By Evelyn Cairns
The tantalizing aroma of Italian food and the sounds of Italian music will fill the Wyandotte Arts Center June 16 when the Downriver Council for the Arts hosts “Pasta & Puccini III.”
Guests will gather in the center gallery at 6:30 p.m. for wine and appetizers and a preview of the annual DCA members’ art show, which will open to the public the next day and continue through July 29.
Carrabba’s Italian Grill will serve dinner on the second-floor theater level, where four vocalists and their accompanists will perform. The menu will include Caesar Salad, Chicken Marsala, Mezzaluna and Tiramisu.
Lara Semetko of Grosse Ile and Melissa Joncas of Windsor will sing arias from operas by Puccini, and other Italian songs will be performed by Semetko, Joncas, Doug Henry of Grosse Ile and Tammy Trudelle of Wyandotte, the DCA’s new executive director.
Semetko, who is studying musical performance/education at Central Michigan University, was a finalist in the 2010 and 2011 Downriver Idol contests sponsored by the Southern Great Lakes Symphony. She recently returned from a European tour with the university’s Women’s Chorus, performing in Switzerland, Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands.
Semetko will attend the prestigious Up North Vocal Institute of Boyne City this summer.
Accompanying her on the piano at “Pasta & Puccini” will be Tracey King, a graduate of Spring Arbor University with 37 years’ experience in teaching and 44 years of musical background.
Joncas, who trained with a private voice teacher, is a member of the Windsor Light Music Theatre and appeared as Maria in “West Side Story,” Katie Brown in “Calamity Jane,” Mrs. Bucket in “Willy Wonka” and, most recently, as Emma Carew in “Jekyll and Hyde, the Musical.”
Henry, a landscape designer, owner of Foliage Concepts, songwriter and singer, was a finalist in the 2011 Downriver Idol Contest. He is a member of a Kingsville, Ont., theater group and has recorded several albums.
He will be accompanied by award-winning composer/pianist Benjamin Goldstein of Amhertsburg, Ont., a first-prize winner in the Greater Ontario Concerto Competition.
Trudelle was a member of the a cappella choir and Rovasi Chorale at Roosevelt High School in Wyandotte, then studied with Gina D’Allessio at Henry Ford Community College and sang with the HFCC Vanguard Voices and the Show Choir. She also was a member of the Dearborn Chorus, the Masco Choir, the Edison Choir and the Fort Street Chorale.
The evening also will include a 50-50 raffle and drawings for gift baskets.
Committee members for the event include Paula Boase, Joan Brophy, Karen Ranka, Phillipa Matakas, Faye Tabor and EmmaJean Woodyard.
Tickets, $45, and additional information are available by calling (734) 420-0671 or going to www.downriverarts.org. The Arts Center is at 81 Chestnut.
Heritage fest slated by city
The city of Lincoln Park will mark the 90th anniversary of its founding with a series of events including a public reception at 7 p.m. June 24 at the Lincoln Park Historical Museum, 1335 Southfield.
Members of the planning committee for the anniversary celebration will greet guests at the reception, which will feature an exhibit highlighting the year 1921. A part of the display will be the artwork of students who entered a poster contest in conjunction with the anniversary.
The winner of the competition, Beatriz Duran, was recognized at the May 16 City Council meeting and presented with a prize of $50.
On June 25, open houses will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the Civic Center area, Fort Park and Cleophus, with vendors, food, activities and street entertainment. The old Goodell School bell will be rung at noon.
The following day, musical entertainment and a magic show will be presented from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Memorial Park and Band Shell, between Merrill and London. Ed Zelenak, city attorney, will be the master of ceremonies for a recognition and proclamation ceremony at 3 p.m., with a reception to follow.
The Fort Street Brewery will introduce its “Heritage 90 Ale” in honor of the city’s anniversary June 23 at 8 p.m., and the A & W on Southfield will sell floats for 90 cents June 24 through 26.
Sherry Huntington, Downriver Genealogical Society president, will present a program on a history of Lincoln Park street names at 7 p.m. June 15 at the Historical Museum.
Coming up . . .
June 17, 18, 19 — Dearborn Arab International Festival, on Warren Avenue between Schaefer and Wyoming; Middle East music and entertainment, international foods, arts and crafts, Arab merchandise, coffee-cup readings; a Ferris wheel and much more; for additional information, call (313) 945-1700.