen with Teatro Lirico d’Europa at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles; baritone Nicholas Provenzale, who has appeared from the Kennedy Center to Hong Kong, and recently won third place in the Art Song/Oratorio division of The American Prize; and bass-baritone Keanon Kyles, the ABC7 "Singing Janitor," who participated in Soirée Lyrique’s Fox Valley Rising Star – Young Artist Program last summer.

His performance was at such a level that Sior booked him to perform along the professional singers for this concert, the release stated. Kyles will sing the lead role in "Rigoletto" in a fully staged production in Glasgow, Scotland, this July. Kyles’ story has been featured on national news by way of ABC 7 Chicago Eyewitness News, ABC World News, CNN, Good Morning America and Windy City Live.

The concert also will showcase 17-year-old violist prodigy Sofiya Kyrylyuk, principal violist with the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, who recently was featured on WFMT’s “Introductions” broadcast. She performs on a viola on loan from the Rachel Barton Pine Foundation.

Performing will be Soirée Lyrique’s pianist Chiayi Lee of Batavia, and a string quartet from Chamber Music on the Fox, comprised of violinists Eleanor Bartsch and Lauren Cless, violist Bonnie Yeager and cellist Sara Sitzer.

Soirée Lyrique stated it prides itself in helping launch young artists such as Sofiya Kyrylyuk and Keanon Kyles. Its upcoming Young Artist Program will include a vocal competition with cash awards and scholarships, with two productions featuring aspiring young opera singers and local artists on July 16 and 23.

The April concert by Soirée Lyrique is part of “Voices of Spring,” a celebration of vocal music by five different Elgin organizations from April 22 to May 7. To learn more about each, visit Heartland Voices, Chamber Music on the Fox, Elgin Master Chorale and Elgin Symphony Orchestra. In keeping with the spirit of the festival, the "Light Opera" concert will open with Johann Strauss' "Voices of Spring" string quartet.

There are no ticket sales for Soirée Lyrique's events. Suggested donation is $15 to $30. The church is at 216 E. Highland Ave. Free city deck parking is across Highland Avenue.

For more information or to download a brochure, visit soireelyrique.org or contact ssior@soireelyrique.org or 224-595-1526.

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