Music and Mentoring House is reopened!! A letter from the founder, Laurel Flanigan

June 16, 2021

Dear Friends and Extended Family of Music and Mentoring House,

It’s hard to imagine that for the past 10 years I have had a house full of wonderful humans, weekends full of all of you, and now, have spent the past 10 months without all that crazy wonderfulness. 

The challenge of coaching amazing young twenty-somethings to remain engaged and creative these many months has been wonderfully challenging and incredibly heartbreaking but they have to figure this out. Designing a life that can remain creative and thrive in times of crises has been the positive focus of our coaching sessions. As of today, I will have completed more than 1,000 hours of online life coaching, at no cost, to former residents of Music and Mentoring House and students of our programs. The privilege of being an integral part of their process, of being relied on day after day has been humbling to say the least. You’ll be so proud of them when we next gather!!

So at this mid date in June 2021, I am reaching out to see if you would please donate to Music and Mentoring House and help me keep these amazing humans creative and performing in front of you and the world? It’s a beautiful thing you’ve helped me do all these years. A beautiful thing I’m deeply committed to and personally invested in for the long term. Mentored affordable housing for artists. 

Artists and musicians of all disciplines deserve a safe creative home in the arts capital of the country, New York City.

Music and Mentoring House. We are that place.

And so it is with some serious enthusiasm (Oh gioia!!! ) that I can tell you……

  • Our first resident student in more than 11 months arrived yesterday from Colombia, South America. She will be in residence for three weeks taking voice lessons from me and preparing for a program she will attend in the first weeks of July in Miami, Florida. Her family reached out to me as her situation in Colombia grew dangerous and her University was forced to close. I am very happy to have her here again studying, thriving and getting vaccinated! And we have many applications for fall residencies. We’re back!!
  • This year, Music and Mentoring House and I were nominated for The David Prize. It was a wonderful surprise that came at a very difficult time for me in the pandemic and I almost didn’t accept the nomination. Accepting the nomination and entering the application process helped me come to a richer and deeper understanding of what it is that I love about coaching, teaching, and living with wonderful young humans. We actually made it through the first several rounds which, I am told, is not easy. I don’t know who recommended us but I am forever grateful they did. Here is an excerpt from the application:

 I believe that the smallest musical gesture honestly placed makes the biggest impact and I get to live it every day in a permanent organization I created called Music and Mentoring House, in Harlem, my community for the past 18 years. Through Master Classes, breakfasts, dinners and community performances I combine education and performing in a way that allows the power of the human voice to tell our personal stories and effect change. What interests me and what ignites my imagination is the invitation “in” . The invitation to the breakfast table or friends and neighbors coming to support students in a creative performance environment. We can’t keep singing without access to performance opportunities on a weekly and monthly basis and we have built a strong weekly audience to support the invitation to come on “in”. Our neighbors and donors show up!

  • We are about to launch our annual summer program The Audition Boot Camp!! Yes we are!!! 

I want to jump in feet first making sure everyone is ready to sing sing sing, come fall. So… at some moment in the not too distant future we will start performances of Aria Madness. I am looking for an outdoor space that keeps us all healthy and Covid free, so wish me luck and stay tuned. 

Of course, none of this is possible without your presence in our lives, ongoing kindness and financial support. I know that you know this but it can’t be expressed enough. It really can’t. You see the impact your presence has on their performances and their enthusiasm. You’ve lived it along with me in the living room, at the kitchen table and family dinners in the garden. It’s a magical relationship you’ve helped me create and kept moving forward. So….

We are still fiscally sponsored by The American Opera Project. Right now, donations can be made by visiting their donor site: and writing Music and Mentoring House on the line that reads: I would like my gift to go to the following AOP project

You can also send a check payable to: The American Opera Project. Just write Music and Mentoring House on the memo line at the bottom of your check. Checks can be mailed to:

The American Opera Project 138 S Oxford St # 3B, Brooklyn, NY 11217

Thank you for reading my long letters and continuing to support us. 

See you in August with some Aria Madness!!!

Sincerely, Lauren–
Lauren Flanigan, Director/Founder

The American Opera Project is now our Fiscal Sponsor. You can donate to Music and Mentoring House by clicking on this link:
 – All donation amounts are greatly appreciated and a very important contribution to our efforts. American Opera Projects is an IRS recognized 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowable by law.

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Friday May 28 at 7:30 PM Friday June 4 at 7:30 PM James and Martha Duffy Performance Space at the Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn

Tickets: $35 Reservations are required.
Dancers: Anabel Alpert, Megan Foley, Amber Neff, Rachele Perla, Alison Tatsuoka, Madeleine Williams

Musicians: Melody Fader, piano,  Doori Na, violin

Miro Magloire’s New Chamber Ballet returns to the stage for two live Friday presentations, May 28th and June 4th, at the Mark Morris Dance Center, 3 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn.  The program will see the World Premiere of Magloire’s “Sea”  and a new solo for company member Madeleine Williams.

The new 55-minute “Sea” is, according to choreographer Magloire, simply “a celebratory work coming from the joy of being able to perform again person, for a live audience.”  Music is a commissioned score by Richard Carrick, in his third collaboration with Magloire.
Magloire has also created a short solo for departing dancer Madeleine Williams, who is expecting her second child.  In her own words, Madeleine is “stepping away from dance to enjoy motherhood.”  

COVID Protocols: the James and Martha Duffy Performance Space is large and well-ventilated, and the audience, which will be kept at a maximum of 46, will be seated in a proper socially distanced manner, with at least six feet between chairs (with members of the same household allowed to sit together).  Tickets must be purchased in advance, as there will be no box office and walk-ups will not be accommodated.  Visitors will fill out a pre-show health screening and, upon arrival at the Dance Center, will have their temperature checked.  Visitors are also required to wear masks at all times while inside the building.

Richard Carrick, composer, conductor, pianist, is a Guggenheim Fellow who writes music of spatial depth and robust stasis, described by The New York Times as “charming, with exoticism and sheer infectiousness.”  His music has been presented at international festivals, released on three critically acclaimed CD’s, and published by PSNY.  Carrick is Chair of Composition at Berklee, co-founder of Either/Or, and winner of the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventuresome Programming.  He has presented master classes and lectures throughout Europe, Israel, Japan, Rwanda, and South Korea.    Born in Paris of French-Algerian and British descent, Carrick received his BA from Columbia University, PhD from the University of California/San Diego with Brian Ferneyhough, and pursued further studies at IRCAM and the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague.  

New Chamber Ballet welcomes Alison Tatsuoka, who received her training at the International Ballet theater Academy in Malvern, Pa.  She has danced with Ballet Arizona and Oklahoma City Ballet’s second companies, and Columbia Ballet Collaborative and Columbia Repertory Ballet in NYC.  She has appeared in works by Balanchine, Robbins, Tudor, and Ib Andersen, among others.  Alison is currently a junior at Columbia U studying English and Mathematics.
Richard Carrick’s score for “Sea” was commissioned by the Charles and Joan Gross Family Foundation.

photo by Eduardo Patino

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Cast for 15 Dancers of the Met, live on W. 75th St., this Sunday

HIS SUNDAY, MAY 16th – TWO PERFORMANCES, 4 pm & 5:30 pm

Natalia Alonso, Melissa Anderson, Antuan Byers, Jacqueline Calle, Michelle Joy, Julia Jurgilewicz, Ayaka Kamei, Megan Krauszer, Sarah Kay Marchetti, Maria Phegan, Minga Prather, Ryan Redmond, Melissa Sadler, Cara Seymour, Spencer Weidie


Dancers of the Met is an independent collective of current and former dancers who have performed with
the Metropolitan Opera, joined by furloughed members of the Met Orchestra and Met Chorus Artists.
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Florida Grand Opera Winter Performances

Florida Grand Opera Winter
 Season: Jan 22 – Mar 27

Florida Grand Opera (FGO) announced its upcoming Season of Specials and Shorts. It is a season designed to provide live performance experiences while adhering to CDC requirements for social distancing with the ultimate goal of keeping both the audience and the company members healthy and safe. “Even in this time of COVID and other calamities, our need for music and art is ever-present. We have consulted with the experts, and after a successful Fall season of concerts, we are pleased to be presenting a Collection of Specials and Shorts. We are excited to be performing in different theaters and venues throughout Miami Dade and Broward counties. Intimate yet socially distanced spaces that are perfect for a unique storytelling experience,” said General Director and CEO, Susan T. Danis.  


Performances: Sat, Jan 30 at 8 pm and Sun, Jan 31 at 3 pm

The season opens with Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers. The opera portrays a family and their struggle to connect. It is a poignant American opera with soaring melodies and heartbreaking musical moments. This intimate, 90-minute chamber opera takes place over three decades during the AIDS crisis. Each section of the opera looks back on the events during a specific December between a mother and her two adult children. As family secrets are revealed, resentment grows, and relationships are tested. This modern masterpiece has been in the Top Ten most performed North American works since 1991. 

Tickets: $65 each. Purchase all three operas and save 20%. 

Performances: Sat, Feb 13 at 8pm and Sun, Feb 14 at 3 pm

New York Stories is composed by Daron Hagen, with a libretto by Hagen and Barbara Grecki. It presents three intimate vignettes based on real experiences living in the big apple. The opera is musically conversational, with the first skit being fiery and romantic, following a woman in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and an Italian immigrant who arrives to do maintenance work, but ends up sharing a romantic moment. The second is the story of an Upper East Side woman who gets a surprise visit from her brother. The third depicts a warm, domestic self-portrait of a composer and his spouse, who are new parents, and their attempt to put their infant son to sleep.  

Tickets: $65 each. Purchase all three operas and save 20%. 

Performances: Sat, Mar 20 at 8 pm and Sun, Mar 21 at 3 pm

The opera portion of the season wraps up with a double bill. Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti paints an intimate picture of the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple, Sam and Dinah, and their longing for love and the ability to communicate. As we follow their journey, Dinah sings one of the most famous mezzosoprano arias, “What a movie!” depicting the movie Trouble in Tahiti she saw. Emerging into a dreamlike sequence in which she immediately feels embarrassed for even conjuring the fantasy, we understand the yearning to escape within all of us. 

Signor Deluso is an comic-buffo one-act opera by composer and librettist Thomas Pasatieri. The opera contains love melodies, musical patter, with confrontations and harmonies of resolution. It is loosely based on Molière’s 1660 comedy The Imaginary Cuckold. This piece resonates with vivacious, over-the-top comedic characters, familial expectations, and exuberant lovers, all leaping to wrong conclusions. 

Tickets: $65 each. Purchase all three operas and save 20%. 

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By Michael Recchiuti


Eddie Teitel loves Broadway shows. Since the pandemic shut the theaters he has missed his trips downtown, leaving the shop in the Bronx early, throwing on a jacket and tie, driving into town for dinner and a show. He loves the magic that is the theater.  He got a call in December from an officer of the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 describing the desperate financial condition in which so many of the musicians found themselves with the theaters suddenly closed nine months earlier, and their livelihoods literally entirely eliminated in one day.

The union was organizing an Emergency Task Force to provide as many of the most distressed members of the local as possible with a Christmas dinner. Would he be able to help with this initiative? Of course he could; he welcomed the opportunity. Teitel Brothers, the venerable grocer in the Belmont section of the Bronx has been in business since 1915. Eddie is the third generation to work behind the counter in Bronx’s Little Italy. He understands continuity, the ebb and flow of history. Sometimes you’re up, sometimes you’re down. Certainly, his family, immigrant Jews a century earlier, had clocked plenty of time in both conditions, and every degree in between. He is, as they say, a “people person”. To work in a family food business you become one, even if you weren’t when you started (which is sometime early in childhood- I know from personal experience). You have relationships with your colleagues, your suppliers, and most importantly, your customers. You know their names. You know their families. You know what they like to eat. You learn about people. You learn to have empathy.

Thinking about the hundreds of musicians with their livelihoods stripped from them, Eddie stepped up. He could send down 600 hams for the holiday food drive. The union officer jumped at the offer. Eddie had one of their company trucks loaded up, and sent a couple of his men to deliver the hams to the staging area where the food bags were being assembled. He laughed as he told me that when his guys showed up, they saw the union men in navy jackets with “ETF” (Emergency Task Force) emblazoned on the backs. They thought they were immigration agents, and wouldn’t get out of the truck!

They cleared that up, and unloaded a ton of premium hams to make their way to the tables in the homes of the distressed musicians and their families, who could think, on this one day, somebody understood, felt their pain, and was willing and able to reach out to them a helping hand.

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STABAT MATER di Luigi Boccherini

STABAT MATER di Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805)

Boccherini è un personaggio di spicco nella storia della musica che precede l’avvento della prima Scuola viennese; il suo contributo allo sviluppo della forma del quartetto e del quintetto è stato determinante e la sua importanza viene riconosciuta da studiosi sia italiani che stranieri. La sua musica s’impone per la freschezza e la varietà melodica e per la finezza e l’eleganza delle idee, in un’armoniosa scorrevolezza discorsiva. Boccherini ha scritto due versioni dello Stabat Mater: una prima nel 1781 per soprano e archi (quella contenuta nel CD) e una seconda nel 1800 per soprano, contralto, tenore ed archi, entrata nel repertorio e realizzata, secondo una nota dell’autore riportata sulla copia manoscritta del Conservatorio di Parigi, «per evitar la monotonia di una sola voce e la troppa fatica a quest’unica voce cantante». Ciò nonostante, viene scritta una pagina di schietto e puro sentimento religioso che nell’AMEN finale tocca uno dei momenti più esaltanti della sua personalità creatrice. L’esecuzione magistrale dell’Orchestra sinfonica di Sanremo, diretta dal m° Giancarlo De Lorenzo, e la convincente interpretazione orante del soprano Gabriella Costa, fanno di questa incisione un riferimento sicuro della discografia delle opere di Boccherini.
STABAT MATER Luigi Boccherini
Mottetto in FA minore per soprano e Orchestra d’Archi (prima versione 1781)
VIOLINI PRIMI: Marco Bigarelli (spalla), Cristina Silvestro, Paolo Copello, Manuela Lucchi
VIOLINI SECONDI:Luca Marzolla, Vincenzo Citta, Monica Galluzzi
VIOLE: Luca Pirondini, Wynneford Potter, Fara Bersano
VIOLONCELLI: Mariano Dapor, Paolo Chiappa, Carlo Crisanti
CONTRABBASSO: Michele Bonfante
Direttore: Giancarlo De Lorenzo
Soprano: Gabriella Costa
Disponibile nei migliori negozi, sulle più importanti piattaforme digitali e sul sito
Worldwide distribution: MILANO DISCHI srl – NAXOS – BELIEVE
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Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il viaggio a Reims in streaming with Rossini Opera Festival

On 25, 27 and 29 November in free streaming, it will be possible to see the revival of Il barbiere di Siviglia by Pier Luigi Pizzi with Michele Spotti conducting. In the cast Juan Francisco Gatell, Carlo Lepore, Aya Wakizono, Iurii Samoilov, Michele Pertusi, Elena Zilio and William Corrò.

Watch the teaser

On 26 and 28 November in free streaming, it will be possible to see the revival of Il Viaggio A Reims, a one-act playful drama by Luigi Balochi.
Critical edition by Fondazione Rossini, in collaboration with Casa Ricordi,
edited by Janet Johnson

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Serbian baritone Željko Lučić stars in Giuseppe Verdi’s landmark opera Rigoletto, this weekend’s Opera on streaming special at the San Francisco Opera!

A fool in profession and a fool in life, his Rigoletto has made a career out of mocking the misfortunes of his fellow courtiers. But when the Duke’s roving eyes land on his beloved daughter, played by Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak, Rigoletto attempts to outrun fate — and the vengeance of those he ridiculed.

Conductor Nicola Luisotti leads the opera in what the San Francisco Chronicle calls an “arresting” performance, streaming for one weekend only! Rigoletto streams all weekend long, starting Saturday at 10am Pacific. Directed for the screen by Christine Strand.

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Honoring Veterans: Veterans Day 2020 at Princeton University Chapel

“The Violin Doc,” Dr. Mary Rorro will perform two solo viola selections for the virtual Veterans Day Service at Princeton University Chapel today, Wednesday November 11, 2020.

The first selection is her variation on “It is Well With My Soul,” and the second is a Reflection she composed, called “Physicians Healers and Healthcare Heroes.”

The event will broadcast on the Office of Religious Life Princeton University Chapel YouTube Channel on:
Wednesday 11/11/20 at 8:30 AM Eastern Time
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The Autumn session of the Rossini Opera Festival, originally planned to take place from the 1st to the 29th November 2020, has been re-planned in the light of the new ministerial decree that does not authorize the presence of an audience inside theatres during performances.

The programme, for the most part confirmed, will be inaugurated on Saturday the 14th November at 8.30 p.m. at the Teatro Rossini with the performance of a selection from the Péchés de vieillesseby the pianist Alessandro Marangoni; then on Sunday 15th November at 8.30 p.m. at the Teatro Rossini two authentic rarities, never before performed at the ROF: the Messa di Milano [Milan Mass] and the  Miserere.  In conformity with the Covid regulations, the concerts will be performed without any audience and will be transmitted free of charge in streaming.

We can also confirm the two operatic productions.  As for the Barbiere di Siviglia, staged by Pier Luigi Pizzi for the ROF 2018, this will be performed as planned at the Teatro Rossini on Wednesday 25th, Friday 27th and Sunday 29th November.  The classic Viaggio a Reims, devised and staged by Emilio Sagi, and rehearsed by Matteo Anselmi, with the pupils of the Accademia Rossiniana 2020, will be offered on Thursday 26th and Saturday 28th November at the Teatro Rossini.  If it should happen that new decrees permit it, the performances will be open to the public, according to the foreseen security measures.

Il barbiere di Siviglia will be conducted by Michele Spotti at the head of the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini and the Chorus of the Teatro Ventidio Basso (Chorus Master Giovanni Farina) with a cast comprising Juan Francisco Gatell (Count Almaviva), Carlo Lepore (Bartolo), Aya Wakizono (Rosina), Iurii Samoilov (Figaro), Michele Pertusi (Basilio), Elena Zilio (Berta) and William Corrò (Fiorello / Officer).  Il viaggio a Reims will be conducted by Alessandro Cadario with the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Rossini.  The Miserere and the Milan Mass will be conducted by Ferdinando Sulla, with the Filarmonica Gioachino Rossini and the Chorus of the Teatro della Fortuna (Chorus Master Mirca Rosciani); the Miserere will be sung by Manuel Amati, Antonio Garés and Grigory Shkarupa, who will be joined, in the Messa di Milano, by Svetlina Stoyanova.

“We have decided to offer everyone the two concerts on the programme for mid.November in free streaming” – observes the President of the Festival Daniele Vimini.  “At this time it is important that such institutions as ours keep the flame of culture burning and that we offer a solid vision of the future to the workers in our category.  If we are not able to invite audiences into the theatre, then Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il viaggio a Reims will also be offered to the world in streaming; our duty is to do our part towards the maintenance and re-birth of culture and work in our country.”

The Intendent of the Rossini Opera Festival, Ernesto Palacio, explains the decision as follows:  “Everything will be carried out with the most rigorous observance of the security regulations, in strict agreement with the State authorities.  Rehearsal will be held maintaining all the necessary precautions regarding the observance of the health of artists and backstage artisans, on behalf of whom we feel the responsibility of also guaranteeing them the possibility of continuing to work, clearly under conditions of maximum security.  Our firm hope is that on the 25th November theaters may open again, and we would wish to find ourselves ready to offer the fruits of all our work to whoever would like to be present”.

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