By Gary Alan Ruse….
Palmetto Bay resident Amy Ioné Alvarado, a lyric soprano, will perform in a special musical revue, titled My Place, on Sept. 25 at Playground Theatre in Miami Shores. The show is produced by singer/songwriter Nelson Polanco.
Alvarado began her singing career at age 17, winning an honorable mention in National Foundation of the Arts Scholarship competition. She debuted her first soprano role as Micaela in Carmenat the Opera in the Ozarks Summer Festival, and in September 2009 sang the role of Perla Negra in the reading of Desmond Child’s new musical Cuba Libre, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, where she also has appeared singing roles with the Florida Grand Opera.
She has performed in Florida Grand Opera pro-ductions of Aida, The Pearlfishers, Lakmeand as La Novizia in Puccini’s Suor Angelica. Alvarado also appeared in the role of Mamma in the 2007 East Coast Premiere of Tony Caruso’s Last Broadcastin Washington, DC, as well as in the role of Juanita Cabana in the South Eastern Premiere of Birds without Wings in Miami.
Alvarado received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance at Florida International University and currently serves as the director of Vocal Studies at the Miami Conservatory of Music.
She is thrilled to be one of the three “divas” appearing in the special production and is looking forward to it.
“It really is a fusion of different styles of music and we’re all coming together to perform,” Alvarado said. “We’re all very excited to sing with Nelson. Besides my colleague, Nelson is my friend and it means a lot to be performing alongside a friend of mine I have met in the arts and someone who really values the art form of singing.
“So it’s very special because of that. I think this is going to be a really exciting show because it’s interactive. There’ll be dance, there’ll be narrative commentary between and there’s story to be played out with each performance. I think people will find that very different.”
Polanco, founder of Blending Cultures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the South Florida community with a blend of international cultural traditions through live performances, hails from the Dominican Republic and is known for his eclectic blend of Latin pop, salsa and international influences.
He has performed for benefits such as World AIDS Conference and Broward House, and released his first single, Caña Dulcein 2008. Blending Cultures commands much of his time now.
“In the process we aim to encourage diversity and acceptance/education of cultural differences,” Polanco said. “ My Place is a musical revue about a journey to finding yourself. It’s a story told through the powerful beats of Latin music, the soul of jazz and a hint of musical theater. Plenty of divas, dance and fun!”
The other “divas” performing are Lennis Sabatino and Shelina.
Sabatino was born and raised in New York City with a diverse musical background ranging from opera, pop and classical ballads to the styles of 42nd Street musicians, and has performed gospel, jazz, musical theater, pop, R&B, Latin and more. She performed at the 37th Annual Grammy’s in California.
Shelina is a singer, songwriter and choreographer born in the Dominican Republic who just released her new single Vivir Sin Tu Amor and a Tropical/Dance album, No Te Aguanto Una Masin 2008. She performed at the Billboard Dance Music Conference in Las Vegas in 2006 and the Winter Music Conference 2007 in Miami where she performed at Halo Lounge, Twist and Score.
My Place is scheduled for one performance at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at the Playground Theatre, 9806 NE Second Ave. in Miami Shores. Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance at www.blendingcultures.net, or $25 at the door based on availability. For information call 1-954-695-1163.