NGHS and St. James Anglican Church to host opera concert

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The North Grenville Historical Society and St. James Anglican Church will host a much-anticipated opera concert on February 10. The concert – featuring five esteemed performers – will take place at St. James Anglican Church on Clothier St. W., in Kemptville. 

David Finnie is the Chair of the concert. The Co-Chairs are Donna Gould, who represents the NGHS fundraising team, and Mandy Nicholls of St. James Anglican Church fundraising team. David explained that the Historical Society is currently doing well, and that this joint fundraising effort is an extension of other efforts underway. The Historical Society will use the funds raised to help support their archives, and the Church will put its portion toward building restoration being completed in the spring. 

Although the concert is being held as a fundraiser for the two local organizations, raising money is only a small part of the story. The hope is that the concert will bring exposure to both the Historical Society and the Church, while simultaneously providing an opportunity for those in the community to experience live, elegant music. “We want people to enjoy the evening, and to bring some class and some culture to Kemptville,” said David. 

The music for the concert has been organized by Kirsten Waymann and Jennifer Thivierge. David was eager to offer thanks to them, noting that they met at Salamanders for lunch last fall, which is where the idea for the concert was born.

The music for the concert will be provided by Kirsten Waymann (on violin) and Peter Boczar (on keyboard). Together, they make up the duo called Strings and Ivory. Both Kirsten and Peter live in Petawawa, and they are a strong musical pair who perform regularly at weddings, receptions and other special events.

Kirsten Waymann & Peter Boczar

Three singers will provide the operatic touch to the evening. Finnish-Canadian soprano Emili Losier holds six higher education degrees in music, performance and arts management, and works as a performing soprano, researcher, educator and arts manager. She has won various awards for her work, including a Social Sciences and Research Council grant from the Government of Canada. On the opera stage, she has been described as “a nature’s child…touching the heart from beginning to end.”

Emili Losier

Saskatchewan-born tenor Philip Klaassen began making his mark on the operatic stage with the Saskatoon Opera in Schools Tour in productions of The Magic Flute, The Brothers Grimm, and The Barber of Seville. He has since performed roles   &in productions of Die Zauberflote, Carmen, Don Giovanni, Le Villi, Gianni Schicchi, Cendrillon and Turn Of The Screw. Most recently, he appeared as a featured soloist on the Windsor Symphony Orchestra’s new holiday album “Christmas, eh?”, released in December 2022.

Philip Klaassen

Finally, Jennifer Thivierge has been involved with music education for over 35 years. She has been a performer, vocal coach, music teacher and more recently a co-founder and Director of the Ottawa South Youth Choir that fulfills a need for music in the rural Ottawa community. Singing various genres of music continues to be a passion and she is excited to be back on stage sharing a night of music.

Jennifer Thivierge

The opera concert would not have been possible without the generous support of several local business owners who stepped up to become silver sponsors. These include Karen McCallion of the Kemptville Hearing Clinic, Robert Walker of Walker and Associates, Rick Buffham of R&B Heating, and Dawn Patterson of Cranberry Hill Animal Hospital.

Only 150 tickets to the opera concert will be sold, and they are going quickly. After the concert, a gathering will take place free of charge for ticket holders, featuring sweets, truffles, coffee, and tea. Tickets to the concert are $20.00 each, available for purchase at the North Grenville Historical Society office, 148 Prescott St., in Kemptville.

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