Acclaimed Soprano, Pianist and Flutist to Perform Concert at Willow Grove Church on Sunday, May 5

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An extraordinary “Concert in the Grove” will be performed on Sunday, May 5, at 3 pm, at Willow Grove Presbyterian Church. This “Celebration of Music” features Soprano Karen Notare, Pianist/Harpsichordist Paul DiDario, and Recorder/Flutist Larry Garges.

Karen Notare will sing selections from Rossini, Schubert, Puccini and Cilea. Paul DiDario will play piano solos from Chopin and Liszt. Larry Garges will perform a suite by Hottitiere for Baroque flute, with Mr. DiDario on harpsichord, plus works by Handel and Scarlatti. Tickets will be available at the door: $10 for adults and teens, $5 for ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 yrs. and younger. A reception with light refreshments will follow at which you may meet the performers.

Karen Notare has been hailed by critics for her “compelling stage presence, formidable technique, tireless energy, and beautifully radiant and expressive tone”; she is one of opera’s most exciting singing actresses. She has performed worldwide, including: with the Istanbul Philharmonic in a concert of Strauss and Wagner; Giulietta in “Tales of Hoffman” and Mimi in “La Boheme” with Opera de Nice; “Salome” with Opera Ireland and the Spier Festival in Capetown, South Africa; Santuzza in “Cavalleria Rusticana” with Opera New Zealand. She has appeared with the Royal Danish Opera, Wexford International Opera Festival and in Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” in a new production created for her at Oper der Stadt Bonn. 

She has also performed extensively in the United States including: Marguerite in “Faust” with Opera Baltimore; “Madama Butterfly” with the Summer Opera in Washington, D.C.; “Aida” with New Jersey State Opera & Illinois Opera; “Iris” with Teatro Grattacielo at Alice Tully Hall in New York City; and “Madama Butterfly” with the New York City Opera National Company. Miss Notare is also an accomplished concert artist with many concert performances in the U.S. and around the world.

Miss Notare won a full scholarship to the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City where she received her degree. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including: The Richard Gold Award, the first recipient of the Martin Segal Award for “Most Promising Newcomer” from the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City; First Prize in the International Puccini Concorso in Lucca, Italy; three time winner of the Puccini Foundation Award in New York City
presented by Licia Albanes.

Not only is Ms. Notare an acclaimed performer but she has been the recipient of numerous awards for her excellence in music education: The Chu Foundation Award for three years and  WBGO/NJEA’s “Jazzy Music Teacher of the Year”. Ms. Notare is a seasoned and licensed New Jersey music educator who has educated students in music from pre-k to the professional level.  She is currently the music director of Unity Charter School in Morristown, New Jersey. She is on the voice faculty of the Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey.  She maintains a private beginning piano and vocal studio in Flanders, New Jersey.

Paul DiDario received his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees from the Juilliard School. Solo performance highlights include performances with Metropolitan Opera Star, Jerome Hines, a recital as Franz Liszt, and a benefit recital for the Christopher Reeve Foundation. Other performances include concerts with soprano, Karen Notare, and, in 2005, he performed a two week concert tour of South Korea and was invited back in 2006 for a second tour. Mr. DiDario was piano soloist in a performance of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Young People’s Philharmonic conducted by Ira Kraemer in April 2010.  He was also soloist in a performance of the “Totoentanz” by Liszt on April 10, 2011.

Mr. DiDario is a certified teacher in the Russian Technical Regimen for the Piano. He trained for 2 years at the School for Strings in NYC and is a certified Suzuki Piano instructor. Mr. DiDario is the Executive Director of the Long Hill Music Center in Madison, New Jersey, a community school of the arts, which offers private lessons to students of all ages. He has also been on the private music faculty of the Farbrook School in Short Hills, New Jersey since 1990. His first CD release, “Two Part Creation, solo works for Harpsichord and Piano”, was released in 2000.  He has been the Director of Music at Willow Grove Presbyterian Church for the last 8 years.

Larry Garges is a woodwind doubler who holds a BA in flute performance from Kean College, where he studied flute with Kim Haley.  Additionally he has studied with Joe Allard on sax at The Manhattan School of Music, and private studies with Laura George and John Wion on flute, Bill Shadel on clarinet, Deborah Booth and Charles Brink on traverso, and Pete Rose and Nina Stern on recorder.  Although perhaps better known as a teacher, Larry has performed in groups as diverse as the ACE award winning salsa group "Elemento 10" with whom he toured with, in support of their cd "Solo Para Ti", to The Manhattan Recorder Orchestra, where he was a featured member and soloist.

Willow Grove Presbyterian Church is located in Scotch Plains at 1961 Raritan Road, across the street from the Scotch Plains Southside Firehouse and Southside Soccer Field, and near the corner of South Martine Avenue. All our facilities are handicap-accessible.  Check our website for more information and for other ministries at www.willowgrovechurch.org or contact the church office (908) 232-5678 or office@willowgrovechurch.org.  Sunday worship services begin at 10:00 am.

We look forward to seeing you and enjoying this celebration of music on May 5 with you.


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