Bay Street Theater Workshops for the Musically Inclined

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Amanda Jones. Courtesy Bay Street Theater.

This spring, Bay Street Theater is offering two brand new adult workshops focused on the art of music — “The Basics of Singing” and “European History Through the Lens of Opera” — both of which will be taught via Zoom.

First up is “The Basics of Singing,” a six-part workshop beginning March 31 led by East End music professional Amanda Jones. Designed for new singers and people who have always wanted to improve their singing ability but never knew where to begin, the workshop will meet Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. Participants will learn how to concentrate on their breathing, diction and posture alignment while discovering the right song choice. Working alongside an accompanist, participants will discover how to start the singing process from soup to nuts, and will leave feeling more confident in their abilities and eager to jump into some new singing adventures. Registration is $150 for six sessions with a drop-in rate of $35 per class.

Jones’s goals are to meet her students where they are and to encourage their growth as musicians while allowing them to be the unique individuals they all are. She is co-founder and music education director of South Fork Performing Arts, which strives to bring quality arts education to local youth.

Anton Armendariz Diaz. Courtesy Divaria Productions.

“European History Through the Lens of Opera” begins April 1 and will meet Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. Led by Ashley Galvani Bell and Anton Armendariz Diaz, the nine-session workshop explores a selected history of Europe, from the Middle Ages through World War II, via a study of popular opera from across the continent. Operatic music has touched people’s emotions since its inception. Many composers and librettists have turned to historical events for inspiration, and to give personal color to those events with powerful music and staging. This class, featuring operas in French, Italian, German and Russian, will give attendees a broad overview of specific events in European history that have been immortalized in the operatic art form. History will be analyzed and illustrated by the operatic selections from the works that most accurately contribute to the telling of these stories.

Ashley Bell. Courtesy Divaria Productions.

Bell, an opera singer, has performed in the United States, Spain, France, Italy and Russia. She recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Hadyn’s “Nelson Mass” and Schubert’s “Mass in C,” debuted as Mimi in “La Bohème” with Mississippi Opera and Natchez Festival, as Madame Butterfly with Townsend Opera in California, and with New York City Opera in “L’Amore Tre Re.”

Diaz studied film direction with Eduardo Gil, and his passion for music soon led him to form the company La Rioja Lirica, where he has directed many successful productions including “Don Giovanni,” “Cosi Fan Tutte,” “El Barberillo de Lavapies,” “La Voix Humaine,” “La Traviata” and “Las Heroinas de la Zarzuela.” He also directed the first opera ever presented at Bay Street Theater, returning for six seasons.

Registration is $200 for nine sessions with a drop-in rate of $35 per class. Payment plans are available.

To join either workshop or for additional information, contact the theater’s director of education and community outreach, Allen O’Reilly, at allen@baystreet.org.

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