I first met Michael quite a number of years ago, (when he was still a student at WestConn) during a summer production of the Mikado in New Milford CT. Michael was the Grand PooBah, I was the oldest, fattest little maid in the chorus, and also understudy to Katasha. (If I recall more names from that production I will add them later. I am in my late 50s and cannot be relied on to recall everything.) Dramatic tenor John Shackelford was the music director and Arlene Begelman directed the theatrical aspects of the production.
In any event, a few folks came down to TK’s tonight to help Michael celebrate including his friend and fellow WestConn Alumni Keith who was also having a birthday, and a very pleasant couple whose names have escaped my aging brain. Coloratura soprano Cheryl Hill, (whose lovely high notes are a delight to the ear) her father Braxton (a bass) and her very sweet mom were also there. (I had a great time taking with the Hills.) Everyone had a few of TK’s special wings because Michael said that was his tradition. We sang happy birthday to Mike and Keith in four-part harmony…. And the bar actually paused and clapped.
Later in the evening David Baranowski, who accompanied him at his most recent recital at the Danbury Music Center, and another fine singer – who so beautifully sang O Mio Babbiono Caro from Puccini’s Gianni Schicci at that recital, (might be David’s wife? Not sure.) were also in attendance.
Anyway, after all that long-winded business – I am finally getting to the reason I am making this post. Mike will be singing the lead in Don Giovanni later this month with the fledgling Hillhouse Opera Company in New Haven, started by Victoria Gardener and a few other folks. Performances will be October 17 & 18, 7:30 pm at (yet another) St Mary’s Church, 5 Hillhouse Ave. New Haven. See the Don Giovanni link website for ticket info and directions. Note: It’s fee….