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TRR photo by Zac Stuart-Pontier
Ron DeFesi, Artistic Director of the Delaware Valley Opera, has conducted and directed numerous plays and musicians in the Tri-State region for a number of companies including the Hudson Opera Theatre, Hudson Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society, The Sussex Symphony, The Nassau Lyric Opera, Taconic Opera, The Manhasset Bay Opera and a number of others. Judith Schaff is the rehearsal accompanist. (Click for larger image)

DVO — people in love with opera


NARROWSBURG — DVO founder and visionary Gloria Krause was bit by the opera bug in 1976, when she played in the Tri-City Opera Orchestra in Binghamton. A music teacher in Livingston Manor, she traveled back and forth every weekend from her home in Monticello for fourteen years to play her bassoon in the pit.

During that same time, under the auspices of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, she organized and mounted community performances of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas every summer.

That, she says, was before Bill Murray, a professional opera star showed up.

“Bill Murray came along from Pond Eddy. He was with the Berlin Opera Company, and conned us to do the ‘Marriage of Figaro’ by Mozart at the Monticello Presbyterian Church,” Krause said.

From there, the opera company, which became incorporated in 1986, moved on to “Elixir of Love,” “Hansel & Gretel,” “Triple Bill,” “Carmen,” “Cinderella,” “Madam Butterfly,” “Magic Flute,” “La Traviata,” “Suor Angelica,” “Don Pasquale,” “Opera Circus,” “La Boheme,” “Medium,” “Merry Widow,” “Barber of Seville,” “Street Scene,” “The Emperor’s Justice,” “Cosi fan futte,” “Mikado,” and “Orpheus In the Underworld.”

Making its home at the Tusten Theater since 1992, the group has been a magnet for the many artists and musicians who make their way to this rural arts Mecca in the Upper Delaware River Valley. Through the grassroots performances of the Delaware Valley Opera, professional performers and would-be opera stars experience their joy, dedication and love of the opera.

To experience the opera or for more information call 845/252-3136.


The 2008 Season

Mozart's Don Giovanni
Sung in Italian with English supertitles
Sun. Mat., Aug. 3 at 3:00 p.m. at the TUSTEN*
Sun. Mat., Aug. 10 at 3:00 p.m. at the SCCC**
Fri. Eve., Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the RITZ***

Donizetti's Don Pasquale
Sung in English
Sat. Eve., Aug. 2 at 7:30 p.m. at the SCCC**
Fri. Eve., Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the TUSTEN*
Sun. Eve., August 17 at 7:30 p.m. at the TUSTEN*

Divas on the Delaware - Highlights by Verdi, Puccini and Mozart etc.
Featuring singers from the DVO Opera Training Program
Sun. Eve., July 27 at 3:00 p.m. at the SCCC**
Sat. Eve., Aug. 9 at 7:30 p.m. at the TUSTEN*

The Wizard of Verse
Music of Yip Harburg collaborating with Gershwin, Arlen and more
Fri. Eve., July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the TUSTEN*
Fri. Eve., Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the TUSTEN*
Sat. Eve., Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at SCCC**

*Tusten Theatre, 210 Bridge Street (Rt. 52)
Narrowsburg, NY (845) 252-3136

**Sullivan County Community College
Loch Sheldrake, NY James Goldfarb (845) 434-5750

***Ritz Theatre, 512 Keystone Street,
Hawley, PA 18428 (845) 252-7272

Opera Ticket Prices: Single Tickets $25.00 - Students & Seniors $22.00 - children 18 and under $15.00
Artistic questions, call: Ron De Fesi (845) 651-2277.
Technical questions, call: Sandy Brandman (845) 238-2121.

A man with a vision

A story by Laurie Stuart

NARROWSBURG — Tom DeGaetani had a dream. He also had a weak heart.

After suffering a heart attack in 1975, the arts consultant was convinced by his doctors to live a slower life. He moved to his A-frame along the Delaware River in Tusten. He thought he would start a bait business.

The area was in a downward transition following the late 1960’s demise of passenger rail service to the area. He thought that if he organized an arts alliance, and provided support services and, perhaps, funding for artists, the arts in the area would flourish.

Folks in town were planning the town’s 125th anniversary and people were meeting to re-establish a newspaper, as the town’s paper The Delaware Valley News had been sold to the Hawley Eagle. DeGaetani helped them organize and publish The River Reporter and started the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance the next year. He organized the arts alliance in different panels for different arts disciplines, which he hoped would incubate their existence and become their own entities.

The Delaware Valley Opera Company was one of those entities.

Tom died of a heart attack in 1978. His vision is his legacy.

News & columns provided by The River Reporter