opera-wish singers-preview

Four senior vocal performance majors from BW’s Conservatory of Music were able to grant a very special wish for an 84-year-old opera lover.

Conservatory Students Grant Hospice Patient’s Wish to Hear Live Opera Again

December 17, 2015

opera-wish-alexis-gill-blanche-previewFour senior vocal performance majors from BW’s Conservatory of Music were able to grant a very special wish this holiday season.

An 84-year-old hospice patient at the Westpark Health Care campus, Blanche Felice, loves opera and expressed a longing to hear the rich and soaring musical palette live once again.

Meanwhile, BW conservatory students have been hard at work rehearsing for the February 2016, highly anticipated production of an adapted “Carmen,” directed by BW music theatre director Victoria Bussert and conducted by Octavio Más-Arocas.

As it turns out, "Carmen" is Blanche Felice’s favorite opera!

"Bravissimo" for a Fulfilled Dream

opera-wish singers-previewEnter Harbor Light Hospice. As part of its “Dare to Dream” program, hospice workers arranged to bring four of the talented BW “Carmen” leads to Westpark as a surprise for Felice.

The performers, pictured here with Felice and her daughter, are left to right, soprano Roxy Callan ‘16, BW opera coach Jason Aquila, mezzosoprano Emily Warren ’16, tenor Josue Brizuela ’16 and soprano Alexis Gill ‘16.

Felice, who was a regular at Cleveland appearances by the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera, cheered “Bravissimo!” after each song performed by the BW vocalists. 

Profound Impact 

But the owner and administrator of Westpark Healthcase Campus, Elias J. Coury, told The Sun News that all of the patients appeared to appreciate the performance of Felice’s beloved opera.

"It had such a profound impact on the whole resident population,” Coury said. “This was a pleasant surprise. Our patients are mostly younger people, and the performance may have been the first time they had ever heard opera performed live."

Harbor Light Hospice Care captured a bit of this heartwarming Dare to Dream event on video.