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Celebrating ‘Opera’s Greatest Hits’

Fantastic four join symphony for night of familiar sounds

Four rising stars of the opera and concert world will join music director Eckart Preu and the Spokane Symphony Orchestra for an evening of the most famous operatic music ever composed.

Mela Dailey (soprano), Jami Tyzik (mezzo), Brandon Wood (tenor) and Marcus DeLoach (baritone) “have performed this program together for about three years,” Dailey said.

The concert will include such vocal chestnuts as: “Habanera” and “Toreador Song” from “Carmen”; “La donna e mobile” from “Rigoletto”; “O mio babbino caro” from “Gianni Schicchi”; “Non piu andrai” from “The Marriage of Figaro”; the famous quartets from “La Boheme” and “Rigoletto” and several more familiar excerpts.

Instrumental numbers include “Bohemian Dance” from “Carmen” and the overtures to “The Marriage of Figaro” and “La Forza del Destino,” and Act III from “Lohengrin” that introduces the well-known “Bridal March.”

Dailey grew up in east Texas and received her advanced training at the University of Texas in Austin. She said that one of her favorite selections is the Act II duet from “La Boheme.”

“Getting carried off stage singing a high C – it just doesn’t get better than that,” she said.

Tyzik, who is the founder of the show, said the program stems from her summer spent singing at the Aspen Music Festival.

“We would often do these very fun and intimate concerts in donors’ homes. We would be singing the greatest hits of opera up close and personal, speaking directly to our audiences and making them feel part of the show,” she said. “We will do our best to bring the audience into each and every piece as we act out the various scenes and introduce the numbers.”

Wood has appeared in a variety of operatic roles ranging from the 18th century to newly composed works. He received his bachelor’s degree in music from Virginia Commonwealth University. Wood was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He recently made his New York debut at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall as Tom in “Babes in Toyland.”

DeLoach, who is performing in Spokane for the first time, said he is very excited to be working with the symphony “as well as working with one of my favorite groups of people and performing such wonderful music from the greatest operas ever.”

DeLoach has also composed a 30-minute work to introduce children to the world of opera called “Mooch the Messy” that was premiered during a 2010 music festival in Greenwood, S.C.

Donivan Johnson, who lives in Metaline Falls, is a composer, lecturer and music instructor for the Selkirk School District.