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Valentine’s dinner, opera concert set for St. Philip’s
Jan 30, 2014 | 30 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mary Jane Johnson
Mary Jane Johnson
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“When I Have Sung My Songs to You: an Evening of Opera Arias and Art Songs of Love” is the theme of a Valentine’s dinner/concert featuring soprano Mary Jane Johnson, accompanied by Beeville native Rolando Salazar on the piano.

The Feb. 14 event begins at 7 p.m. at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Braly-Chambliss Hall and is presented by the Women of the Church and the Beeville Concert Association.

Tickets are $30 for one person or $50 for two and may be purchased at the St. Philip’s Church office, 311 E. Corpus Christi St. from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3 p.m., or by calling BCA President Kay Past at 358-6717.

Included is an elegant meal of chicken fettuccine alfredo, green salad, carrots, steamed broccoli, garlic bread, water, tea, wine and chocolate mousse.

Proceeds from the event will enable the Women of the Church to support the Beeville Vineyard, the Berclair mission, the local Kairos ministry and other charitable projects.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. Those who wish to attend only the music portion will pay $10 at the door if they do not hold BCA season memberships. As usual, students through high school age are admitted free, as is an adult who brings two students and Coastal Bend College students with their photo IDs.

Mary Jane Johnson is counted amongst the great dramatic sopranos, and is considered one of opera’s premier interpreters. She has had lead roles in performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, at the Opera Bastille of Paris and at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Italy.

In addition to France and Italy, she has performed in Argentina, Chile, the Netherlands, Japan, England, Canada, Australia, Brazil and the Czech Republic.

Closer to home, she has performed at the Santa Fe Opera Festival, the Houston Grand Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Johnson’s career went to the next level when she appeared with Luciano Pavarotti in a televised performance as Musetta in Puccini’s La Boheme with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. Other important highlights of her television appearances include the nationally televised Pavarotti Plus Gala, Live from Lincoln Center and the CBS “Sunday Morning” with Charles Kuralt.

Johnson is currently a music professor at Amarillo College and is a native of Pampa, Texas. She currently resides in Amarillo with her husband, David, and their two children. She was the staff vocal coach for the Santa Fe Opera from 2001-2005.

Salazar received his master of music degree in orchestral conducting this past May from Georgia State. A baritone originally from Beeville, he is currently pursuing his artist diploma in orchestral and opera conducting. As a pianist, he has worked with Chamber Music Amarillo, Amarillo Youth Choirs, West Texas A&M University Opera, Bellingham Festival of Music and the grand opening of the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts in Amarillo.

As a conductor, he has served as music director/conductor of TEXAS with the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation and conducted more than 150 performances at the Amarillo Little Theater and West Texas A&M University Opera Workshop.

Last summer, he was assistant conductor at Voci nel Montefeltro, Italy. An active member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, his teachers have included Douglas Morrison, George Biffle, Mary Jane Johnson, Richard Clement and Michael Palmer.

As a pianist, Salazar has been featured with Chamber Music Amarillo, Amarillo Youth Choirs, WT Opera, numerous honor choirs, master classes, and faculty and student recitals at WTAMU.

He began his music studies in Beeville, at A.C. Jones High School and at CBC, where he studied under Dr. James Lee.
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