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In Westfield, New Jersey Festival Orchestra’s Aida Brings an Audience to its Feet

Jackie Lieberman

Saturday, October 12, 2013 • 11:49pm

WESTFIELD, NJ — It took four New Jersey-based musical organizations to create the concert performance of Aida held in the Presbyterian Church of Westfield Oct. 12. In the first concert under its new name, the New Jersey Festival Orchestra (formerly the Westfield Symphony Orchestra) combined forces with Opera at Florham and a powerful double chorus of Coro Lirico and Summit Chorale. Voices from NY Metropolitan Opera and beyond sang the starring roles.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for New Jersey organizations to work together to keep opera alive,” said NJFO Marketing Director Elizabeth Ryan.

The Verdi masterpiece is tells the dramatic story of a love triangle in a time of war. Egyptian Princess Amneris (mezzo-soprano Jennifer Roderer) loves Egyptian warrior Radames (tenor Allan Glassman). Radames loves Ethiopian slave Aida (soprano Lisa Daltirus). King Amonasro (Metropolitan Opera baritone Louis Otey) promises his daughter Amneris to Radames and Aida, turns out, is no ordinary slave—she’s really the daughter of their enemy.

The evening’s performance, which garnered a standing ovation from the crowd, was in memory of Joseph DeAlessandro.

“I think it’s incredible that we have this resource in Westfield—a world-class symphony that performs regularly in town,” said Mayoral Candidate Dave Haas, who was in the audience that evening. “It speaks very highly of the town that we support it.”

According to the NJFO, this production was made possible through the generous support of the Joseph DeAlessandso Memorial Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

For the NJFO’s complete performance schedule in Westfield and throughout New Jersey, visit www.njfestivalorchestra.org.

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