T’was the night before a chilly Sunday in January when I received a Facebook message from Aunt Countess alerting me to a concert at a nearby church. Why was it so special ? Dimitri Pittas, tenor, was performing a recital and the name seemed all too familiar. Scraping the midsection of my mind, I quickly recalled the name from when I had seen Otello in 2015. Dimitri Pittas sang Cassio in the performance. “Getting the chance to see a real life opera singer in person…?” Oh, yes, I HAD to go !
For a knockout deal of $10, I stepped into the church to find Dimitri and his accompanist (and heavily pregnant) wife, Leah, chatting with audience members as they meandered into the sanctuary. The program consisted of classical favorites translated into English as well as some sports-themed selections, which carried more mirth and appropriateness than expected: NFL playoff games were occurring simultaneously and once during a break between songs, Dimitri hollered for an updated score of the Green Bay/Atlanta game.
Wrapping up the concert with “Una furtiva lagrima” from L’Elisir d’Amore and “Maria” from West Side Story, a reception of prepared foods and punch followed. And it was here that I had my moment to jest: as a die-hard New York Yankees fan, Dimitri glowered in frustration as I broke the news of my devotion to the Boston Red Sox. So prickled was he that in between chats about growing a beard for the role of Cassio and Thanksgiving dinner with Željko Lučić, he stopped to abruptly turn and greet Jennifer as she waited her turn to speak. I folded in half with laughter.
Dimitri was a good sport, all in all, and even allowed me to take a picture with him. Too bad that the one and only photo I have of meeting a real life opera singer is of inferior quality. Oh, well… It will have to suffice.
A last minute plan turned out to be a thrilling afternoon. I bubbled with pride and giddiness as I regaled my friends with the details of the concert. And best of all… I MET AN OPERA SINGER !!!!
Toi, Toi, Toi,
Cast and Credits
Dimitri Pittas in Concert
First Presbyterian Church
Date: January 22, 2017
Dimitri Pittas ─ tenor
Leah Edwards ─ piano