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Evening of opera, songs of love to headline Valentine’s dinner concert
Feb 07, 2014 | 6 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Beeville native Rolando Salazar will accompany internationally acclaimed soprano Mary Jane Johnson on the piano during and evening of dinner, opera and songs of love Feb. 14 at St. Philip’s Braly-Chambliss Hall.
Contributed photo Beeville native Rolando Salazar will accompany internationally acclaimed soprano Mary Jane Johnson on the piano during and evening of dinner, opera and songs of love Feb. 14 at St. Philip’s Braly-Chambliss Hall.
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Internationally acclaimed soprano Mary Jane Johnson, accompanied by Beeville native Rolando Salazar on the piano, will present a Valentine dinner concert, “When I Have Sung My Songs to You: an Evening of Opera Arias and Art Songs of Love,” Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Braly-Chambliss Hall, organized 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., or by calling BCA President Kay Past at 358-6717. Included is an elegant meal of chicken fettucine 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. Door admission for the music portion only is $10 for those who do not hold BCA season memberships. 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 premiere interpreters.  She has performed in France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, the Netherlands, Japan, England, Canada, Australia, Brazil and the Czech Republic, as well as many venues in the United States.

Salazar, her former student, is also an impressive musician. Son of Enrique and Petra Salazar of Beeville, he began his music studies at Hall Elementary School, Thomas Jefferson Junior High and A.C. Jones High School, where he graduated in 1997 and continued at Coastal Bend College with Dr. James Lee and Sally Bursell.

After graduating from West Texas A&M University, Salazar served as music director/conductor of the Palo Duro Canyon musical drama Texas for several years.

Salazar went on to earn a master of music in orchestral conducting and an artist diploma in orchestra and opera from Georgia State University. As a pianist he has collaborated with Chamber Music Amarillo, the Amarillo Youth Choirs, the Bellingham Festival of Music, the Harrower Opera Program, and the Atlanta Opera.

Salazar has conducted, coached and prepared singers for Chamber Music Amarillo, GSU Opera Theater, the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop, and the Taos Opera Institute. He also serves as assistant conductor/pianist of the Bellingham Festival of Music in Washington.  He recently conducted performances in Atlanta of The Old Maid and the Thief, The Medium, Little Women, Street Scene, and Werther.

As artistic director of Musica Sacra Atlanta he conducted performances of “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and “The Christmas Rose” as well as accompanying members of the GSU Opera Theater in a 200th Birthday Celebration of Giuseppe Verdi. He has served as music director for the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop’s Studio Program, as assistant conductor at La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, and as assistant conductor for the Atlanta Opera.

Salazar is currently the interim director of music at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta and the assistant director of the Atlanta Opera Chorus.
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