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Stony Brook Graduate Opens Window into Opera

Stony Brook University graduate soprano Stephanie Guevrekian performs for members of the Port Jefferson Middle School and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School choirs.
Stony Brook University graduate soprano Stephanie Guevrekian performs for members of the Port Jefferson Middle School and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School choirs.

On Dec. 13, Stony Brook University alumna Stephanie Guevrekian visited with Port Jefferson Middle School and Earl L. Vandermeulen High School choir students to give a performance and lecture based upon Giuseppe Verdi's opera “Falstaff.” The assembly served as a prelude to a live broadcast from the Metropolitan Opera at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts the following afternoon. “Falstaff,” a three-act comedy based on Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” is the last of Verdi’s operas.

Guevrekian began the lesson with a brief introduction into the world of opera, identifying its various genres including baroque, verismo, contemporary and more. She also discussed operatic voice categories and reviewed common terminology used when examining opera, such as recitative, aria and bel canto. The opera singer of 18 years also performed for students “Sul fil d'un soffio etesio,” Nannetta’s aria to the fairies.

During a question-and-answer session, Guevrekian discussed the methods of proper singing, the use of resonance within the body to project sounds while performing, the difference between a musical and an opera, and more. Complimentary tickets to the Dec. 14 screening were provided to interested students by the university. Guevrekian is a soprano and received a Master of Music Degree from Stony Brook University. She has been the recipient of various awards and was most recently a Regional Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition.

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