60-Piece Orchestra Celebrates Italian-American Music and Honors Veterans This Month
The Richmond County Orchestra celebrates its 24th anniversary season on Sunday, May 15 at 3 p.m. at St. John’s University Staten Island Campus Center Gym, 300 Howard Avenue, Staten Island. Concerto di Primavera presents Italian-American music with Ervin Dede, concertmaster, soprano Holly Flack and tenor Arthur Lai and guest performers Al Lambert and Tatiana Santos Mroczek accompanied by the 60-piece orchestra of the Richmond County Orchestra conducted by Maestro Alan Aurelia. Flack and Lai performed together at Lincoln Center. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door, free for students and children. Buy your tickets at: https://www.musae.me/roc/experiences/1297/concerto-di or contact the orchestra office at 718-876-7945.
With a nod to Memorial Day, Concerto di Primavera includes a tribute to veterans. The concert begins with the presentation of the colors by the Thomas Tori Memorial Section of Vietnam Veterans of America, followed by Miss Staten Island Tatiana Santos Mroczek singing the national anthem.
Singer and musician Al Lambert will showcase the heroism of his cousin Father Vincent Capodanno and he will also be a featured singer.
As well as enjoying music by Verdi, Puccini, Vivaldi, John Williams, Leroy Anderson and Sousa performed by the Richmond County Orchestra, which performed at Carnegie Hall with maestro Alan Aurelia and featured singers, a presentation of the Italian-American historian William Russo and revealed illustrations by artist William Castello round out the lineup.
Ervin Dede began his violin studies at the age of 6 at the Onufri music school in Albania. At the end of his studies, he moved to Italy where he continued studying the violin at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, where he obtained a full scholarship. He graduated with maximum votes. Among his achievements are a special prize won at the Rodolph Lipizer Violin Competition in Gorizia, Italy, various prizes awarded to him by the school. Currently, he is a freelance musician in New York and a member of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
Holly Flack is a coloratura soprano with a unique range and stratospheric vocal extension, hailed as “explosive talent” for her warm, flowing middle voice, undulating coloratura, and effortless trills. Her recent engagements include the title role in Semele, Gilda in Rigoletto, Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte and the title role in Dinorah for which she received a “Star-Making Performance” award from Mr. Fred Plotkin in her Seventh Annual “Freddie Award” for Excellence in Opera. Ms. Flack has traveled to China several times for concerts in different cities across the country and has also performed on CCTV. In 2022, she singularly represents the United States by singing in a national promotional video for the Beijing Winter Olympics. In 2021, she performed the highest note ever sung at Lincoln Center, a natural B above high C 6, during the “East/West: A Symphonic Celebration” concert at the David H. Koch Theater. Ms. Flack is originally from Portland, Oregon.
Arthur Lai is a lyric tenor and has performed as a soloist at George Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium, Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall in New York. Clowes Memorial Hall in Indianapolis and the Music Center in Strathmore, Maryland, Irvine Auditorium in Philadelphia, Woolsey Hall and Welte Auditorium in Connecticut, and the US Capitol Hill Auditorium, Washington DC. He has also performed at the United Nations, Columbia University, New York University Skirball Center for Performing Arts, Columbia American Customs Association Annual Italian Heritage Day, Concert “Opera Night” in Long Island (featured in the New York Times), “Chinese American Night” in Long Island, “Order Sons of Italy in America”, “Marco Polo Day” in New York. and WPIX Channel 11 “Morning News”, Garden City Historical Society, Long Island, New York Mets Game at Citifield Stadium, Lower East Side Festival in New York and Memorial Day Festival in Teaneck, NJ. San Gennaro Festival, Little Italy, New York City, the Water Cube in Beijing.
Actor and member of the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), Arthur Lai played “the Asian businessman on the ferry” in the feature film “Trainwreck” in 2015 with Amy Schumer, “Chinese restaurant owner” in the feature film “Applesauce” in 2015, “Mr. Shen” in the educational film “Wall Street English” in 2016. He played “Father” in 4 different films: “Visiting “; “Father”; “Interview” and “Crazy Chinese Father”. He appeared as a “Chinese mob boss” on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in 2016.
Albert “Al” Lambert has a distinguished career that includes opening for an array of stars including Rodney Dangerfield, Pat Cooper and Chuck Mangione, to name a few. He also appeared at the original Copacabana, Count Basie Theater and Carnegie Hall. As a philanthropist, he generously donated his time and talents to numerous non-profit charities. Throughout his career, he has raised over $2 million in these benevolent activities.
Tatiana Santos Mroczek is a freshman at Barnard College, Columbia University. Broadway (The Shubert Foundation): 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Rona); and Lucky Stiff (Annabel). Recent regional credits: Grease (Sandy); The Addams Family (Wednesday); and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia). Other notable venues include Fienstein’s/54 Below, The Cutting Room, Don’t Tell Mama, St. George Theater, and more. She is the only freshman cast member — of the 11 selected — of the Varsity Show, Columbia University’s oldest performing arts tradition. She is a member of Barnard College’s only a cappella group, Bacchantae. Tatiana was the 2018 Miss Richmond County Outstanding Teenager and is the current 2022 Miss Staten Island. Special thanks to her family.