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East Village Opera Company to Perform at Cahn Auditorium

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October 31, 2006 | by Judy Moore

EVANSTON, Ill. --- The East Village Opera Company transforms famous arias from the world's most renowned operas into majestic rock anthems -- sometimes using influences from rock 'n' roll giants of yesteryear or putting its own contemporary spin on classic melodies. The music has as much appeal for progressive rock fans as it does for opera devotees.

The 11-member ensemble -- comprised of a rock quintet, a string quartet and two vocalists -- will perform its unique program at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, at Cahn Auditorium, 600 Emerson St., on Northwestern University's Evanston campus.

The East Village Opera Company performs famous arias, including “La donna è mobile” from Verdi's “Rigoletto,” “Habanera” from Bizet's “Carmen” and “Nessun dorma” from Puccini's “Turandot,” in their original languages and respectfully converts them into rock works. (Audio and video clips are available for listening and viewing at www.eastvillageoperacompany.com.)

The group was co-founded in 2004 by lead vocalist Tyley Ross and arranger/multi-instrumentalist Peter Kiesewalter. Ross had the male lead role in the Canadian production of “Miss Saigon” and the Toronto production of The Who's rock opera  “Tommy.” Ross, Kiesewalter and the ensemble's instrumentalists will be joined on stage by vocalist AnnMarie Milazzo.

The ensemble's 2004 Canal Records debut compact disc, “La Donna,” features inventive arrangements, including arias from operas by Verdi, Bizet and Puccini. Its latest recording for Decca/Universal Classics includes a track that combines the overture from Mozart's comic opera “Le Nozze di Figaro” and The Who's classic song “Won't Get Fooled Again.”

The East Village Opera Company was recently signed by Columbia Artists Management Inc. The group performed in Chicago last August at North Halsted Market Days, the Midwest's largest street festival, in addition to the House of Blues last November.

Tickets for the Nov. 11 concert are $20 for the general public; $15 for senior citizens and Northwestern faculty and staff; and $5.50 for full-time students.

To order tickets by phone, call the Pick-Staiger Ticket Office at (847) 467-4000 or visit <www.pickstaiger.com>.

Topics: Campus Life