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Monday, April 29, 2013

Free 'Porgy and Bess' concert Wednesday at St. John's, Lafayette Square

Alvy Powell, bass-baritone

Alvy Powell, the bass-baritone who has sung the role of "Porgy" more than 2500 times across the globe from San Francisco to La Scala to Carnegie Hall to Australia, will sing selections from George Gershwin's opera, Porgy and Bess, in a free noontime concert May 1 at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square.

Accompanying Powell will be Michael Lodico, St. John's associate organist.

In 2007 Powell debuted with the Choral Arts Society of Washington singing "Porgy" which he has also performed with the Virginia Opera and with the Nashville Symphony which features him in its recording of Porgy and Bess.

Click here to see and hear Powell sing the duet, Bess, You Is My Woman Now with Charlae Olaker.

Other Powell achievements include Bartolo from Le Nozze di Figaro with The Virginia Opera, Sharpless from Madame Butterfly with the Connecticut Opera, Coline in La Boheme with the Tulsa Opera, and Opera Pacific, and as Timur in Turandot with Opera Carolina, Opera Grand Rapids, and the Cleveland Opera.

For the Vatican production commemorating the centennial of the death of Giuseppe Verdi, Powell was soloist in the Verdi Requiem with the Rome Opera. He is a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army and sings solo with its chorus.  Last week they performed at the dedication of the George Bush library in Texas.

His performance at St. John's is part of the church's First Wednesday Concert Series which begin at 12:10 p.m. and end at 12:45 p.m.  This year's series ends June 5 when Jeremy Filsell, artist-in-residence at the Washington National Cathedral, plays organ works by Bach, Dupre, and Rachmaninov.
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square/Patricia Leslie
St. John's, known to many Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square, is often called the “Church of the Presidents.” Beginning with President James Madison, who served from 1809 to 1817, every president has either been a member of, or has attended services at St. John's. A plaque at the rear of the church designates the Lincoln pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by St. John's during the Civil War. 

The concerts are excellent respites from Washington's usual weekday harried cycle.  Food trucks are located at nearby Farragut Square so listeners may "eat and run" back to the office.

Who:  Alvy Powell, bass-baritone, and Michael Lodico, organist

When: 12:10 p.m., May 1, 2013

Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much:  No charge

Duration: About 35 minutes

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square or Farragut North or Farragut West

Food trucks:  Located two blocks away at Farragut Square

For more information: 202-270-6265

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