The Wyandotte Arts Center, the former Masonic Temple, will be filled with the sound of Italian music Thursday during the Downriver Council for the Arts’ Pasta & Puccini II fund-raiser, which will include per-formances by three vocalists and their accompanists.
Performing medleys of Italian songs and arias from popular operas will be soprano Lara Semetko of Grosse Ile and baritones Doug Henry of Grosse Ile and Dino Valle of Dearborn.
Guests will gather at 6 p.m. for antipasti and wine in the main floor gallery, where the works of native Wyandotte watercolor artist Sam Karres will be on display for an exhibition continuing through July 10.
Dinner by Carrabba’s Italian Grill of Southgate and the entertainment will take place on the second-floor theater level of the building, which is located at 81 Chestnut, just off Biddle. The menu will include Caesar salad, chicken-filled ravioli in a tomato/cream sauce, cavatappi amatriciana, focaccia and tiramisu. Carrabba’s and Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital are providing the antipasti.
Semetko, an accomplished vocalist who recently completed her sophomore year at Central Michigan University as a musical performance/education stu-dent, has been performing on stage since the age of three.
She was a runner-up in the Downriver Idol con-test conducted by the Southern Great Lakes Sym-phony in February. Semetko will be accompanied by award-winning pianist/composer Justin Rito of Grosse Ile, who recently earned a bachelor of music educa-tion at Alma College.
Semetko sang a program of 12 operatic selec-tions June 6 at a recital presented by the Bellini Op-era/Bellini Music Society June 6 at the Grosse Ile Presbyterian Church. Rito was the accompanist, and Valle, co-founder of Bellini Opera and its artistic di-rector, the narrator.
Henry, a landscape designer, owner of Foliage Concepts and a songwriter as well as a singer, has performed in Asia for the last 10 years and is a mem-ber of a Kingsville, Ontario, theater group. Last year, he released two recordings: “Loving Hands” and “Grosse Ile.”
A finalist in the Downriver Idol contest, Henry will be accompanied by award-winning composer/pianist Benjamin Goldstein of Amhertsburg, Ont., who re-cently won first prize in the Greater Ontario Concerto Competition.
Valle, who has recorded some 50 arias and clas-sical Italian songs, is host of a classical radio program broadcast Sundays at noon on WCAR-AM 1090.
A native of Italy, he made his operatic debut in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and performs regularly in Italy, Canada and Florida and with the Michigan Opera Theatre and orchestras including the Detroit, Warren, Livonia, Plymouth, Birmingham-Bloomfield and Southern Great Lakes symphonies and the Rackham Choir.
He will sing a medley of Italian songs accompa-nied by his son, Dino Valle II.
Tickets, $35, are available by calling (734) 720-0671 or visiting [email protected] Pro-ceeds will fund DCA programs.
VIP Rooftop benefit slated
The best view of the 52nd annual Target fireworks display on June 21 will be at the Flip Floppin Summer VIP Rooftop Party, to be presented by Charter One atop the Miller Parking Garage, just west of the Ren-aissance Center
The fun at the fund-raiser for the Parade Com-pany will begin at 6 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. The fireworks, featuring more than 10,000 pyrotechnic effects, will start at 10:06 p.m.
Party tickets are $175 (children 6 and under, $75). They are available by calling (313) 432-7831. Food, entertainment, live music, games and other ac-tivities are planned for all ages.
Coming up . . .
June 21, 22 — Interviews and auditions for acting workshops with actor/coach/producer John Forman July 5 through Aug. 2 at the Downriver Council for the Arts headquarters in the Wyandotte Arts Center, 81 Chestnut; for more information, call (313) 879-6379 or go to [email protected]
June 22-July 31 — Summer day programs in theater, dance, voice and art; 8:30 to 5 p.m. at the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center, 2447 W. Jefferson, Trenton; for more information call (734) 671- 2202.