New series takes you behind the opera
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New series takes you behind the opera

Emil Miland, left, Virginia Grasso, and Ron Valentino (Courtesy JCCNNJ)
Emil Miland, left, Virginia Grasso, and Ron Valentino (Courtesy JCCNNJ)

The JCC of Northern NJ is partnering with its friends at the Osher Marin JCC in California for a series, “Exploring Opera: Behind-the-Scenes.” It will be held via Zoom on four Thursdays, Aug 6 to 27, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

James Sokol, a former opera professional and instructor will take you on exclusive, behind-the-scenes visits to the opera, while you relax at home. Each live, online session will feature a different special guest opera professional, who brings his/her unique expertise, experiences, and insights to the discussion. A live Q&A session and video clips will round out the sessions. Ticket purchases helps support JCC programs and the guests – opera professionals – who are, mostly or completely, out of work. After the class, there will be an optional 30 minute opera chat to meet other opera lovers in a small chat room.

James Sokol started in the opera world under Beverly Sills at New York City Opera. After working on projects with the Opera Company of Philadelphia while in graduate school, Sokol moved west to work at San Francisco Opera. He is a former executive director of Pocket Opera and a founding member of the Singers Development Foundation.

The special guest lineup includes Virginia Grasso:  the singer/teacher on August 6; Ron Valentino:  the vocal coach, on the 13th; Francesco Milioto: the conductor, on the 20th, and Emil Miland: cellist, talking about the orchestra, on the 27th. Guest artists are subject to change.

It costs $60 for a series of 4 classes, or $20 for a single class.

Each series event is listed on the JCC’s website, www.jccnnj.org. Registrations are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

Registration through Eventbrite, www.eventbrite.com/e/exploring-opera-behind-the-scenes-4-class-series-tickets, must be received by 3 p.m. on the Wednesday before the first class and the Zoom confirmation and link will be sent between 6 to 8 p.m.  If it’s not in your inbox, check junk and spam folders, and email Danielle at dvierra@marinjcc.org.

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