Viva Vino: Opera and Wine to Benefit The WVC
**UPDATE** We are excited to welcome our guests to Judson TONIGHT for Viva Vino! Please note we will not be able to sell tickets at the door.
Wednesday, April 26th, 7pm
Judson Memorial Church
55 Washington Square South (at Thompson Street)
Accessible entrance available at 243 Thompson Street
Join members of the West Village Chorale on Wednesday, April 26th for an evening of music and wine! The evening will feature performances from talented artists, “paired” with wines curated by our friend Patrick Watson of Brooklyn’s Smith & Vine.
Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy world-class performances, learn a little bit about wine, and support the West Village Chorale!
Be a patron of the arts! A portion of the ticket price is tax-deductible as a donation to the West Village Chorale.
Meet Our Artists
Justin Beck, Bass-Baritone
Bass-baritone Justin Beck has had a varied career both as an opera and concert soloist. He studied music with a focus on vocal performance at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas State University. He was a Young Artist at Austin Lyric Opera for two seasons singing roles in Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, and Verdi’s Rigoletto. He also spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival in their Opera Theater Center. Additional opera credits include three seasons with Opera Company of Middlebury in Vermont performing in Massenet’s Thaïs, Puccini’s La rondine, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. Other favorite roles include Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Dr. Falke & Frank in J. Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, both with Opera Manhattan.
Concert soloist highlights include Handel’s Messiah with the Austin Symphony, Berlioz’s Requiem with the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus under the baton of Robert Spano, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the National Chorale in Avery Fisher Hall, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Bard Music Festival, R. Strauss’s Feuersnot with the American Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leon Botstein at Carnegie Hall, and most recently Saint-Saëns’s Oratorio de Noël with the Hudson Chorale. Additional soloist engagements include concerts with West Village Chorale, Long Island Masterworks and Gregg Smith Singers.
This year Justin marks ten summers as the bass-baritone soloist of the Great Auditorium Quartet in Ocean Grove, NJ where he has regularly performed in recital as well as sacred masterworks from Handel’s Messiah to Mendelssohn’s Elijah and more.
John Bellemer, Tenor
American Tenor John Bellemer has gained a reputation for his strong portrayals in a very wide repertoire. Possessed of a voice the New York Times calls “clarion-toned,” he continues to appear in leading roles with orchestras and opera houses across North America and Europe. Recent highlights include debuts with Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro La Fenice (Venice), Florence’s Maggio Musicale, Torino Jazz Festival, Napoli San Carlo, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York City Opera, Teatro Gratticielo (NYC), Florida Grand Opera, North Carolina Opera, Helena Symphony, Bangor Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Salt Bay Chamber Festival, Toledo Symphony, performances in Beijing, China; and return engagements with Ireland’s Wexford Festival, England’s Buxton Festival, Detroit Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Hawaii Opera Theater, Austin Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Columbus Symphony, and The Pacific Symphony. John is featured in Stephen Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film Lincoln as Gounod’s Faust. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Sarah Blaze, and their Parson Russell Terriers.
Sarah Blaze, Soprano
Mezzo soprano Sarah Blaze has performed principal roles in standard and 20th Century opera repertoire as well as oratorio and musical theater with companies including San Diego Opera, Nevada Opera, Portland Opera Repertory Theater, Pensacola Opera, New York’s Henry St. Chamber Opera, Opera San José, Opera Colorado, Northern California Wagner Society, Berkeley Symphony, West Bay Opera, Opera Southwest, the Mendocino Music Festival, Gloria Opera in Seoul, Korea, New York City Opera’s Education and Outreach program, the New England Chamber Orchestra, Santa Fe Symphony, Oakland Eat Bay Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, Fresno Philharmonic, and Santa Rosa Symphony .
Sarah has performed her cabaret, No More Waiting…, a comic and heartfelt journey using songs from American Musical Theater and original stories, to sold out houses in two of New York City’s most well known clubs: Don’t Tell Mama and The Duplex. She has made her Off Off Broadway debut with Judson Arts in Al Carmine’s The Bonus Army and has performed in two productions of Christmas Rappings by the same composer with Judson Memorial Church. Sarah is also a cofounder of the Dakota Theater Company with whom she performed the role of Louise in Always… Patsy Cline.
Sarah’ film work, which includes Garry Marshall’s Beaches, has expanded to two short films, Beyond Belief and Down in Flames, as well as a feature length film, Lies I Told My Little Sister, all three of which were directed by William J. Stribling.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and lives in Brooklyn with her husband, John Bellemer and their Parson Russell terriers Bandit and Ballerina.
Sarah Nelson Craft, Mezzo-Soprano
Known for her vibrant and engaging storytelling, mezzo-soprano Sarah Nelson Craft has been hailed by Opera News as “exquisite… glowing… and genuine.” She has been presented in recital by Carnegie Hall, Five Boroughs Music Festival, Brooklyn Art Song Society, and Music Academy of the West, collaborating with renowned pianists including Warren Jones and Martin Katz. She recently brought her passion for early music to the title role in Handel’s Solomon with New York Baroque, Inc. and Amor Artis Chorus, as well as the role of Piramo in Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe with The Little Opera Theatre of NY. Concert highlights include Bach’s Mass in B minor at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, Mozart’s Coronation Mass at Alice Tully Hall, Vivaldi’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall, Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra, Debussy’s Trois ballades de François Villon with New York Repertory Orchestra, Canteloube’s Chants d’Auvergne with the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, and Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with Princeton Pro Musica. Favorite operatic roles include the title role in Rossini’s La Cenerentola and Massenet’s Cendrillon, as well as Cherubino, Hansel, Dido, and Hermia in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Ms. Craft has performed with companies including the Caramoor International Music Festival, New York City Opera, Death of Classical, ChamberQUEER, and the Macau International Music Festival. Upcoming engagements include the role of Jennie in Kurt Weill’s Down in the Valley with Little Opera Theatre of NY and an appearance in Brooklyn Art Song Society’s New Voices Festival. www.sarahnelsoncraft.com
Melissa Cintron, Soprano
She gained recognition by Opera News for her voice’s beautiful upper extension in her role as Najade in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in Merkin Hall at The Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Cintron also performed the National Anthem as an honored soloist at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and The Great Hall of the Library of Congress in a televised presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen.
Ms. Cintron has been featured with the Prague Sinfonietta as soloist in Mahler’s Fourth Symphony at the esteemed Rudolfinum Hall and has sung as soloist in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and David Geffen Hall, Saint John the Divine church, Riverside church, the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, the Brooklyn Center for the Arts, and Lehman College. Works included Beethoven’s Choral Symphony, Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Dubois’ Seven Last Words, and Schubert’s Mass in A flat.
She has performed with One World Symphony, Opera Noire of New York, The Hudson Lyric Opera Company and The Bronx Opera Company. Abroad, she studied and performed with The Centro Studi Italiani Young Artist Program in southern Italy and also studied at The Intermezzo Young Artist Program.
Her operatic roles and concert appearances include The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Despina in Così fan Tutte, The Countess and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Musetta in La Bohème, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, Giulietta in I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Marie in La Fille du Régiment, Linda in Linda di Chamounix, Amina in La Sonnambula, Lucia in Lucia di Lamermoor, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Cunegonde in Candide, Carmen and Frasquita in Carmen, and Lakme.
As a recitalist, Ms. Cintron has performed innovative programs with outstanding accompanists Myra Huang, Elena Belli and Rasaan Bourke in work’s entitled L’invitation au Voyage, Beau Soir, Beauté, Foi, Amour, and Eternal Light.
Ms. Cintron has served as Director of Music at Saints John and Paul School in Larchmont, NY, and currently serves on the board of the New Rochelle Opera Company as well as instructor of voice at The Pelham Music Arts Studio in Pelham, NY. She holds degrees from The Manhattan School of Music where she earned her Master of Music degree and Bachelor of Music degree under the tutelage of Joan Caplan.
Travis Leland, Tenor
Travis is an actor, writer, and producer. Past performances include: Mr. Boddy/Motorist in Clue (Gateway Playhouse) Pierre in Natasha…The Great Comet of 1812 (Capital City Theater) Charles Bingley in Pride and Prejudice (Amazon Prime), the World Premiere of The Prince of Egypt (TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley), Merrily We Roll Along (Wallis Annenberg), Dir. Michael Arden, and Kristoff in Disney California’s Frozen at the Hyperion, Dir. Liesl Tommy. His films Bury Me in Armor and Weather or Not can be found on Omeleto @travismleland20.