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Phoebe Berks to host Berks Opera Presentation

by Berks Opera Company

Jan 15, 2020
Berks Opera Company

Unleashing Your Inner Opera Fan

Does your inner opera fan long for a fun way to learn more? In partnership with Fox Theatres, Berks Opera Company offers unique soirées in some of Berks County’s most elegant homes and other great venues. We introduce the Met Live in HD Broadcasts with entertaining and informative multimedia presentations by David Richie, with coffee, wine/champagne and dessert. You’ll hear live Berks Opera Company artists, meet the Diva du Jour and learn the secrets of great singing.

Unleashing Your Inner Opera Fan soirées are held at private residences (unless noted) and begin at 7:00 pm.
Admission $20/adults and $15 for students and anybody under 30.

To R.S.V.P. contact:
Berks Opera Company, P. O. Box 251, Reading, PA 19603
[email protected]
484.752.2462

Featured Opera: The Gershwins’ “Porgy & Bess”
Presentation Date: Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 7pm
Location: Phoebe Berks, Wernersville
Presentation Title: “An American Classic”
BOC Featured Speaker: Brian Gibson
BOC Featured artist: Laurice Kennel and Caleb Flick, piano

Bass-baritone Brian Gibson, a beloved fixture of the Berks County musical scene for decades, got his start singing solos at the age of 5 in the choir of Christ Episcopal Church, Reading. He studied voice with William Maier, well-known business executive and voice teacher for a whole generation of local singers. After he graduated from the Philadelphia Musical Academy (now University of the Arts), oratorios were a staple of his career. He once sang 27 performances of Handel’s Messiah in one month.

Outside Reading, however, he is best known for his portrayal of Porgy in George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess”, which he performed more than a thousand times all over the world. From 1992 to 2003, he toured in the opera, performing on all continents except Antarctica, to high critical acclaim. He was a member of the ensemble in Metropolitan Opera productions of Porgy, covering the lead bass-baritone roles as well.

In addition to his vocal training, Gibson has had a parallel career as a church musician. He conducted the annual well-known “Sing Messiah” events, in which the public is invited to come sing Handel’s masterpiece. He is currently director of music at Epler’s UCC, Leesport.

Laurice Simmons Kennel, Soprano, was born and raised in Southwestern Michigan. She now resides in Philadelphia, PA with her Husband. She received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Michigan State University and her Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Currently, Ms. Kennel studies privately with Sharon Sweet. Laurice has performed a wide range of operatic roles. She has sung the role of Mimi (La Boheme), Micaela (Carmen), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Violetta (La Traviata) and Suor Angelica (Suor Angelica). Ms. Kennel has sung with the Opera Company of Philadelphia, New York City Opera at Lincoln Center, Lyric Opera Company Los Angeles and OperaDelaware where she made her company debut as the Strawberry Lady and Lilly in their production of Porgy and Bess. Most recent she sang the role of Donna Anna with Wilmington Concert Opera where she made her company debut.

A live from the MET in HD presentation of The Gershwins’ “Porgy & Bess” will play February 1st, 2020, 12:55pm at Fox Theatres Wyomissing.

Met in HD at Fox Theatres Wyomissing Ticket Link: https://www.foxshowtimes.com/movie/291142/The-Metropolitan-Opera-Porgy-and-Bess/2020-02-01

More from the Met Opera: https://www.metopera.org/season/2019-20-season/porgy-and-bess/

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