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Happy Birthday Bill! Richmond County Orchestra Celebrates Shakespeare's 450th Birthday with Actors, Singers and More as Premiere Orchestra Enters Its 15th Sea

A tribute to William Shakespeare in music and theater Saturday, April 26 8 p.m. The Music Hall at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, Staten Island, New York Award winning singers and actors performing music and sonnets inspired by

Across the globe the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth will be commemorated in many ways. In Paris a week-long conference will occur. In London anew indoor Jacobean theatre within the complex of Shakespeare's Globe opens. And here in New York the Richmond County Orchestra (RCO) marks its 15th season by celebrating the anniversary with a Happy Birthday Bill performance on April 26 at The Music Hall at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. The concert is FREE for students and children. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Group rates are also available. For more information call the RCO at 718-876-7945. Advance ticket sales are available online at

This concert will be a multi -dimensional with great Symphonic music inspired by Shakespeare and winners of the regional Riverside Opera Auditions singing music inspired by Shakespeare. The actors performing Shakespeare are also winners of regional auditions.

Sponsors of the performance are Northfield Bank Foundation, the Lois and Richard Nicotra Foundation, Con Edison and Dragon Kims Karate USA.

One song being performed is a side-by-side that includes the featured professionally trained musicians performing pieces along-side students in the Curtis High school orchestra.

Shakespeare alludes to or includes the text of well over one hundred songs in his works. Music was an integral part of Elizabethan life and in a fitting tribute to his birthday the Richmond County Orchestra presents selections from various Shakespearean works including Romeo and Juliet, Othello, A Mid-Summer Night's Dream and The Tempest. In addition RCO will be playing two movements from Composer Edward Green's "music for Shakespeare". Mr. Green will he will be at the concert to say a few words. Edward Green is an award-winning composer and educator.

The program includes: Romeo and Juliet Overture, Juliets Waltz Je veux vivre, Romeo and Juliet" Act 1 Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture Dio mi potevi from Othello, A Midsummer Nights Dream Wedding March and others..

The cast includes Jerilyn Sackler Director, Nick Bayne and Ariana Fekett Actors, Jenna Calderon Guitarist, Allison Pohl, soprano and William Barone Tenor. Bios are included below.

The Richmond County Orchestra (RCO) celebrates its 15th season of producing professional symphonic performances for the greater Staten Island public in a wide variety of venues throughout the borough.

RCO's programming under Maestro Alan Aurelia is all-inclusive; it attracts soloists of International fame and the best local New York musicians, many who have played with the finest European orchestras. Combined with younger American talent from the major NYC music schools it provides a wonderful student mentoring service.

In addition to presenting free and low cost productions of classical and modern symphonic works, the Orchestra also produces multi-media programs in cooperation with New York based dance companies and have also worked with several visual artists, composers, poets, singers and musicians. The RCO frequently includes many local public school children in their concerts and provides extensive music outreach residencies in local schools and community centers throughout the year.

Jerilyn Sackler Director

Jerilyn Sackler studied at the British American Drama Academy, at Williamstown Theatre Festival as an Acting Apprentice, with the Aquila Theatre Co. in a performance workshop at Lincoln Center's Clark Studio Theatre, and with Jenny Buckman of R.A.D.A. in a performance workshop of "The Tempest". Recent work includes "Taming of the Shrew" with Pulse Ensemble, Prism in "Importance of Being Earnest" , Witch # 1 in MacBeth at the Clurman on Theatre Row, and Birbal in Chuck Mee's "Coney Island Avenue" at New York Theatre Workshop.

Jenna Calderon, guitarist

Jenna Calderon is from Staten Island, NY. She began her musical career in high school when she picked up the guitar. For college, she attended The Macaulay Honors College at the College of Staten Island where she studied classical guitar performance and mathematics. During this time Jenna also played electric guitar with the group Not From Concentrate and currently with The Haight. After college Jenna decided to become a music teacher, earning a Master's Degree from Columbia Teachers College. Ms. Calderon currently teaches at Staten Island Technical High School and performs regularly.

Nick Bayne, actor

Nick Bayne is a San Franciscan by way of Seattle. He holds an MA in Acting from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which included a month-long residency at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London and a tour of Rona Munro's new play, The Special. Previous work includes roles at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (You, Nero), Pioneer Theatre Company (The Light in the Piazza), and Woodminster Summer Musicals (Finian's Rainbow, Paint Your Wagon), as well as Guildenstern in Dealing With Ophelia at the 2013 Figment Festival.

Ariana Fekett, actor

Ariana Fekett is thrilled to be working with Richmond County Orchestra. Ariana earned her BA in Theater at SUNY, Binghamton and currently studies with Tres Artis in New York. Recent theater credits include Love, Redefined with Poetic Theater Productions,Mike's Discount Wonderland at The Brick, Baby Dada with Truant Arts, and The Group with Tres Artis.

Allison Pohl, soprano
Allison Pohl has performed widely in the United States as well as in Italy and China, drawing positive reviews for her "sparkling voice" ( and "exuberant" performances (Opera News). Of her performance in L'elisir d'amore at Virginia Opera, The Washington Post wrote: "Allison Pohl stood out with a ripe, flavorful soprano and ample character." Upcoming performances include Gretel in Hдnsel und Gretel at Opera in the Heights, Yum-Yum in The Mikado at Opera Providence, Giannetta in L'elisir d'amore at New Rochelle Opera, and a concert with Canton Symphony Orchestra. Roles performed include Nannetta in Falstaff, Norina in Don Pasquale, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and Zerlina in Don Giovanni. She has performed with many companies including Boston Lyric Opera, Opera in the Heights, Opera Saratoga, Virginia Opera, Opera New Jersey, and Bronx Opera. Allison holds degrees from Boston University and SUNY Purchase.

William Barone, Tenor
William Barone is a Brooklyn tenor with a bachelor's degree in vocal performance from Temple University College of Music in Philadelphia. A stalwart performer with and supporter of our own Riverside Opera Company as well as a Liederkranz Wagner Competition finalist, he has also starred in such venues as th Wagner Opera Theater, the Pennsylvania Opera Festival, the Shreveport Symphony, and the Grace Choral Society.

About Snug Harbor Cultural Center& Botanical Gardens

Once a home for retired seamen, this regional cultural center has become the perfect environment for public enrichment and enjoyment. With 83 acres of stunning grounds, architectural landmarks, three museums, and 17 gardens, no two experiences can ever be the same at Snug Harbor. Discover the undiscovered and watch as history, performing arts, visual arts, horticulture, and agriculture come alive.

Categories: Performing Arts

Tags: Musical tribute, Richmond County Orchestra, shakespeare

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