Glenn Jones & Foundation Celebrate Dayton Seniors & Perform at African American Culture Festival

Glenn Jones & The Love Jones Foundation Bring the Music Zone to Dayton’s Friendship Village and Performs at the Dayton African American Culture Festival

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DAYTON, OhioAug. 9, 2017PRLog — Grammy Nominated Producer and Artist, Glenn Jones and his non-profit, The Love Jones Foundation (LJF) will celebrate the senior residents at Friendship Village Retirement Community on Friday, August 18th from 3-5 pm at Friendship Village, 5790 Denlinger Rd., Dayton, OH 45426.  Sponsored by VITAS Healthcare in collaboration with Denise Moore, VITAS Community Liaison, the LJF will host a special private music performance featuring the sounds of founder, Glenn Jones who is visiting the Miami Valley to perform at the Dayton African American Cultural Festival, on Saturday, August 19th at Dayton Island Metro Park, 101 Helena St, Dayton, OH.

For over 40 years, Friendship Village has offered a complete range of services to seniors including independent living deluxe apartments, assisted living apartments, assisted living memory care units and rehabilitation services.

         The Love Jones Foundation (LJF) was created with the mission to provide the youth and elderly with opportunities to learn, participate, and express themselves through various music programs, education, experience and events.  Through its signature initiative, “The Music Zone”, the LJF will aim to fill a void where school budget cuts have impacted arts/music programming; as well as increase the exposure of music therapy in both the elderly and the youth.

There are many proven benefits to the youth and the elderly through music education and music therapy.  With this in mind, the objectives of the LJF are to give youth exposure, knowledge, and a means of artistic development; to provide the elderly with a feeling of comfort, contentment, and encouragement through fine arts programming; and provide both with a form of therapeutic development through music.

After 30 years, R&B Singer Glenn Jones is still one of the most sought after live performers in the music industry today.  With many chart topping hits, including his signature song, “We’ve Only Just Begun”, and collaborations with industry greats like, Dionne Warwick, Regina Belle, and the Canton Spirituals, he continues to tour. The LJF has been a long time goal for Glenn after seeing the comforting effects of music on his Mom while in hospice care.  “I want to use the universal language of music to make a difference in the lives of our youth and our forgotten seniors…just like it made a difference in my life.”

For more information on the Love Jones Foundation, making a donation/sponsorship, or contacting Glenn Jones, please contact Tonya Hawley at 678.495.6474 or 770.380.0053, email info@lovejonesfoundation.org or visit the website at www.lovejonesfoundation.org.

Uzazi Village grows into a new home as it continues to serve women, babies and families in the urban core

News C1Bever (left) connected with Payne (right) at Uzazi Village before she had her second baby. Soon, Bever will be a doula herself.Photo by Zach Bauman

Zara Bever, pregnant with her second child, wanted to avoid another cesarean section like the one she’d had at a Northland hospital when her first child was born. She had been confined to a bed then, prohibited from walking around. What should have been a time of elation had left her second-guessing her doctor.

“If I had let my body labor, it would have been all right,” she says. “I wasn’t given to the instinct from my body to do that and be allowed what my body needed to do.”

This time, Bever hoped to have a vaginal birth — which, for a mother with her previous experience, is called a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).

She understood that she’d probably meet some resistance. It’s common for doctors to advise women who have already had a child to plan on a C-section for a subsequent pregnancy. The idea is to limit certain risks and potential complications (and to minimize liability for the doctor and the hospital). 

Bever, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Missouri Western State University, had done her own research and was comfortable choosing a VBAC. But she says what she encountered from some medical professionals she saw at first was a blunt insistence that she go with the C-section. 

“Every time that I went there, I left there crying,” she says. “I just felt that my birth wasn’t welcome.” 

Bever is Muslim, and she says a cultural divide may also have played a role in what she says was a harsh interaction with staff at her doctor’s office.

“I went there because my primary doctor was there,” she says. “I don’t know if it was a personal bias. But I had grown up in the neighborhood and I had a master’s. Biases do affect the way we interact with others. My pregnancy was a time for me to enjoy. It was what we prayed and were excited for. I wanted and deserved to enjoy every moment, as I believe every mother should.”

So she talked with her family and set out to find a place that did want her birth. Her search led her to Uzazi Village.


News C2Uzazi Village moved in July to a bigger home a few blocks from its original location (pictured) on Troost.Photo by Zach Bauman

“We serve primarily the urban cores, and it is primarily African-American women — the women who reside in high-infant-mortality areas like the Troost corridor,” says Sherry Payne. She is sitting at her desk inside Uzazi Village, talking to a group of nursing students from Kansas City, Kansas, Community College. They huddle close to Payne, asking questions about how and why she started Uzazi.

Payne was a labor and delivery nurse, and in her hospital work she had seen what she calls a “two-tier health system” — one that treats patients of color differently than it does white patients. “There is a systemic bias in health care,” she tells the students. “It might be access. And then, when we get access, the quality of care might be different.”

In a 2015 committee opinion, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists notes that “significant racial and ethnic disparities persist in women’s health and health care.” While socioeconomic status was considered in some cases, “factors at the patient, practitioner, and health care system levels contribute to existing and evolving disparities in women’s health outcomes,” the report reads.

The Missouri Health Department reported in 2015 that the infant death rate of African-Americans in the state was 12.7 per 1,000 live births — nearly 2.4 times the white infant death rate (5.4 per 1,000 live births). This was the same as it had been a decade before. Statistics from the Kansas City Health Department indicate that a similar statistical disparity exists here. 

“The healthcare system thinks it is above that [racism], but hospitals are just businesses,” she tells the students. “Altruism is not the motivation. I was naive. I thought that working as a nurse there I could have a positive impact. I burned out quickly. Practically no one wants to hear that the system is the problem.”

In December 2011, Payne — who has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing education and is on the board of the National Association for Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color — was part of a discussion at the Kansas City Health Department about maternal health. When the idea of a place dedicated to improving birthing outcomes was raised, she helped recruit a few other people with the same concerns. They met on Saturdays to hammer out details on what Uzazi would be. Within a few months, they were able to open the first iteration of the facility.

“This is the place that is the intersection of health care and social justice” Payne says of Uzazi, which today is a 501(c)3 funded through a combination of grants, donations and fees, many paid through insurance companies. Healthcare workers pay to take classes here, and the center also offers perinatal doula classes, birthing classes, lactation consulting and advice on bonding techniques.

“It’s a three-pronged approach to solve the problems of racial-biased maternity care and bad outcomes and the high rate of C-sections among black women,” Payne says. First, she tells the students, Uzazi means to reach women and families, educating them about their options and how to ask for and receive the best perinatal care. The second prong involves communicating and collaborating with healthcare providers. “My goal is to influence the influencers,” she says.

The third part of Uzazi’s mission is arguably its most ambitious: bringing successful candidates of color to the healthcare field — as doulas, as nurses, as doctors. “We offer training and classes that help those candidates of color who want to become part of that group,” 

The idea is for Uzazi to provide clinical services and a midwifery school (the latter, Payne says, as early as this fall, depending on state accreditation) as well as a prenatal clinic and a birth center. 


“I didn’t know much about having a doula, but I came here and told them that I just wanted to have a VBAC,” Bever says, recalling her first visit to Uzazi. “They let me know that I wasn’t crazy and that I could be an active participant in the birthing process.”

When Bever’s second child was past due, she says, Payne met her when she was induced to start labor. “She stayed with me the whole time, and I thought: Who in their right mind would stay with someone who they hardly knew?”

Bever is sitting at a table inside Uzazi, holding her 2-year-old daughter on her lap while her 7-month-old son lies across her opposite arm with his head up, nursing. She tells me that, when she was pregnant with her third child, she headed to Uzazi early on. Now, on this Saturday morning, she has returned again — to study toward becoming a sister doula herself. 

Kellye McCrary, who was Bever’s doula, comes into the room to pick up some supplies for a client she’s going to visit at a hospital. McCrary and Bever smile at each other across the room and then move together to share a hug.

“I’ve lived in zip codes where infant mortality rates are the highest,” McCrary tells me. She’d worked administrative jobs in the past and has sometimes been self-employed. Now, trained by Uzazi — which she joined when someone she was talking with at a local YMCA told her about the place — she’s a sister doula. Her job, she says, is to provide “emotional and informative support to women who need it and may be high risk.” she adds, “We help the women advocate for themselves.”

McCrary also helped Bever’s husband, Aaron, become a larger part of the birthing process. 

“My husband became an active participant,” Bever says. “They showed him how to rub my back. They invited him to the Uzazi childbirth class. They also showed him different techniques such as robozo, safe and effective counter pressure and massage. They encouraged him to be my birth partner, so he did a lot of holding, hugging, sway dancing, how to place the peanut and the birth ball, and pep-talking to help me through contractions. They also made sure that he was a active participant in the birth plan so when I was too tired he could voice how we wanted immediate skin-to-skin and breastfeeding. How, after the delayed cord clamping, we wanted him to be the one to cut the cord.”

Chrans invites McCrary to tell the students something about being a doula.

“It’s such a rewarding thing to be able to help moms,” McCrary says. “I just get emotional every time that I see that baby come into the world and hear I don’t know what I would have done without you.” She turns to Bever and goes on: “I’m proud that Zara is the first sister doula client that is now becoming a sister doula herself.”

As the class continues, with Payne joining the discussion, talk turns to how to know whether babies are getting the amount of breastmilk they need. McCrary tells the students it’s important to let women make their own decisions rather than telling them what to do. “You have to support this mom where she is,” she says. “You can’t put your goals on her. One thing we tell community health workers is that your goals don’t matter. You have to step back and let them [the mothers] lead the way. That is a really hard thing to do.”

“Uzazi reminds me of how the Senegalese culture and community in general — that of Senegalese communities still in Africa, and the immigrant community here,” Bever tells me later. I’d asked her why she wants to do what Payne and McCrary do. In her mother’s culture, she says, “it is customary for the community members to support new babies and their families.” That’s what she wants to do here, she says.


News C3Bever and other students in class this past spring, learning to assist mothers and families seeking Uzazi’s services.Photo by Zach Bauman

Evening sun warms the front room of Uzazi on a Monday evening in April as future community health workers finish discussing their final chapters around a table at Uzazi. The women have studied since January and are here to talk with Payne — who has recently changed her name to Hakima Tafunzi Payne — about the group’s final project, an early summer workshop for local teenagers and women. (One part of the workshop: a presentation titled “Debunk the Funk,” about the harm of synthetic materials and chemicals in women’s hygiene and skin-care products.)

That and other events will take place at Uzazi’s new headquarters, 4232 Troost. A Gofundme campaign has been collecting donations to help fund the first six months’ rent, with the move set to take place in late July. Payne believes that this is the right spot to advance her three-pronged vision.

Payne arrives, and the women begin their discussion. At one point, she asks the class: “Some of you have roles in the community or had roles where you were doing community organizing — how would you define it? How else can you define community?”

A few students answer. Then Payne turns the question on herself. She tells the women about Uzazi’s mission — about the women, the babies, the, families, about training doulas and teaching health workers. There’s no easy summary for all of that, for the statistics and for the obstacles confronting women with and without health insurance. So Payne just says, “Part of my job is to make sure that the voice of the community is heard.” 

DeVos says she didn’t decry racism enough

… “racism was rampant and there were no choices” for African-Americans … no choices" for African-Americans in higher education. … this week, alienated many African-Americans in February when … with some of the African-American organizations that represent … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

UMC — Urban Movie Channel Picks Up New Web Series From HBO’s “Insecure” Star Jay Ellis: HARD MEDICINE

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New Episodes Premiere Exclusively on UMC Beginning August 16, 2017;

First Two Episodes to Air on Ellis’ Facebook Page

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Building off of its robust slate of original comedy series for its summer programming lineup, UMC – Urban Movie Channel is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with Insecure star Jay Ellis on the premiere of his latest project, HARD MEDICINE. Produced by Ellis alongside producing partner Paula Bryant-Ellis, the series is a workplace comedy created by Melissa Eno Effa in the vein of “Scrubs” and “The Office.” Comprised of eight 10-12 minute episodes, the show centers around a quirky medical doctor of a low-income health clinic who must maneuver between demanding corporate heads, outlandish patients, and her wacky but loyal staff, all in an effort to keep the community’s haven of health care afloat.

Urban Movie Channel (UMC)

Nicole Slaughter stars as Dr. Moore, the sometimes awkward but beloved lead physician who constantly faces opposition from corporate heads who want the clinic gone for good. Celest Turner plays Rose, the manager of the clinic. Creator Melissa Eno Effa is Clarice, the rough-around-the-edges but loyal receptionist. Jeff Hunt portrays Jason, the extremely emotional nurse, and Ashley Narvaez plays the often mindless nurse assistant. 

“I’m thrilled to be working on another project with Angela [Northington] and her team at UMC after the release of Like Cotton Twines earlier this year,” says Jay Ellis. “The world and characters Melissa Eno Effa has created with Hard Medicine are unique, authentic, lovable and relatable. Sharing this journey with her has made this one of my favorite projects I’ve had the opportunity to produce. We are so thankful to have UMC as the home for this new project and to share it with a larger audience.”

The first episode of Hard Medicine premiered last Wednesday August 2nd on Ellis’ Facebook page and has amassed over 1 million views to date. The second episode will air today, August 9th. The remaining six episodes will premiere weekly on UMC every Wednesday beginning August 16th, 2017. The first two episodes of Hard Medicine will also be available to stream on UMC. Available at www.umc.tv, UMC is the first premium subscription streaming service that showcases quality African American and urban entertainment across all genres from RLJ Entertainment (NASDAQ: RLJE). 

Created by Robert L. Johnson, Chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET), Urban Movie Channel (UMC) is the first subscription streaming service created for African American and urban audiences in North America that features quality urban content and showcases feature films, documentaries, original series, stand-up comedy, and other exclusive content. UMC is Available on iOS, Apple TV, Amazon Channels, Roku, Amazon Fire TV & Fire TV Stick. At www.UMC.tv, UMC offers a free 7-day trial and thereafter is just $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Keep up with UMC on Facebook at Facebook.com/UrbanMovieChannel and on Twitter/Instagram @WatchUMC.

UMC Press Contact: Farah Noel, 301.830.6247, fnoel@umc.tv

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DeVos says she should have decried racism more

… no choices" for African-Americans in higher education. … because I acknowledge that racism was rampant and there … this week, alienated many African-Americans in February when she … with some of the African-American organizations that represent higher … RankTribe™ Black Business Directory News

THE BEST HOTEL IN THE WORLD OWNED BY PIPPA MIDDLETONS INLAWS

Luxury Villa Rentals St Barts

Luxury Villa Rentals St Barts

Exceptional Villas partners with Eden Rock to offer Villas with 5 Star Service

Guests love the addition of the Eden Rock service, every client is treated as a VIP and are allocated their very own 24-hour concierge whom they can contact anytime to arrange anything they require”

— Niamh McCarty

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, August 9, 2017 /EINPresswire.com/ — Pippa Middleton in-laws are the owners of one of the most luxurious and celebrity loved hotels in the world. The famous Eden Rock Hotel in St Barths is owned by Pippa’s parents in law James and Jane Matthews who purchased the resort nearly twenty years ago.

The resort was recently voted the best in the world and Caribbean by Conde Nast. The Eden Rock features 34 beautiful rooms and the most lavish villas that the island has to offer.

Villa Rockstar which is located within the grounds of the hotel and is one of the most famous villas on the island. It has 6 bedrooms and is 16,000 square foot complete with a private swimming pool, gym, expansive space and even has its own recording studio. Leo DiCaprio and Rihanna to name a few have vacationed here in the past few years.

The Eden Rock brand also manages other private owned luxurious villas on the island where they offer exclusive VIP access to the Eden Rock hotel. Exceptional Villas, leading luxury villa rental company offer these exclusive villas in their inventory and work very closely with the Eden Rock brand whom they have a great relationship with.

When guests book a villa with Exceptional Villas within the Eden Rock brand, it means guests will have access to the beach at the Eden Rock hotel plus priority dinner and lunch reservations at the hotel and delivery of fresh pastries and orange juice to their villa each morning.

“Guests love the addition of the Eden Rock service, every client is treated as a VIP and are allocated their very own 24-hour concierge whom they can contact anytime to arrange anything they require,” says Niamh McCarthy who is Exceptional Villas specialist for St Barts.

When you book an Eden Rock villa with Exceptional Villas, guests will also have complimentary access to the water sports equipment such as paddle boards, kayaks and snorkelling.
About Exceptional Villas

Exceptional Villas is a European based vacation Rental Company with clients and destinations all over the world. They have been in the travel business for over 25 years and offer a bespoke service to their clients. This includes matching the perfect villa to each of their clients and also providing a full and complimentary concierge service. This service includes organising all aspects of the client’s vacations such as VIP airport arrival, ground transportation, restaurant reservations, tours and excursions, water sports and pre-arrival stocking. Unlike some of their competitors, they do not provide a membership fee. Likewise, their villa experts are indeed experts. They visit every single villa and are filled with a wealth of information regarding each villa, as well as each destination. Exceptional Villas take total pride in the customised service they offer.

For more information visit http://www.exceptionalvillas.com/ or call + 353 64 66 41170 or toll free from US and Canada 1 800 245 5109 and UK 0845 528 4197

Niamh McCarthy
Exceptional Villas
+353646641170
email us here

Arias Rise To The Occasion At Glimmerglass


When the artistic mecca in verdant Cooperstown changed its name from Glimmerglass Opera to Glimmerglass Festival a few years ago, it signaled that new audiences were welcome. Notoriously demanding opera audiences would still travel extravagant distances to see top productions of rarities.

These would include the American premiere of Gaetano Donizetti’s Siege of Calais, new works like Paige Hernandez and Victor Simonson’s Stomping Grounds about contemporary refugees or Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg, about the unlikely friendship between two justices who disagreed about almost everything. On the other hand, the audience-friendly Oklahoma! renews its vigor when golden voices are proclaiming “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’.”

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Also at Glimmerglass are productions of George Frideric Handel’s Xerxes (Aug. 12, 18), in which the lead is sung by a countertenor, and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Aug. 13, 17, 19, 21), now established as America’s greatest opera. Rarely juxtaposed, they both present their most memorable vocal expressions in the first arias.

Although several selections from Porgy, like “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Got Plenty of Nothin’,” are among the best-known from the Gershwin corpus, many audiences have had a difficult time seeing the whole work for two reasons. Some black artists were unwilling to appear in roles portraying prostitution and drug dealing, and eminences such as Desmond Tutu have disdained Porgy. It’s also huge, with more than 22 singing roles sometimes running three-plus hours. Black playwright Suzan Lori Parks wrote a truncated version titled The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess in 2011 for Broadway, ostensibly to make it more appealing to contemporary audiences.

The Glimmerglass production can boast of authenticity. Artistic director Francesca Zambello mounted her Porgy for the Washington National Opera in 2005, employing the 180-minute 1935 book that retains charming non-plot items, like the Vendor’s trio, songs for the Honey Man, Strawberry Woman and the Crab Man. Conducting the pit orchestra is Gershwin specialist John DeMain, who has been in charge more than 300 times, going back 40 years before the opera’s status was so secure.

Glimmerglass has scoured the earth for the right voices with the right look. Silver-voiced soprano Meroe Khalia Adeeb as Clara has come from Torrance, Calif., to begin the action with a goosebump-inducing “Summertime.” From the beginning, we know that director Zambello is following Gershwin’s wishes that his masterpiece be sung by trained voices in operatic mode and not merely be a Broadway show with ambitions. Even when the action turns to Catfish Row street life, we hear the same precision in “Roll Them Bones.” Clara’s husband Jake (Justin Austin) responds with the cynical “A Woman is a Sometime Thing,” paradoxically as a lullaby.

Stocky South African baritone Musa Ngqungwana sings the role of Porgy, limping with a crutch rather than on an encumbering wagon. Seen last year in Rossini’s Thieving Magpie, he is initially unrecognizable despite a distinctive body set. As an actor he resolves the contradictions of Porgy’s character, a needy, crippled beggar who nonetheless projects enormous reserves of strength. Ngqungwana’s heart-swelling “I Got Plenty of Nothin’” might have been aimed at audiences in the depths of the Depression but here is a coruscating declaration of resolve. The title of the DuBose Heyward novel that inspired Gershwin was indeed Porgy.

The emergence of the flawed Bess as a counterweight is what makes the opera a drama. Talise Trevigne has an established reputation as an interpreter of Richard Strauss and Giacomo Puccini, but as an actress she’s extraordinary in conveying all the contradictions: Bess’ street flash, her fatal need-driven weakness as well as her sweetness and beauty. Her major solo, “I Loves You, Porgy,” throbs with deep-felt sincerity.

The love duet “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” toward the beginning of the first act in this configuration caps all musical expression. Gershwin is at the peak of his genius, and Ngqungwana and Trevigne soar with lyrical passion. This is the most ecstatic moment on upstate stages this summer.

Porgy and Bess’ musical abundance includes at least two other showstoppers, which require some plotting to explain. Bess’ previous boyfriend, the villainous stevedore Crown (Norman Garrett), in a drunken rage, murders the innocent bystander Robbins (Chaz’men Williams-Ali) with the hook from a cotton bale. The disposal of the body and the law’s processing of the murder consume much action, but it also leads to the blockbuster lament, “My Man’s Gone Now” by Robbins’ widow Serena (Simone Z. Paulwell).

Enticing villainy is the Mephistophelean Sportin’ Life (Frederick Ballentine), the neighborhood “happy dust” dealer who aspires to become a procurer with the right lady to sell. His “It Ain’t Necessarily So” delivers blasphemy at its most winsome.

Glimmerglass has spared no expense in production value, with Peter J. Davison’s scenery filled with grubby, rusting metal, convincing poverty. And the second act’s hurricane is enough to rattle bones.

Handel’s Xerxes also begins with one of the composer’s best-known melodies, usually called the “Largo,” although marked larghetto in the score. Its Italian lyrics are “Ombre mai fu,” or “Never was a shade,” in praise of the plane tree. The title character is taking his rest from world-conquering before contemplating his love life. A useful program note by classicist Olga M. Davidson explains that although most of the plot is fanciful contemporary invention, the episode of the plane tree derives from reliable ancient documents. The opera is often known by its Italian title Serse, as his name is pronounced in the lyrics.

A notorious flop at its 1738 opening, Xerxes is supposed to be an opera seria, meaning it would emphasize the august expression of deeply felt emotion, with most voices in the upper ranges. The title role was written for a soprano castrato and is taken here by countertenor John Holiday Jr., who brings the physique of a professional athlete. Nearly all the other singers are at home in the upper ranges, except for basso Calvin Griffin as the comic servant Elviro.

Low jinx buffo in the midst of all the seria is what led to Xerxes’ failure at its opening but now appears to be a welcome asset. Director Tazewell Thompson, former honcho at Syracuse Stage, enhances the comic interludes while never betraying the seria. His production team of star set designer John Conklin, costumer Sara Jean Tosetti and lighting master Robert Wierzel ensure that the ever-changing surreal set seduces the eye, beginning with that alluring plane tree.

The libretto by Nicolo Minato and Silvia Stampiglia exists to position singers to sing about different aspects of love, mostly unrequited. Contrived though situations may be, the music is exalted and its expression often moving. Still, the path is so convoluted that the program prudently includes a cartoon page with lines drawn between characters to help you remember who loves whom and who is being squeezed out.

When Xerxes turns from the plane tree he espies soprano Romilda (Emily Pogorelc) in red, the daughter of a second basso, his vassal Ariodates (Brent Michael Smith) in blue and gray, and immediately intends to marry her. Alas, Romilda has set her eyes and heat on Xerxes’s brother Arsamenes (soprano Allegra De Vita in a trousers role). The comic Elviro is his servant. Simultaneously, Romilda’s sister Atalanta (soprano Katrina Galka) in green also yearns for Arsamenes. And Xerxes’ original fiancée, Amastris (contralto Abigail Dock) finds herself passed over and disguises herself as a man to observe how things will play out. We are always sure who she is, but the characters in the cast are willingly gulled.

Baroque opera in general and countertenors in particular are thought to be acquired tastes. The excellence of this production, as well as John Holiday Jr.’s musicianship, can lead many to those acquisitions.


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