Opera night at the UW Club: All artistry!

The kids straggle in, swing down their packbacks, fish out water bottles, grin, tease, chatter. Then the baton goes up, they step to the cue, and their outsized voices soar. Rehearsal day for these students in the UW opera program!

The event they are getting ready for is Opera Night at the UW Club–the first ever:  a three-course meal, accompanied by three arias, then an after-dinner ensemble program, itself in three courses.

The UW chefs are also laying the groundwork for the event, exercising their very different expertise: cooking down sauces, searing chicken breasts, stirring simmering rice until it’s thick and silky.

Show time! These two teams, with such very different talents, wove together a delicious program! They let me sit in from warm-up to execution, so take a look at how this event came together (and read the credits below):

Who prepared the dinner:  Chef Greg Fazzini (who unfortunately has just left the UW Club), sous-chef (now Chef!) Jon Maley, and Mike Hoffman.

Who prepared the music: students of opera from the UW School of Music (names below), under the direction of Thomas Harper, professor of voice/opera

The pianist for all of the pieces was Alexandra Tsirkel.

Learn more about the UW Club here:  http://depts.washington.edu/uwclub/

Menu

First course

The dinner:

Spring greens with pea vines, baby turnips, grape tomatoes, and herb chevre in champagne vinaigrette

The music:

“Mein Shenen, Mein Waehnen,” from Die tote Stadt, by Erich Korngold

sung by Jared Ice, baritone

Second course

The dinner:

Supreme of chicken with wild mushrooms in butter sauce, grilled fresh asparagus and red pepper, and crusted parmesan risotto

The music:

“Quando m’en vo,” from La Boheme, by G. Puccini

sung by Kathleen Payne, soprano

Third course

The dinner:

Local rhubarb cake with strawberry sabayon

The music:

“Vision fugitive,” from Herodiade, by J. Massenet

sung by Jared Ice, baritone

Continuing with dessert, after-dinner music

Card trio, from Carmen, by G. Bizet

Sung by (left to right) Emily Autrey, soprano (Frasquita), Elizabeth Giesbers, mezzo-soprano (Carmen), and Annalisee Brasil, mezzo-soprano (Mercedes)

Quartet from Idomeneo, by W.A. Mozart

Sung by (left to right) Nataly Wickham (Elettra), Jeremiah Cawley (Idomeneo), Cecile Farmer (Ilia), and Nina Alden (Idamante)

Quintet from Zauberfloete, by W.A. Mozart

Sung by (left to right) Annalisee Brasil, Nataly Wickham, Cecile Farmer, Simon Khorolskiy, and (substituting for Thomas Ball, who was ill) Thomas Harper, professor of voice/opera in the UW School of Music

Coda

Auf wiedersehen!

Sung by Thomas Ball and Simon Khorolskiy, with (off-camera) Annalisee Brasil, Nataly Wickham, and Cecile Farmer

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The University of Washington Club Passport to Portugal Wine Dinner

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the February 25 Passport Dinner to Portugal with club manager Alexandra (Alex) Chordas! The Club specializes in these wonderful events that pair the wines of a particular style, region, or winemaker with a superb multi-course meal. This night’s spotlight on Portugal featured wines from the Herdade do Esporao Winery (www.esporao.com).

Here’s the video of the event:

Executive Chef Greg Fazzini designed a great dinner to  complement the wines. But unfortunately he woke up ill the day of the dinner! So Sous Chef Jon Maley (who had joined the team just a week before!) and Mike Hoffman stepped up to the plate, so to speak, and prepared a great dinner for about 60 of us.