Pamela Levy, Great Neck alumni to showcase opera in Great Neck Plaza

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Pamela Levy, Great Neck alumni to showcase opera in Great Neck Plaza
Pam Levy, Jake Levy, Diana Charlop, Alex Schecter, and headliner Ashley Galvani Bell will be showcasing a night of opera in Great Neck Plaza. (Photos courtesy of the Village of Great Neck Plaza)

Pamela Levy, the head of fine and performing arts at Great Neck North High School, will head a night of opera at Firefighters Memorial Park in Great Neck Plaza on Aug. 7, alongside soprano soloist Ashley Bell and former students.

Levy said the night of opera, beginning at 8 p.m. and sponsored by the Great Neck Inn, will feature a “cross-section of different styles and genres,” with pieces from “Les Misérables,” “Rigoletto” and other works.

But what’s always rewarding for her, she said, is performing in her home community and seeing how former students have evolved.

“It’s wonderful because I live in the community, I am an educator in the community, so several of my former students that I love perform,” Levy said. “So it’s a great feeling seeing them go from student to professional and be able to work with them in that capacity.”

The performances will be delivered by Bell, who is currently performing in Europe, as well as Diana Charlop, a Great Neck native, Alex Schecter, a recent Vanderbilt University graduate, and Great Neck North graduate Jake Levy.

“These singers, for the most part, have just come back from college and the singer who is our guest artist is now in Europe,” Levy said, referring to Bell. “She sings all over the world.”

Bell began her opera career at 9 years old as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus and made an Off-Broadway debt at 16 in “The Golden Touch.” She has since worked as a soloist in the United States, Italy, Spain, France and Russia, and recently debuted at Carnegie Hall.

Charlop began her voice studies at 14 in Great Neck South High School’s opera program while performing in community theater. She has since been in numerous performances and won awards as a vocalist and is currently attending the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.

Jake Levy, born and raised in Great Neck, studied at UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theatre Program and has appeared in shows like “Rent,” “Hairspray,” “13 the Musical,” “Les Misérables” and numerous others.

Schecter, a Blair School of Music graduate, attended the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre, sang in the Vocal Company of the College Light Opera, and has appeared in numerous shows. Also, in 2017 and 2016, he won the NATS Southeastern Musical Competition.

“I like to think of it as farm to table: it’s homegrown talent,” said Pamela Levy, who was also a vocal director at Great Neck South High School.

In addition to heading fine and performing arts at Great Neck North, Levy is a pianist, director of the Manhattan Chorale at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege, and holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music.

She has also directed music for many operas like “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Die Zauberflöte,” “Les Contes D’Hoffmann,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Gianni Schicchi,” “Suor Angelica” and “Carmen.”

If weather is poor, the event will move to the Great Neck Social Center at 80 Grace Ave. To find out if the venue has been moved indoors, call Village Hall at 516-482-4500. There will also be a recorded message on the answering machine or an update posted online at www.greatneckplaza.net if the concert is moved indoors.

“I’m really very lucky and grateful to the community because there’s so much support for the arts,” Levy said.

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