The Sembrich
Simon resized 1170

Simon Mulligan at The Sembrich. Photo credit: YM Photography

“A TRIBUTE TO CARUSO Brings the Sembrich Season to a Close” —Gala Tribute to Benefit the Summer Performance Series—

“A TRIBUTE TO CARUSO Brings the Sembrich Season to a Close”

—Gala Tribute to Benefit the Summer Performance Series—

BOLTON LANDING, NY —  The Sembrich Summer Series reaches its grand finale on Saturday, September 2nd at 6:30 pm with A TRIBUTE TO CARUSO, a gala homage to one of the greatest singers of all time, Enrico Caruso.  Tickets for this festive Italian-themed event are $150 with proceeds to benefit the summer performance series.  For reservations call 518 644-2431.

Tenor Daniel Montenegro, a rising star of today’s opera world, and pianist Michael Clement, one of the Capital region’s finest vocal accompanists, present a program abounding with melody, both popular and classical, from delightful gems of Neapolitan song to glorious arias of Verdi and Puccini.

Wall Street Journal writer Barrymore Laurence Scherer, author of “Bravo! A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed,” serves as host for the evening, providing insightful commentary on Caruso’s life and legend.

The gala includes a lakeside reception featuring select delicacies and wine and Neapolitan music performed by accordionist Tom Persinos.

Montenegro, a graduate of San Francisco’s prestigious Adler Fellow Opera Program, was last seen regionally in his critically-acclaimed portrayal of the title role in Opera Saratoga’s 2016 production of Catán’s “Il Postino.”

“Our program will include arias from ‘Rigoletto,’ ‘Elisir d’amore’ and ‘Madama Butterfly,’” says Montenegro, “Plus ‘Santa Lucia’ and other beloved Neapolitan songs made famous by Caruso!”

The evening also includes a pair of interludes, the Intermezzo from “Cavalleria Rusticana” and the Liszt “Rigoletto” paraphrase, performed by pianist Clement, who has served on the music staffs of Opera Saratoga, Long Beach and Florentine Operas.

“I plan to let the narrative flow with the repertoire,” states Scherer of his commentary for the evening. “I’ll share a bit about the work or its composer and its place in the life and realm of Caruso.”

Scherer, an award-winning author and journalist, is a classical music and fine-art critic for The Wall Street Journal and contributing editor of The Magazine Antiques (for which he writes the column, “The New Collector.”)

Enrico Caruso (1873 – 1921) occupied an important place in Marcella Sembrich’s sphere.  When the emerging young tenor made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera on November 3, 1903, Sembrich performed by his side as his “Gilda” in Verdi’s “Rigoletto.”

In all, Caruso and Sembrich shared the stage at the Met for a total of 79 performances, appearing opposite one another in “La Traviata,” “La Boheme,” L’Elisir d’Amore,” “Les Huguenots,” “Lucia di Lammermoor,” “Martha,” “Pagliacci,” “Rigoletto” and “La Sonnambula.”

When Madame Sembrich retired from opera on February 6, 1909, she chose Act One of Verdi’s “La Traviata” for her final adieu with Caruso as her offstage Alfredo, serenading her with one last “Amore…”

Among the farewell tributes that Sembrich received on that night is a Tiffany silver cup from Caruso, on display in the studio museum.

When news of Caruso’s death reached Marcella Sembrich on Lake Placid in 1921, the singer’s response was simple and eloquent.  “I feel as though I had lost a member of my own family,” she said.