Last week was nirvana for local opera fans with two afternoons of arias.

Opera Guild

LSU Voice Professor Robert Grayson led attendees of the Baton Rouge Opera Guild’s spring tea in singing “Happy Birthday” to veteran member Ann Keogh April 15 at the Baton Rouge Country Club. It was a great way to kick off the afternoon of beautiful music provided by BROG’s scholarship recipients.

Performing for members were baritone Michael Bade, tenor Micah Callahan, baritone Sam Carroll, mezzo-soprano Christina Casey, soprano Ariana Douglas, baritone Erik Erlandson and soprano Betsy Uschkrat. They were accompanied by Michael Borowitz. Tenor Greg Gallagher and baritone Sean O’Malley were sidelined at the last minute due to illness.

Following the performance President Pat Felder invited members and guests to the reception.

Pat Alford and Rita Wallace were in charge of the tea. Serving on the board with them are First Vice President Cassie Felder, Corresponding Secretary Peggy Catsikis, Recording Secretary Jackie Creaghan, Treasurer Susan Leake, Membership Chairwoman Connie Smith, Shannon Bernard, Mariano Hinojosa, Anna Lee, Linn McNary and Judy Zollinger.

BRAVO

Former BROG scholarship recipient Jin Hin Yap returned from Kuala Lampur with wife Jane Soong to entertain luncheon-goers at the Baton Rouge Area Volunteers for Opera luncheon at Boudreaux’s the following day. The couple was visiting while on vacation in the United States, and brought down the house with their performances.

Yap, much beloved by local opera aficionados, earned a standing ovation with his solo finale. “It translates to you are my heart’s desire, and I send it out to all of you,” he told the packed room of adoring fans, of which I count myself one. It has been so much fun to watch his talent blossom over the years.

Accompanying the duo on piano was Yap’s former voice professor, a proud Robert Grayson.

After some traveling with BRAVO President Linda Green and husband Ed, Yap and Soong will return to Malaysia, where he heads the music department at the University of Malaya.

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