January 20, 2021 | Philadelphia Row Home Magazine
East Passyunk Opera Project (ePOP) teams up with Pistola’s del Sur, Sancho Pistola’s and Jose Pistola’s for Love Notes, a special three course dinner and virtual concert taking place over Valentine’s Day Weekend. The dinner and concert, presented by RE/MAX One Realty – The Capri Dessecker Team, will feature performances by Philadelphia-based opera singers Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano, and Joshua Blue, tenor. The real-life couple will perform safely from their home in South Philly. The duo will be accompanied by pianist Aurelien Eulert.
In addition, several prominent opera singers will make guest appearances throughout the concert: Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sandra Piques Eddy, Joélle Harvey and her husband Alex Fletcher, Zachary James, and Will Liverman, all of whom have sung leading roles at The Metropolitan Opera and a host of other distinguished opera and concert venues throughout the world.
Opera never tasted so delicious as Pistola’s Executive Chef Adan Trinidad created a special three-course dinner to pair with the concert. Love Notes runs Friday, February 12th through Sunday, February 14th. Food is available for pick-up or delivery. The virtual concert premieres on Friday night at 7:30pm and the link is live for ticket holders all weekend long. Tickets are $75 which includes three-course dinner for two and performance, or $95 for the three-course dinner for two, drink pairing for two and performance. Tickets are on sale now at www.pistolaslife.com.
“East Passyunk Opera Project is an organization that focuses on making opera and musical theatre accessible to the broader public,” said ePOP General and Artistic Director Katrina Thurman. “Ours is an ‘on the ground approach’ with a focus on collaboration to lift up local businesses and artists while maintaining the highest quality of artistic offerings. We’re thrilled to partner with Team Pistola’s and the Capri Dessecker Team to further that goal and give our audiences the experience of Opera Up Close.”
Team Pistola’s co-owner Casey Parker said, “If you know me, as a singer, it’s hard to get me to shut up. I’m thrilled however to shut my mouth and take on the role of listener to support ePOP. That, and of course, it’s hard to sing while shoveling Chef Trinidad’s food in my mouth. This is also a huge win-win as food and music lovers around the city will be able to take part in Love Notes. You don’t have to live on East Passyunk. The show is available to anyone online, and we will offer Chef’s special dinner from our locations in South Philly, Center City and Fishtown.”
Capri Dessecker of RE/MAX One Realty added, “The Capri Dessecker Team is so excited to support this collaboration and bring together our love of music, community and tacos. This event is our team’s love letter to our neighborhood, our favorite businesses, and to our city.”
Love Notes is a special collaboration of three East Passyunk-based businesses looking to support each other during the pandemic – especially as arts organizations and restaurants fight for their very survival during these trying times. The concert was also designed to spread hope and bring the joy of food and music together as all organizers look ahead to better days.
For the in-person portion of the experience, ticket holders will pick up and enjoy an exclusive three-course fixed price meal created exclusively by Executive Chef Adan Trinidad. Selections for Love Notes will include:
First Course – Pick One: * Sarsa Salad – Bibb lettuce, radish, edamame, feta cheese, roasted red pepper, cilantro, red onion, tomato and lemon herb vinaigrette * Lobster Bisque – Jumbo crab meat, chives, citrus creme fraiche * Tuna Tartare – Wasabi avocado puree, seaweed, orange, salmon roe, ginger soy
Second Course – Pick One: * Ratatouille – Yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, tomato, red onion, saffron couscous * Seared Tile Fish – Truffle bean puree, fried plantain, chipotle tomato sauce * Mole Braised Short Rib – Poblano potato au gratin, roasted brussels sprouts, sesame seeds
Third Course – Pick One: * Dulce de Leche Panna Cotta – Peanut brittle, pomegranate seeds * Churros – Mexican chocolate
An optional cocktail or beer add-on is available, featuring a choice of Lover’s Punch cocktail, a growler of margaritas or a growler of draft beer.
For the virtual portion of the experience, ticket holders will enjoy performances by some of the biggest names in opera from Philadelphia to New York City – and beyond.
Love Notes will feature performances by Philadelphia-based opera singers Ashley Marie Robillard, soprano, and Joshua Blue, tenor accompanied by pianist Aurelien Eulert.
Joshua Blue is a British-American tenor who will sing Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Operatic highlights of previous seasons include debuts at the Kennedy Center as Alfredo in La Traviata and Act I of La bohème in concert with the National Symphony Orchestra, his role debut as Tamino in Die Zauberflöte with Washington National Opera, Harlekin in Der Kaiser von Atlantis with Wolf Trap Opera, and joining the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival for their production of Eugene Onegin.
Hailing from Alsace, France, Aurelien Eulert was named Opera Delaware’s Head of Music Staff in 2019 and was instrumental in launching the company’s new Young Artist Program. He had previously held the position of Chorus Master and Principal Pianist since 2017. Eulert has been on the music staff of Charlottesville Opera, Opera Memphis, Opera Roanoke, Palm Beach Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, USC Thornton Opera, UCLA Alpert School of Music, Pacific Opera Project and the Los Angeles Opera Education department.
Ashley Marie Robillard has been winning hearts in the opera house and recital hall alike since her professional debut with Opera Philadelphia in 2017. Credits with the company include Musetta (La bohème), Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), several recitals, a featured performer in their cabaret series (Late Night Snacks), and a featured member of Stephanie Blythe’s cabaret series (Queens of the Night).
Special guest appearances for Love Notes will also include Metropolitan Opera stars Anthony Roth Costanzo, Sandra Piques Eddy, Joélle Harvey and her husband Alex Fletcher, Zachary James, and Will Liverman. As a bonus, ticket holders will also enjoy a special Q & A session led by ePOP with Ashley Robillard, Joshua Blue, Aurelien Eulert, and Katrina Thurman directly after the premiere on February 12.
Love Notes runs Friday, February 12 through Sunday, February 14, 2020. Food and drink are available from Pistola’s del Sur, Jose Pistola’s, and Sancho Pistola’s. ePOP’s virtual concert is set to premiere at 7:30PM ET on February 12 via a private Youtube link to be sent to ticket holders and will continue to be available through February 18, 2021.
Love Notes is presented by RE/MAX One Realty – The Capri Dessecker Team, located at 1842 East Passyunk Avenue. Tickets are $75 for the three-course dinner for two and show, $95 for the three-course dinner for two, drink for two and show, and $25 per household for the show-only. Tickets and the full menu are now live at www.pistolaslife.com. For more information about this collaboration and Love Notes, contact Katrina Thurman at East Passyunk Opera Project