Opera Lyra Ottawa: A Garden Party Like No Other


You may not think of India when someone says Opera but one of the most famous arias of all time is the world-renowned Sous le dôme épais or the Flower Duet from  the opera Lakmé. Written in 1881-82, the Opera Lakmé’s score was first performed in Opera Comique in Paris, it’s about a love story of a daughter of a Brahmin Priest and a British Officer set in nineteenth century India during the British Raj.


The Flower Duet was just one of the many featured arias at the Opera Lyra Ottawa’s (OLO) Annual Garden Party hosted at the majestic residence of the Italian Ambassador to Canada, Honourable Andrea Meloni and his wife, Madam Paola Meloni. 

That particular piece was captivating as it was haunting. And if that’s not a memorable way to spend the evening, then I don’t know what is.
Twenty York Street (represented by myself, Ms. LJ Dizon@20YS Fashion Intern and of course, our Photographer du jour – Mr. Eric Meloche) has been very fortunate to get an exclusive invitation once again to cover one of the most prestigious events in the city. It was very well attended by members of the diplomatic community, major media outlets (CBC, Ottawa Citizen, Rogers TV and more), patrons, opera fans and friends. 
Last week, we talked about the slow demise of the opera as we brought you the coverage of the National Arts Centre’s Lord of the Rings in Concert. As I’ve conclude before and I shall say it again, that may not be the case after all. The 2012 Italian Garden Party is one beautiful case in point.
Organized by the Opera Lyra Ottawa, an organization dedicated to the music, the passion and the adventure that is opera, the garden party not only showcased the amazing talents of Laura Whalen (Soprano), Armine Kassabian (Mezzo-Soprano), Brian Wherle (Bass) and of course, Judith Ginsburg (Piano), it also featured a stunning fashion show by Earlene’s House of Fashion.
Not to mention the patrons of the arts themselves who were dressed to the nines as if they were to have tea with the Queen and why not? There is something quite remarkable about an evening of live performing arts, good food, great wine and amazing company to support a once financially struggling organization. 
The Opera Lyra Ottawa, who recently announced it’s newly appointed Director General John Peter Jeffries in time for its 28th season, is committed to nurturing and showcasing Canadian talents and educating young audiences and instilling in them the love of opera and the arts.
We’re very excited to share with you that Opera Lyra Ottawa launches its 28th season with La Bohème by Puccini at the National Arts Centre on September 8 – 15, 2012 and La Traviata in concert in March 2013.  You can find more information about La Bohème and OLO at their website: www.operalyra.ca and OLO Blog (by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Tyrone Paterson).

Twenty York Street would like to especially thank Madam Sheilagh Darcy McGee, Media Relations Officer for OLO. For more photos of Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Annual Italian Garden Party, Earlene’s House of Fashion and gorgeous fashion by OLO guests, visit Twenty York Street’s Facebook Page.

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