Monday, February 09, 2015

Experience Opera at the Library on February 21! Bring the kids!

The Dover Public Library is pleased to host the 8th in their series of free musical concerts on Saturday, February 21 at 11am in the library’s Lecture Hall. Seven talented area musicians, led by Youth Opera Program director and UNH lecturer Melissa Manseau, will perform selections from well-known operas. Some of Melissa’s voice students will be singing, accompanied by Minako Merritt on piano. This program is a great way for families to introduce their children to the wonders of opera in a relaxed setting and it’s free! The performers enjoy singing for an audience, so bring your enthusiasm and excitement! 

Performers are:
Audrey Craft has been a student of Melissa Manseau’s for several years. She loves opera, but also enjoys singing everything from gospel to Broadway. Her main instrument is piano. After studying with Minako Merritt for about 7 years, she graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. She is currently a piano teacher with a growing studio.

Kamerin Hermenau has performed at the Seacoast Repertory Theater and the Ogunquit Playhouse.  She has been singing opera for the past 7 years.  She recently performed as Maggie in “Lend me a Tenor” and sings with Melissa Manseau’s Youth Opera Program. Kamerin is thrilled to educate and inform others about her passion for opera.

Druinn Johnston has been a student of Melissa Manseau for 9 years and previously studied at the Boston Conservatory.  She lives in Durham and is expecting her first child next month.

Soprano Melissa Manseau is delighted to perform again at the Dover Library!  She graduated with a B.A. in Music Education from UNH and a M.M. in Vocal performance from the University of Northern Iowa.  She has performed with Opera North, Opera by the Bay, Boston Vocal Artists, Salt Marsh Opera, Cape Cod Opera, Bronx Opera, Granite State Opera and Sarasota Opera.  Ms. Manseau is the founder and director of Youth Opera Workshop, now in their 13th season performing opera with singers ages 11-28.  She is a full time Lecturer in Voice at UNH.   Melissa's 10 year old son, Jackson Walsh, also performs on stage and film in the greater Boston area, as well as her husband, SAG actor, Michael Walsh.  For more information about Youth Opera Workshop, private lessons, or performance, visit

Pianist Minako Merritt, a long-time resident of Dover, is a graduate of the Musashino Music Academy in Tokyo.  Prior to moving here, she taught piano for several years at the Kawai and Yamaha Music Schools.  Minako teaches privately now from her home and   can be found most Sunday mornings playing at the Christian Science Church in Dover.

Eric Radcliffe has sung regional opera in the area for many years.  Formerly  a member of the Lakes Region Opera Company,  Eric has performed all over the six state region.  Most recently he performed as Joseph in the “Bus Stop Atheist” at the Merrill Auditorium. He is excited to be performing at the library, singing opera for the community. 

Anna Woodbury graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. She has been a soloist with the Rockingham Choral Society, and has performed as a professional soloist at several local churches. Anna will soon begin work on her master’s degree in Music Therapy.

Selections will include “Batti Batti O bel Masetto” and “Vedrai carino” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni   (Kamerin Hermenau and Druinn Johnston, performers); “Come in quest’ ora bruna” from Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra” (Melissa Manseau);  “O Soave Fanciulla” (Audrey Craft and Eric Radcliffe) and “Quando men vo” (Kamerine Hermenau) from Puccini’s “La Boheme”; “Una voce poco fa” from Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglla” (Anna Woodbury);  “O mio Fernando” from Donizetti’s “La Favorita”  (Druinn Johnston); “Nessun dorma” (Eric Radcliffe) and “Signore, ascolta!” (Audrey Craft) from Puccini’s “Turandot”;  “Parigi O Cara” from Verdi’s “La Traviata” (Kamerin Hermenau and Eric Radcliffe); “Qui Vivra Verra” from Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliette” (Anna Woodbury); and “Pleurez! Pleurez, mes yeux!” from Massenet’s “Le Cid” (Melissa Manseau).

Please join us for this inspiring and lively performance and remember that children are most welcome to attend too! A goal of these concerts is to instill a love of music at an early age. For more information, call the Dover Public Library at 603-516-6050.

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