My friend, Helen, posted a great YouTube video titled Tony Awards – Broadway Carpool Karaoke – One Day More. It brought back a wonderful memory of living in Dayton, Ohio when I had the great privilege of spending some time with the main cast of Dayton Opera’s Samson et Dalila in 2007.
I met my friend, Elena Bocharova, the Dalila, because I served as a volunteer at Dayton Opera for a few seasons and eventually joined the Opera Guild of Dayton. It had been my privilege to first meet her when she debuted as the Carmen the year before. We just clicked, becoming fast friends, so when she was contracted for the 2007 performance I told her I would definitely be there for her.
So now the Dinner & Karaoke story. We all were intertwined by two degrees of separation.
Dongwon Shin, a tenor, was cast as Samson. I first met him because, as a Dayton Opera Volunteer, I picked him up from the airport for the Dayton Opera Star Gala or New Year’s event. (He is just absolutely adorable.)
John Packard was cast as the Priest of Dagon. He and Elena knew each other from Conservatory days in San Fransisco, if I remember correctly.
So “we,” Elena, Dongwon, and John decide to go out for dinner and I wanted to take them to the Club on Wright Patterson Air Force Base. John’s wife, Pam, also came with us, of course!
My dear friend from the Guild, Nora Stang, and I had planned on doing lunch when I got into town but between her schedule and mine it was proving impossible to connect….so I literally had to beg her to come with us since Wednesday evening was the only time I could meet with her.
To make a long story short we all got to the club, had a lovely dinner with just the most delightful conversation when we heard a marvelously smooth voice singing Karaoke. Honestly we thought it was a recording.
No….no…it was karaoke when we heard the next two voices!
At the end of dinner we moved over to the dance floor/karaoke area to enjoy the “show.” But after listening to a few songs and with some prodding, Dongwon stepped up to sing from our group. Then Elena went next, and so on we went for a couple of hours until we helped close down the house.
It was one of those best Karaoke night’s ever! And I feel so blessed to have been a part of it!