Get Cultured — March 27, 2014 at 3:45 pm

An Evening of Italian Wine and Music



What’s better than spending an evening enjoying Italian wines and live music? Trick question — this is how we spent this past Saturday night. Voice Afire Pocket Opera & Cabaret hosted a unique evening featuring a one-of-a-kind concert of The Art of Love (Into the Labyrinth). The night began with a wine reception at the Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, featuring wines from Roca della Masie, Stella & Mosca, St Michael Eppan, as well as Zenato and Prosecco from Enrico, Toffoli and Zardetto. Next began the concert, which melded together Ray Luedeke’s original score for two pianos and a text adapted from Ovid’s The Art of Love.

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We were blown away by pianists Jennifer Chu and Beth Nam, who played in tandem throughout the evening. While it is always riveting to listen and watch a talented musician, seeing both pianists play at the same time was even more impressive. The concert began with a quick piece featuring Darius Milhaud’s Scaramouche, followed by the main piece, The Art of Love (Into the Labyrinth), which also incorporated actor Harry Burney. The performance was based on Ovid’s The Art of Love, which holds advice for men and women on how to find, attract and hold a lover — both wise and humorous, especially since it was written in 2 AD. Drawing from Roman mythology, Ovid told the legend of the Minotaur and labyrinth on the island of Crete. The performance told the tragic tale, which followed the dueling royal families of Crete and Athens. The story takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions — making it all the more believable as portrayed by Burney, whose voice, like Morgan Freeman’s, could probably make you believe anything.

The show was directed by Dan Swern, co-founder and producing director of coLAB Arts. The next showing will take place May 30th, with a 7:30pm wine reception followed by an 8pm concert. Tickets can be purchased here. This is surely a unique way to spend a night in New York City, so if you’re looking something a bit different from your normal routine, fill up on wine and enjoy the music.

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Twisted Talk: What’s the last concert you went to? Are you looking forward to checking out this show? Discuss below!

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