Good times with Opera on Tap

Last Saturday was my first gig as pianist for Opera on Tap, a national non-profit organization that brings opera to a bar near you. I wasn’t sure what to expect: Would the restaurant be too noisy? Would anyone listen? Could we compete with the Olympics?

Naturally, food, drinks, and music make a winning combination. For me, the evening was a fun way to learn a wide range of vocal repertoire, particularly musical theater, which I don’t often play. For singers, Opera on Tap is a great way to:

  • Practice audition pieces in a no-pressure environment
  • Sing music outside of one’s usual repertoire or Fach
  • Try new pieces with a pianist for free
  • Perform, have fun, and interact with the audience!

The restaurant patrons seemed pleasantly surprised and genuinely entertained. I particularly enjoyed witnessing several powerhouse soprano moments that turned heads as much as the nail-biting gymnastics routines being projected on the big screen.

Here’s our set list from July 28:

Je veux vivre from Roméo et Juliette (Gounod)
What a movie! from Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
In quelle trine morbide from Manon Lescaut (Puccini)
Poor wand’ring one from The Pirates of Penzance (Sullivan)
Vodka (Gershwin)
Dich, teure Halle from Tannhauser (Wagner)
I could have danced all night from My Fair Lady (Loewe)
Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss from Giuditta (Lehár)
Quando men vo from La Bohème (Puccini)
Sull’aria from Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
Unusual Way from Nine (Yeston)
Du bist der Lenz from Die Walküre (Wagner)
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love from Paris (Porter)
Il est doux, il est bon from Hérodiade (Massenet)
Girls of Summer from Marry Me a Little (Sondheim)
Too Darn Hot from Kiss Me, Kate (Porter)
Summertime from Porgy and Bess (Gershwin)
O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi (Puccini)
La vie en rose (Louiguy)
Dream with me from Peter Pan (Bernstein)
Can’t help lovin’ dat man from Show Boat (Kern)
Ain’t it a pretty night from Susannah (Floyd)

Featured singers: Katrina Holden, Heather Krane, Kathryn McKellar, Rachele Schmiege, Jenny Searles, Kristina Riegle, and Amanda Villegas.

Opera on Tap Boston’s next performance is Saturday, August 11 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. at Jacob Wirth’s.

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