Good Music, Good Health to Come Together in Special Holiday Concert

Good music will be a potion for good health in Cape May County this holiday season in the form of a special fundraising concert that will bring 75 symphony musicians from Philadelphia and choristers to the stage of the Performing Arts Center of Middle Township.

A group of local advocates for good music and good health will present the Bel Canto Lyric Opera Company and symphony orchestra in a holiday program ranging from operatic and classical instrumental to Broadway music. Bel canto is Italian for “beautiful singing” and is associated with the smooth lines and artistic elegance of late 18th century Italian opera.

The program, titled “The Sounds Of Christmas: A Holiday Concert,” will be held on Sunday night, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. as a benefit to support surgical services at Cape May Regional Health System through its Foundation. Tickets are $25.

Wildwood business owner Nicholas Nastasi, who first produced this concert in the area in 2000, said the Cape Regional Foundation was chosen as the beneficiary because of the hospital’s importance to the county, not only for year round residents but also for part-timers and tourists.

“Everyone should have an interest in health care in our community,” he says. “If we don’t we’re in trouble. That’s why we’re contributing to good health with the proceeds of a concert featuring good music. And this concert, now in its 18th Season, is vital to the arts in our area because it is the only time in a calendar year that a concert featuring a full choir and symphony orchestra is produced in Cape May County.”                    

The company was founded in 1989 by the late vocal director Marianne Casiello, a native of Wildwood Crest and a teacher at the Curtis Institute of Music.

 The guest conductor for this performance is Philadelphia cellist Anthony Pirollo who recently was conductor for the Grammy-nominated album “Symphony in Bossa.” He also has worked with such diverse performers as Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis and Rod Stewart.

Tickets may be purchased at the PAC box office (609-463-1924), at Petal’s Floral Design and Gifts, 202 E. Rio Grande Ave., Wildwood, or at the foundation office at Cape Regional Medical Center, 2 Stone Harbor Blvd., Cape May Court House.