Bay Ridge

On the Avenue: Embrace Winter Festival brings the opera to Third Avenue

February 16, 2023 Editorial Staff
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They’re singing for your supper — literally!

Talented members of Regina Opera Company will be making a special appearance “on the avenue” to kick off the annual Embrace Winter Festival — sponsored by Bay Ridge Arts & Cultural Alliance (BRACA) in partnership with the Merchants of Third Avenue Civic Improvement Association, Inc. — on Sunday, Feb 26.

As part of this annual celebration of the arts, Regina Opera soloists including mezzo-soprano Lara Tillotson and baritone Nigel Smith will perform a free one-hour concert for patrons at Vesuvio Restaurant, 7305 Third Ave. beginning at noon. The soloists will be accompanied by flutist Richard Paratley and pianist Catherine Miller.

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Baritone Nigel Smith (left) and mezzo-soprano Lara Tillotson will perform at Vesuvio Restaurant on Feb. 26. Photos courtesy of Regina Opera Company

Reservations are not required, but it’s best to come early to make sure you’re seated up close to the action. Opera selections make the perfect accompaniment to a meal at the popular Italian eatery.

The concert marks the beginning of an avenue-wide celebration of art and culture designed to draw shoppers to Third Avenue and promote small business, according to organizer Victoria Hofmo.

“The purpose of the festival is to provide an event during a time of year when there is a lull in activities, to build relationships between the businesses and arts/cultural organizations and individuals, to promote commerce and to give the community something to enjoy during the cold weather,” she said. “By using storefronts and sidewalks, there is no need to close streets or redirect traffic.”

Following the Feb. 26 performance, a variety of performances and activities will be held on Saturday, March 4 inside and in front of participating businesses. In addition, from Feb. 25 through March 19, a number of local artists will have their work displayed along Third Avenue from Bay Ridge Avenue to 90th Street.

On March 18 at noon, Hofmo will lead the festival’s annual Art Walk, during which artists will speak about their displayed work. There is a $20 cost and reservations are strongly encouraged.

Business owners who are interested in sponsoring an exhibit can contact Hofmo directly at 347-860-1932.

As plans are finalized for this year’s festival, they will be posted online via the BRACA and Merchants of Third Avenue social media channels, Hofmo said.

As mild as it might be (so far), let’s all make sure to “Embrace Winter” and support our great artists and businesses in Bay Ridge!

Patrons enjoy musical accompaniment during their lunch at Vesuvio Restaurant as part of a recent Embrace Winter Festival event. Eagle Urban Media/File photo

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