Take a trip down memory lane, Broadway style! Allegheny Riverstone Center for the Arts invites you to spend a beautiful autumn afternoon on the beautiful Allegheny River in Foxburg on Sunday, October 27th at 2:00 PM in Lincoln Hall – as Aria412 takes you on a sentimental journey through The Golden Age of Broadway. Enjoy the music of Cole Porter, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin and all your favorites sung by Aria412 founders Desirée Soteres and Kelly Lynch, joined by Kara Cornell, Erich Lascek and Samuel Viggiano, with Amy Kapp on the Steinway.
A celebration of love and romance! This playful revue traces the ebb and flow of love throughout life’s journey with songs such as “Love is sweeping the country, You’re the Top, Some Enchanted Evening, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Night and Day, Everything’s Coming up Roses”, to name a few.
A shared dedication to their love of opera as well as musical theatre, jazz and popular music led founders Desirée Soteres and Kelly Fiona Lynch to form Aria412 and bring delightfully eclectic programs of these kinds of music to audiences in diverse public settings. From the beginning they have had a commitment not only to provide performing opportunities for seasoned singers in the greater Pittsburgh area, but also for younger singers beginning their career. For this event, Aria412 has planned a special musical journey through Broadway’s Golden Age.
Sentimental Journey tickets are: Adults $20, Students $5 You can buy tickets online here, reserve tickets by calling 724 659-3153, or pay by cash or check at the door. Aria412’s concert is sponsored by ARCA Board member Katherine Soroka and Executive Director John Soroka.
Driving over for the concert? Plan to arrive early for a golden afternoon in FOXBURG on the beautiful banks of the Allegheny River: In ARCA’s RED BRICK GALLERY enjoy the special art exhibit or shop in the Gift Shop, walk along the river, have lunch in The Allegheny Grille or Foxburg Pizza, do a wine tasting at Foxburg Wine Cellars, and savor gourmet coffee, ice cream and a handmade chocolate dessert at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista.
Soprano Desirée Soteres is equally at home in concert, musical theater and on the operatic stage and has been praised for her superb characterization and powerful vocal ability. Desirée’s love for music has taken her across the U.S. and around the world. She comes to Pittsburgh via Memphis, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Portland, New York City, ports around the globe through Cunard Cruise Lines, San José, and Chattanooga.
She’s played many venues both traditional and unorthodox. Currently, she can be seen performing once a month with Aria412 at Wallace’s at Hotel Indigo. Desirée especially enjoys new music and has premiered new works with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Alia Musica and the New Dischord Festival. The most exciting premiere was the title role in Eve Apart by composer Tim Hinck and husband Kip Soteres, which was produced both in Chattanooga and Pittsburgh. Desirée’s favorite operatic role is Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. She has had the pleasure. of singing it with Undercroft opera, Opera San Jose, West Bay Opera, Stockton Opera, Pocket Opera and as a Resident Artist at Portland Opera.
Desirée premiered the role of Flora Dart in A New Kind of Fallout by composer Gilda Lyons and playwright Tammy Ryan with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera. That same season she portrayed Joe Boyd in PFO’s gender bending Damn Yankees. Other theatrical performances include Roselinda in Die Fledermaus with Undercroft Opera, Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Mission City Opera, Blonde in Abduction from the Seraglio with Pocket Opera, Cunegonde in Candide with Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., and Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood with Chattanooga Theater Center. Desirée has appeared as Abigail in The Crucible, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Lucy in Threepenny Opera and Celeste #1 in Sunday in the Park with George.
As a soloist with Pittsburgh’s new music ensemble Alia Musica, she premiered Kierkegaard’s Pantoum by composer David Lidov, was soprano soloist in Shadow in the Hot Sun by Paris-based composer Nissim Schaul and Al Vacio by composer Federico Garcia, a work she premiered at the inaugural New Dischord Festival in Chattanooga. Desirée created the role of Eve in Eve Apart at the Chattanooga Theater Center and created the role of Pamela in the premier of TOOWHOPERA by composer Sorrel Hays in Rome, GA.
On the concert stage, she recently performed at Chatham University in a Mozart Birthday Celebration, Classical Salon, Salon on Emerson in a Kurt Weill Salon, the 40th anniversary for Opera Volunteers International in NYC, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Bach Choir and CreateHere’s Hops and Opera.
She was a featured performer in a series of concerts in Europe, South America, and Australia aboard Cunard’s Vistafjord and Royal Viking Sun.
Desirée received her MM in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, her BA in music from Rhodes College in Memphis and studied in Austria.
Kelly Fiona Lynch
Soprano Kelly Fiona Lynch has performed across the east coast of the United States, Italy and Central America. Ms. Lynch’s early performing career was as a dramatic coloratura. As such, she performed the roles of Violetta in La Traviata, Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Micaela in Carmen, both Adele and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, both Madame Goldentrill and Miss Silverpeal in The Impresario, both The Queen of the Night and Pamina in The Magic Flute, Amor in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, and Despina in Cosi Fan Tutte. Upon studying and performing the role of Norma, Ms. Lynch decided to take time from performing to switch fachs, reconditioning the voice to re-emerge as a spinto soprano. Some of her most recent roles include Desdemona from Otello, Aïda, Elisabeth from Don Carlo, Leonore from La forza del destino, Amelia from Un ballo in maschera, Leonore from Il trovatore, Santuzza from Cavalleria Rusticana, and Cio Cio San from Madama Butterfly.
For Undercroft Opera, Kelly Fiona Lynch has been heard as Madame Larina and Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, as well as the title roles in Verdi’s Aida, Bellini’s Norma, Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and Giorgetta in Il Tabarro. She has also sung the title roles of Lucia di Lammermoor and La Traviata for Erie Opera Theater.
Ms. Lynch has performed in Italy and Central America, and has conducted master classes in San Jose, Costa Rica for the University of Costa Rica. As a soloist, she has sung with the Erie Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Philharmonic, Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, Westmoreland Philharmonic Orchestra, Carnegie Mellon Contemporary Ensemble (Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire), and the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, where she sang Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder and the title role in Bizet’s Carmen. Oratorio repertoire she has performed includes the soprano solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Rossini’s Stabat Mater, Verdi’s Requiem and Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder. Kelly recently covered the title roles in Opera Theater of Pittsburgh’s production of Strauss’ Ariadne on Naxos, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, as well as Lizbeth, by Thomas Albert for Microscopic Opera.
Her most recent performances include the orchestral songs of Richard Strauss with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, and for Chatham Concert Opera, Amelia in Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Chrysostemis in Strauss’s Elektra.
Dr. Lynch received her Bachelor of Music degree from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, majoring in vocal performance and minoring in piano. Her Master of Music degree is from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and her Doctor of Music degree from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she majored in vocal performance and minored in musicology. Dr. Lynch has also trained as a martial artist in Tae Kwon Do, and worked extensively as a massage therapist.
Based in Pittsburgh, Dr. Kelly Fiona Lynch is the Founder and Artistic Director of Chatham Concert Opera at Chatham University, which promotes local opera singers from the larger Pittsburgh area. She is currently on the music faculty at Seton Hill and Chatham Universities.
New York native Kara Cornell is an active and versatile performer who is known as “a singer who can balance impeccable production and phrasing with enthusiastic and colorful dramatics.” (Berkshire Review for the Arts) Her expressive portrayal of roles and clear English diction has hailed her “accomplished and electrifying” (Opera Insider) with roles ranging from a “totally endearing” Cinderella (St. Petersburg Times) to a “seductive, wounded, damaged and dangerous” Carmen (The Troy Record).
Classic operatic roles that Kara has recently performed include CARMEN (Hubbard Hall Opera Theater NY, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Long Island Opera, St. Petersburg Opera FL, Opera at The Madison Theatre NY), “Orfeo” in ORFEO ED EURIDICE (Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Mosaic-Arts NY) and “Rosina” in BARBER OF SEVILLE (Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre, Raylynmor Opera NH).
Contemporary roles performed include “Dinah” in TROUBLE IN TAHITI (Union Avenue Opera MO, Resonance Works | Pittsburgh, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra), “Minskwoman” in Jonathan Dove’s FLIGHT (Opera Fayetteville AK), “Eliza Doolittle” in MY FAIR LADY (Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts NY, CMPAC NY), “Cinderella” in INTO THE WOODS (St. Petersburg Opera) and “Beth” in MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG (Hubbard Hall Theater Co).
One of the reasons Kara considers herself a crossover artist is because she not only performs in musicals, but also in the genre of jazz and pop. Kara’s Grandfather was a jazz pianist, and his love of all things jazz has led her to often perform works by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael and Leonard Bernstein with experts in the field, including pianist Lincoln Mayorga.
Kara’s concert repertoire is also robust, with alto soloist experience in the classic genre of Bach and Handel oratorio, as well as contemporary works like Karl Jenkin’s STABAT MATER, where she was hailed “superb” for her ability to switch vocal styles at the drop of a hat (Schenectady Gazette). Kara can be heard as soloist in the recording of Nancy Galbraith’s SACRED SONGS AND INTERLUDES, and recently sang alongside PDQ Bach in a hilarious New Years Pops Concert with the Cape Cod Symphony.
Kara balances her national performing with her other musical passion: teaching. Kara has maintained a private voice studio for over 15 years with students ranging from total beginners to professional colleagues. Kara first started teaching privately in her native Long Island while earning her masters degree at Stony Brook University. She then moved to upstate New York and maintained a studio in Albany and was a voice instructor in the musical theater department at Russell Sage College. In 2015 Kara relocated to Pittsburgh, and in the summer of 2016 she returned to her alma-mater, Carnegie Mellon University, as a voice teacher in the school of drama’s pre-college program. She also joined the musical theater and voice faculty at Seton Hill University in 2018.
Samuel Viggiano, baritone, from Pittsburgh, PA, enjoys a varied career in opera, choral, and musical theater. He recently completed a three-week run as Leaf Coneybear in the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at South Park Theater and looks forward to additional operatic and choral engagements this year with Resonance Works – Pittsburgh.
As a local performer, Sam’s company engagements include Pittsburgh Musical Theater, South Park Theater, Stage 62, Confidential Music Theater – Pittsburgh, Resonance Works – Pittsburgh, CCAC South Summer Theater, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Mon River Arts, and WV Public Theater. He is a founding member and the business manager of the Yinzer Singers: Pittsburgh’s choir-for-hire, whose voices were broadcast through WQED 89.3 and 89.7 FM, and featured at events including the Pittsburgh Symphony Splendor fundraiser, Heinz History Center’s Independence Day flag raising, VFW memorial services, and recorded video game music for Schell Games, LLC. This performance is his first collaboration with Aria412 and Allegheny Riverstone Center for the Arts Concert Series. He has proudly been a part of several Pittsburgh premieres, including Stage 62’s Dogfight and Resonance Works’ the Little Match Girl Passion, and was recognized by Broadway World-Pittsburgh and Pittsburgh in the Round for his “well-prepared and steady performances.”
Sam earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and minor in Speech Pathology from the WVU School of Music and Honors College (2014) and Post-Baccalaureate in Speech Pathology from Northwestern University (2019). At WVU, he studied with tenor Dr. Nicholas Perna, and was also a member of Dr. Christine Kefferstan’s piano studio. As an undergraduate, he was awarded the WVU College of Creative Arts Full Tuition Scholarship, won various places in regional and Tri-State NATS competitions, and was later recognized as a Woodburn Circle Society Outstanding Scholarship Honoree and Honors College Presidential Scholar upon graduation. He currently studies with soprano Sari Gruber. He thanks his parents, friends, and extended family for their love and support.
Erich Lascek teaches at Gateway High School in Monroeville, PA and serves as the K-12 music department chair. Prior to Gateway he taught in the Highlands, Hermitage, and Palmyra School Districts. He teaches three choirs, musical theater performance, and AP music theory.
Erich is a graduate of Penn State University with an M. ED in music education and Grove City College with a BM in music education. He has served as a guest conductor for high school and junior high school choir festivals in PA, OH, and NY.
An avid musical theater performer, Erich Lascek has worked with numerous regional theater companies including Front Porch Theatricals, Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center, Pittsburgh Musical Theater, and Stage 62. He has received critical acclaim as Dan in Next to Normal, the Baker in Into the Woods, and Tateh in Ragtime.
Erich owns a small landscaping business that serves the Pittsburgh area, Sunday Morning Landscaping. He lives in Mount Lebanon, PA with his wife Caroline and children Brian and Theresa.
Pianist Amy Kapp received a MM in Piano Accompanying and Vocal Coaching from East Carolina University, an MBA from Chatham University and a BM from Clarion University. She is a native of Fryburg, PA in Clarion County – close to the students for whom she will be performing at Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools in the Aria412 Educational ArtReach residency.
Ms. Kapp currently is the accompanist for the Chatham University choir, accompanist for the University of Pittsburgh Theatre Department, Minister of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wexford, PA and pianist for the Bay Chamber Players in Carnegie, PA. She also is also the Department Administrator for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
Ms. Kapp has also been an accompanist for the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and the Point Park Conservatory of Performing Arts as well as several local community theatres including the Comtra, Mariposa and Strand Theatres.
Aria412 has developed a reputation for their enthusiasm for and dedication to presenting eclectically entertaining programs combining opera, musical theatre, jazz and rock/popular music in diverse, relaxed public venues.
Founded by Kelly Lynch and Desiree Soteres, Aria412 began producing monthly cabaret opera and musical theatre shows in April 2017 at Hotel Indigo and now performs in a growing list of venues.
Each of the Aria412 concerts are designed to attract a mix of new audiences in addition to lovers of opera and the performing arts. By performing in a relaxed setting, they‘ve appealed to an audience of people who otherwise might not have attended this type of performance. Their themed concerts delight and surprise their audiences – from culinary/food inspired programming to spooky Halloween musical theatre, art songs and opera arias to Shakespeare, Festivus and Grilligans’ Island programs – all enhanced by the charming and humorous introductions of program emcee Kip Soteres.
Aria412 uses established Pittsburgh singers along with “featured” young local performers, supporting the younger singers to stretch their repertoires and showcase their talents. In 2019, their educational mission has expanded to include music education outreach to schools and students from K to 12 with their opera-mashup, A Fractured Musical Fairy Tale – or – Opera-tunity Knocks: Into the Woods with Hansel and Gretel – or -Opera Parents are the Worst. The debut in Foxburg’s Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools on March 1, 2019, presented by Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts, will include three morning Introductions in a community room/classroom setting for students from Grades 1 to 6 and two assembly performances for K to 12.
In addition to presenting delightfully themed programs of diverse music to keep their events interesting to their public, educating, making new friends and building bridges among many disparate groups are also a part of their mission.
With several major projects in the works, keep an eye out for videos, unique performances and collaborations. Also, be sure to follow them on their website and Facebook where you can find many of their performances. It’s also a great way to stay up to date on all things Aria412.
Aria412 Education program in A-C Valley Schools in 2019
On March 1, 2019 Aria412 teaching artists – singers Desirée Soteres, Kelly Fiona Lynch, Kevin Adamik and Franklin Mosley and pianist Amy Kapp – presented a residency in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools for grades K to 12. The day began with three small classroom workshops for students in grades 1 to 6 – helping them discover how to take a deep singer’s breath and learning about the characters and musical themes in the early afternoon assembly performance of “A Fractured Musical Fairy Tale”.
In the afternoon Aria412 performed in the A-C Valley Elementary gymnasium their original children’s program, “A Fractured Musical Fairy Tale”, based on the story of Hansel and Gretel for Grades K to 6 – followed by a second performance for Grades 7 to 12 in the Senior High School auditorium later in the afternoon.
A Fractured Musical Fairy Tale with subtitles Opera-tunity Knocks: Into the Woods with Hansel and Gretel – or – Opera Parents are the Worst – combined opera, musical theatre, jazz, rap and popular music retelling the story of Hansel & Gretel. Along the way Hansel and Gretel encountered a rapping Witch, The wicked Queen of the Night with lots of operatic high notes, a friendly Barber named Figaro, a hungry plant named Audrey II and a masked Phantom of the Opera – all to delight, amaze and educate A-C Valley students.
Aria412 Educational Mission
A shared dedication to their love of opera as well as musical theatre, jazz and popular music led founders Desirée Soteres and Kelly Fiona Lynch to form Aria412 and bring delightfully eclectic programs of these kinds of music to audiences in diverse public settings. From the beginning they have had a commitment not only to provide performing opportunities for seasoned singers in the greater Pittsburgh area, but also for younger singers beginning their career.
In 2019, Aria412 has expanded their educational mission to include music education outreach to schools and students from K to 12 with their opera-mashup, A Fractured Fairy Tale – or – Opera-tunity Knocks: Into the Woods with Hansel and Gretel – or -Opera Parents are the Worst. On March 1, 2019 students in Grades K to 12 in the Allegheny-Clarion Valley Schools will experience the debut of this program, presented by ARCA.
Aria412 singers performed three small workshops for Allegheny-Clarion Valley Elementary students in grades 1 to 6 in the morning, prior to performing two assembly concerts for all K-6 students in the Elementary School gymnasium and for Jr. and Sr. High School students in the High School Auditorium – A Fractured Musical Fairy Tale!
Designed specifically as an arts education resource for A-C Valley students, the Aria412 assembly concerts and workshops were not open to the public. Because there is no admission for any residency events, ARCA relies on contributions from the community to support its art education program in the A-C Valley Schools. ARCA is grateful for its Members and donors and for the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ support of these educational activities. Anyone interested in making a contribution or becoming an ARCA member may do so on this site.
In advance of their residency, elementary music teacher, A-C Valley choral director and musical theatre director Jennifer Lowrey prepared students in K-6 for the small workshops, introducing them to the story, types of music being performed and excerpts of the music to be performed in the morning Introduction and afternoon assemblies.