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Ed Tapper set a record of sorts at the VRCS when he gave a (to date) six-part series of programs for us under the covering title FROM SYNAGOGUE TO STAGE THE JEWISH EXPERIENCE IN OPERA, since we had never had a six-part series on any subject before in our long history. The programs were wonderfully received by our members and Ed was constantly being asked his plans for the next program in the series while he was still involved in his current one. Well, this has now been put on hold (we hope its only on hold) while Ed explores a new subject worthy of his, and our, attention the history of the African-American classical singer. Most of our members were around when Marian Anderson made her belated debut at the Metropolitan Opera, but there was a long history of African-American classical singing before that historic event took place, and there has been a glorious history of it since then. Eds talk will concern itself with the struggle of 19th and early 20th century African-American singers to establish major singing careers and their exclusion from the operatic stage. He will feature many unsung singers all but forgotten today, as well as many of our favorites, most in rare selections from his own private collection and that of his shop, Orpheus.
Eds program on African-American singers has been several years in the making and was originally planned to be premiered, in honor of Black History Month, before the Boston Opera Society in February, but on the day proposed a particularly nasty blizzard took place and the event had to be cancelled. As with all ill winds, this one blew some good, for now the VRCS becomes the venue for the premiere of Eds latest endeavor. Will it extend to six parts? We can only hope!
As for Orpheus, our distinguished visitor from Boston is the owner, guiding light and mystic mainspring of Orpheus Performing Arts Treasures, now New Englands only retail store specializing in operatic recordings, books, manuscripts, autographs and anything else which may constitute operatic memorabilia. (We have just learned that Orpheus is located just around the corner from the finish line of the Boston Marathon, but was fortunately spared any damage by this past weeks tragic events there.) Ed also teaches music history and opera history (the latter a program he created) at the University of Massachusetts and at Suffolk University, is a noted lecturer throughout the New England area, writes extensively on music and film for a number of journals, and makes frequent radio and television appearances.
As perhaps our last reference to Ed Tappers prior programs for us, we would once more announce that, in view of their excellence, you would have to be meshuga to miss his upcoming May outing!
CALENDAR-MARKING TIME AT THE VRCS FOR OUR 2013 SCHEDULE, SO GET OUT YOUR CALENDAR!
This page last revised 5/2/13 1:25 AM EDT
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