A Valentines Night of Love Notes at the East Passyunk Opera with Pistola’s Restaurants.
I’m not going to choose what musical style or genre is the most romantic. That’s a matter of taste, design, pacing, and mood you wish to set. Sometimes Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles work. Sometimes it’s Patti Labelle and James Brown. Sometimes it’s Sonic Youth and Ornette Coleman. In the case of the still-young East Passyunk Opera Company (ePOP), this weekend, the Valentine-y mood will be rousing, fun and flirty. Its Love Notes program premieres Friday, February 12, and runs through Sunday, February 14. And it is created in tandem with the area’s Pistola’s restaurant group and co-curator, opera singer Joshua Blue.
Whether you choose a Team Pistolas location for outdoor dining (Pistolas Del Sur, Sancho Pistolas, Jose Pistola’s) or bring dinner to your home with a laptop in front of you, tickets are $75 for a three-course dinner for two and an ePOP performance, or $95 for the three-course dinner for two, drink pairing for two and performance.
“We started the East Passyunk Opera Company’s performances from our home, with a house concert. So to continue that now, for Valentine’s Day, is exciting,” said General and Artistic Director Katrina Thurman who co-founded their local company with her husband, Robert Hawkey.
Upon having made their own connections with some of the biggest and brightest names in the bold new opera universe ePOP connected the dots by associating themselves with another up-and-coming operatic couple, Philadelphia-based opera singers Ashley Marie Robillard, Soprano, and Joshua Blue, Tenor.
Blue for this Valentine’s weekend, will be accompanied by pianist Aurelien Eulert. Those names included are Anthony Roth Costanzo, Zachary James, Will Liverman, Sandra Piques Eddy, Joélle Harvey and her husband Alex Fletcher All of whom participate in Love Notes this weekend.
“We have a piano in our home, and have been singing and playing, day and night, so Love Notes will be very intimate. An invitation into our living room,” said Blue, a British-American tenor who only recently moved into the Philadelphia area.
And the man behind the culinary end of Love Notes, is Pistola’s Co-Owner/Partner Casey Parker. A performer himself at many a Fringe Fest. And Executive Chef Adan Trinidad. They have, in his words, shut their mouths long enough to craft a special romantic menu from each of their locations in South Philly, Center City and Fishtown. “If you know me, as a singer, it’s hard to get me to shut up. I’m thrilled however to shut my mouth and take on the role of listener to support ePOP. That, and of course, it’s hard to sing while shoveling Chef Trinidad’s food in my mouth.”