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Brockton native hosts Boston Lyric Opera virtual performance

'A Winter’s Evening' available on demand through Jan. 10

Celina Colby
Celina Colby
Celina Colby is an arts and travel reporter with a fondness for Russian novels.... VIEW BIO
Brockton native hosts Boston Lyric Opera virtual performance
Sabrina Victor COURTESY PHOTO

On cold, isolated early January nights, Boston Lyric Opera welcomes Bostonians to cozy up (virtually) by the fire at the Crane Estate in Ipswich for an intimate recital featuring rising soprano Gabriella Reyes; BLO Emerging Artist alumnus and pianist Brett Hodgdon; classical guitarist Zaira Meneses and host Sabrina Victor, the reigning Miss Massachusetts USA. “A Winter’s Evening,” is available for on-demand opera enjoyment through Jan. 10.

Gabriella Reyes PHOTO: SUZANNE VINNIK

Gabriella Reyes PHOTO: SUZANNE VINNIK

“We really wanted to put together this evening to give that gentle reminder to people to relax, enjoy the music, sit back, drink some hot cocoa,” says Victor. “Just because we can’t come together in public spaces, like we once were able to, doesn’t mean that we should stop creating art and we should stop entertaining people.”

The 45-minute performance features classical arias, seasonal and pop songs, and international music in a variety of languages. Franz Xaver Gruber and Joseph Mohr’s 1818 classic “Silent Night” joins Violeta Parra’s 1966 “Gracias a la Vida” and Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s 1920 “Glück, das mir verblieb” on the set list. Tickets are $20, and once purchased, the video can be watched as many times as desired in a seven-day period.

Boston Lyric Opera’s “A Winter’s Evening.” Zaira Meneses (left) and Gabrielle Reyes. PHOTO: COURTESY BLO

Boston Lyric Opera’s “A Winter’s Evening.” Zaira Meneses (left) and Gabrielle Reyes. PHOTO: COURTESY BLO

Victor, a Brockton native who is an arts activist and a performer in her own right, has used her Miss Massachusetts platform to advocate for culture. She says she’s delighted to see such a diverse group of artists come together, especially in the opera field. The multicultural performance is also made more accessible as an on-demand video performance. Victor hopes this will bring the piece to those who haven’t been able to experience the opera before. She says, “I’m really excited that art is becoming more accessible to so many people, especially marginalized communities.”

Between songs, the performers reminisce about their own holiday experiences, bringing a very personal bent to the evening. Like many who weren’t able to see family this year, the performers think fondly about their families and traditions.

“A Winter’s Evening” is the first of several performances newly designed for the unusual 2020/21 season. Later in the year, “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “desert in” will take to the screen, bringing innovative opera home.

Victor is encouraged by the way the art world and the BLO are delving into new forms. “We’ve been trying to look ahead all year to something brighter and greater, and it can be difficult at times,” she says, “but I think we’ve forged ahead with a lot of perseverance.”

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