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Enjoy preview of new opera at Pleasanton library at 2 p.m. today

Singers will perform selections from Rossini's famous opera

Whether or not you plan to attend Livermore Valley Opera's "The Italian Girl in Algiers" next month, you can soon enjoy some of the songs at the Pleasanton library today.

"OperaLIVE! events are free, public events that present opera to the community so that people who might not otherwise have the opportunity can experience this beautiful music and drama," LVO president Jim Schmidt said.

The one-hour performance will feature the heroine, Isabella, sung by mezzo-soprano Kristen Choi, and her lover, Lindoro, sung by tenor Marco Stefani, a Pleasanton native and Amador Valley High School alum. Bruce Olstad will accompany on piano.

"The singers will perform selections from Rossini's famous opera providing listeners a taste of the wonderful talent that they will hear at the Bankhead Theater when 'The Italian Girl in Algiers' opens on March 12," Schmidt said.

Preview performances are at 2 p.m. today at the Pleasanton Public Library, 400 Old Bernal Ave. Another performance will be held at 2 p.m. next Sunday, March 6, at the Livermore library, 1188 S. Livermore Ave. Both peerformances are sponsored by the Friends of the Library groups.

Stage director Bruce Donnell, who has directed operas all over the world, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York and Santa Fe Opera, will speak about his vision for the upcoming opera.

A question-and-answer period immediately follows the performance.

"We have presented these popular preview programs in local libraries for many years," said Gary Sears, the opera's community outreach manager. "Audiences have been thrilled to hear professional opera singers perform up close in these intimate venues."

The library performances are one of many outreach programs the opera company offers, which include visits by singers to schools in Pleasanton, Livermore and Dublin.

"We hope that the experience will encourage people to seek out opera and other live performing arts," Schmidt said.

For more details on the full production of "The Italian Girl in Algiers," visit www.livermorevalleyopera.com.

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