All the drama and rapture of opera without the commitment! Come enjoy some of the most unbelievable arias and duets from the opera stage while sipping a glass of one of our featured wines. We will be serenaded by a duo of dramatic, funny, local favorite singers, Heather Parker, Soprano and Ann Benson, Mezzo-Soprano.
Tickets are only $25 and include a glass a wine. Food will be available to purchase. Purchase your tickets for Taste of Opera. Space is limited.
Door will open at 6:30 PM for wine and food to order, performance start at 7:00 PM.
ANN BENSON BIO
Versatile and remarkably multi-talented, Mezzo-Soprano Ann Benson has taken an adventurous path in preparing herself to become a fine and dedicated singer. Ms. Benson began her musical career as a cellist, garnering awards and accolades at a national level. When tendinitis forced her to set aside the cello she challenged herself to explore her other interests and abilities, acting, directing, conducting and teaching. As an actress she has appeared at Center Stage, Spokane Civic Theatre, Lake City Playhouse and Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre. Ann has directed theater productions at Lake City Playhouse, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and Whitworth University. She conducted the choirs at Joel E. Ferris High School, North Central High School and Mead Middle School and currently serves as Director of Children’s Arts at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Spokane.
In recent years Ms. Benson has turned her attention to singing and is actively cultivating operatic roles and recital repertoire. This summer she will perform Love/Hate: a really passionate recital with trumpet player Eric Moe at Central Lutheran Church. She will also provide the “opera” part of Impropera!, an improv/opera mash-up with Lilac City Improv. A regular on stage with Spokane Opera, Ms. Benson was seen as Dorothée in Cendrillon, as The Aunt in Madama Butterfly and as a member of the ensemble in Die Fledermaus and Sweeney Todd. As a soloist she appeared with the Cathedral and the Arts Series, the Northwest Bach Festival, and with the Spokane Symphony as the winner of the Young Artist Competition at MusicFest Northwest.
Ms. Benson’s proudest singing moment so far was when American baritone Thomas Hampson said to her, “You were made for singing, darlin’.” It’s taken a while to get here, but she hopes to prove him right!
HEATHER PARKER BIO
Described by Opera News as “radiating glamour, both vocally and physically…” American soprano Heather Parker captivates audiences of opera and concert alike, with her warm and colorful voice, alluring spirit, and dynamic stage presence. A versatile singing actress, Parker possesses an uncommon gift of expressing the full range of human emotions, while bringing every word to life.
Heather has performed lead roles in some of the leading opera houses around the country. Operatic Highlights include Antonia in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Pamina in The Magic Flute, Frasquita in Carmen, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Seattle Opera, Musetta, in La Boheme with Seattle Opera, Spokane Symphony, and Jacksonville Symphony, Micaela in Carmen with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Granite State Opera and Opera Coeur d’Alene, Adina in L’Elisir d’amore with Mississippi Opera and Granite State Opera, Despina in Cosi fan tutte with Opera North and Spokane Opera, Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Opera North, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Pensacola Opera, Opera North, Spokane and Granite State Opera, and Casilda in The Gondoliers with the Deer Valley Music Festival. In the same festival, Parker also thrilled audiences singing Mozart’s Exultate Jubilateand Vesperae Solennes De Confessore with the Utah Symphony. Mrs. Parker has performed numerous other leading ladies with Spokane Opera including Nedda in I Paggliaci and Norina in Don Pasquale.
Ms. Parker is a 2nd Place Winner of the Licia Albanese-Puccini International Foundation competition (which resulted in her concert debut at Alice Tully Hall), three-time recipient of the Sergio Franchi Foundation award, and finalist of the Houston Grand Opera Ellenor McCollum Competition. She holds a Master of Music Degree and Performance Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where she performed the roles of Cunegonde in Candide and Nannetta in Falstaff. Additionally, she was an apprentice artist with both the acclaimed Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival.
Heather currently resides in Spokane with her husband, bass-baritone Derrick Parker, daughters Grace and Isabel, and Tibetan Spaniel Sophie.