About 20 members of PFO and an equal number of others attended an event at Dvorit Samid’s Lake House, Sunday afternoon, March 26. The program, “From Broadway to Opera,” dealt with the creation of Stephen Schwartz’ (composer and lyricist) first opera, “Seance on a Wet Afternoon,” which will be presented at the NYC Opera on May 1. A group of about 14 PFO members plan to attend and enjoy brunch before the opera at a local restaurant.

Charles Jarden (Executive Director, American Opera Projects) delivered a lecture describing his efforts with Schwartz on creating the opera. Carol De Giere gave valuable insights into Schwartz’ career transformation from Broadway to opera, via citings from her biography, “Defying Gravity.” Ann Hoyt (soprano) and Tom Wazelle (Tenor), accompanied by Scott Rednour on piano, sang several songs, including Broadway tunes from “Wicked” written by Schwartz and two songs written by Wazelle. They also sang two arias from the opera, including one that was premiered at this event. The appreciative audience was on their feet for a standing ovation.

Following the performance, PFO President, Anne McMahan, presented Jarden with a donation from PFO for American Opera Project, and Dvorit thanked the audience for their support of the Hoboken Homeless Shelter. She then introduced Richard Russell and Fernando Raucci, directors of Opera New Jersey and Princeton Youth Orchestra, respectively. A reception followed with hors d’oeuvres and wine provided by Dvorit.

Written by Steering Committee member George Goeke