Saturday, May 31, 2014

Diana Soviero Honored By The Gerda Lissner Foundation

Singers Joseph Dennis, Mario Chang, Ryan Speedo Green, Paul Han, Shirin Eskandani, Alison King, Maya Lahyani, Jonathan Kelly, Arlene Shrut, Honoree Diana Soviero and Alexey Lavrov. (Photo: Howard Heyman)
"On the evening of Wednesday, May 7 at the New York Athletic Club in New York City, The Gerda Lissner Foundation showcased their 2014 winners and honored internationally acclaimed soprano Diana Soviero. Stephen De Maio, President of The Gerda Lissner Foundation, spoke enthusiastically about the winners and how proud he is of the awards given to so many throughout the years to help them attain their goals. He thanked Trustees Barbara Ann Testa, Dorothy Moore, Karl Michaelis and Michael Fornabaio, Vice President/Treasurer of The Gerda Lissner Foundation, for their efforts and all of the operatic notables present. Stephen De Maio was recently honored by Opera Index at their Spring Lunch. The Newark born De Maio, a legend himself, asked Opera News editor and author Brian Kellow to host the program and introduce the honoree, New Jersey born (Jersey City) internationally acclaimed soprano Diana Soviero. Kellow elaborated on Soviero’s great career and the impact she had on her audiences everywhere. The New York City Opera, The Metropolitan Opera, La Scala in Milan, Covent Garden–not bad for a 'Jersey girl.' Kellow mentioned how the arts influenced his life and how the 1945 film Spellbound impacted him. He then thanked Soviero for the influence her performances gave all of us as Cio Cio San,
Mimi, Liu, Tosca, Violetta, Juliette, Manon Lescaut and Suor Angelica to name a few. Soviero said a spark was forged 'way back' and she knew that there was a world out there waiting for her to articulate the emotions that lay deep in her heart as a young Sicilian-American girl with big dreams. Those dreams came true and the career was spectacular....After the concert, we all went into the main dining area for a delicious dinner. The guests would fill an operatic 'Who’s Who.' Met Opera soprano legends Elinor Ross and Martina Arroyo (Martina Arroyo Foundation), Gloria Gari from the Giulio Gari Foundation, famed sopranos and judges Elaine Malbin and Teresa Apolei, Maestro Eve Queler, Sachi Liebergesell from The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation, Murray Rosenthal, President of Opera Index, Philip Hagemann and Janet Stovin, Vice Presidents of Opera Index, Scott Barnes, Performance coach for opera and theatre singers, PBS’s Midge Woolsey and husband economist Jerry Stolt, Steven Mercurio composer/conductor, F. Paul Driscoll, Editor of Opera News, Ken Benson manager and longtime opera lecturer, Rebecca Paller from the Paley Center, presenters Joyce Greenberg and Louise Martone-Peluso, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Di Grazia of Met Opera Patrons Box Office and son Damian, Cornelia Beigel from The Gerda Lissner Foundation, Brooklynite Bill Ronayne from The Mario Lanza Society, Cav. Uff. Aldo and Lisa Mancusi from the Enrico Caruso Museum in Brooklyn and opera lecturer Lou and Kathleen Barrella. " [Source]

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