Review: “Pride Without Prejudice” Opera Party at the Greene Space, June 22, 2017

Cover Image: Justin Vivian Bond performing, © Matthew Septimus / The Greene Space at WQXR.

“What is an opera party?” I thought on the commute over to the Greene Space. It seemed intriguing if somewhat baffling of what to expect.

“Mistaken Identities”, the first of the Opera Party series, was a huge hit. © Alyssa Tognetti for WhereNYC

This was the third installment of the multifaceted Opera Party at the Greene Space, which tantalized the audience with an eclectic array of singing, drinking and cake – cleverly disguised as a piece of furniture.

Anthony Dean Griffey and Anthony Roth Costanzo © Matthew Septimus / The Greene Space at WQXR.

After a warm greeting when I arrived, I took my seat having little idea what was about to happen. The description of the event was vague, and all I really knew was that the event would involve opera and cake. The soirée began and our host and Metropolitan Opera star Anthony Roth Constanzo dived into a charming introduction of the event, which was in honor of Pride Month.

Anthony Roth Costanzo © Matthew Septimus / The Greene Space at WQXR.

The singing and chatting began, treating us to live performances and a banter to follow. Two guests, Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Dean Griffey, appeared on stage with Justin Vivian beginning with a song and before explaining to the audience about the close relationship between opera and the LGBT community. Anthony Griffey followed next with a brief opera number. After each sang individually, the two artists sat down together at a vanity that had been on stage as a prop to discuss preparing for a performance. Surprising us all, the vanity they sat was actually the cake mentioned the event description, with fondant used to give the cake (a plain cake with peach and icing) a more furniture-like appearance. Very clever! The two artists happily tucked into the gâteau and shared with some in audience as they gave their final performances. Anthony Roth Constanzo and Justin Vivian Bond sang a musical duet while Anthony Griffey concluded with an extended version of the song he had treated us to earlier.

A final duet with © Matthew Septimus / The Greene Space at WQXR.

Afterwards, both guests and performers mingled, taking in the cozy, laid back atmosphere of the Greene Space. The party then spilled over from the performance space to the reception area where the cake was displayed and eventually devoured by the end of the night. Even for those who knew little about opera,  it was a wonderfully, charming event and quite enjoyable.

Don’t miss the upcoming The Beer-Changing Magic of Brewing with Hops on July 19th at the Greene Space.

Hae Jin Kim