Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is pleased to announce two brand new adult workshops, The Basics of Singing and European History Through The Lens of Opera, begin online via Zoom this spring. The Basics of Singing, led by Amanda Jones, is held Wednesdays from 7 to 8 p.m. starting March 31. Registration is $150 for six sessions; drop-in rates are available for $35 per class. European History Through The Lens of Opera is led by Ashley Galvani Bell and Anton Armendariz Diaz, and is held Thursdays from 1 to 2 p.m. starting April 1. Registration is $200 for nine sessions; drop-in rates are available for $35 per class. Payment plans are available. For additional information, contact Director of Education & Community Outreach, Allen O’Reilly, at
The Basics of Singing is a six-part workshop designed for new singers; people who have always wanted to improve their singing, but do not know where to begin. Instructor Amanda Jones will teach participants how to concentrate on their breathing, diction, and posture alignment, while discovering the right song choice. Working alongside an accompanist (and much more!) participants will learn how to start the singing process from soup to nuts, and will leave feeling more confident in their abilities and more eager to jump into some new singing adventures!

Amanda Jones is a music professional on the East End with more than 20 years of teaching experience, specializing in vocal and piano instruction. Her goals in teaching are always to meet her students where they are, and to encourage their growth as musicians while allowing them to be the unique individuals they all are! She is co-founder and music education director of South Fork Performing Arts, which strives to bring quality arts education to local youth by utilizing professional artists and teachers in the subjects of theatre and music. She is excited to bring the basics of singing to Bay Street Theater!
European History Through The Lens Of Opera explores a selected history of Europe, from the Middle Ages through World War II, via a study of popular opera from across the continent. Operatic music has touched people’s emotions since its inception. Many composers and librettists have turned to historical events for inspiration, and to give personal color to those events with powerful music and staging. This class, featuring operas in French, Italian, German, and Russian, will give attendees a broad overview of specific events in European history that have been immortalized in the operatic art form. History will be analyzed and illustrated by the operatic selections from the works that most accurately contribute to the telling of these stories.

  • Middle Ages (13th-Century Italy): I Vespri Sicliani
  • Middle Ages (14th-Century Spain): La Favorita
  • Middle Ages (15th-Century France): Maid of Orleans (Joan of Arc)
  • Renaissance (England): Maria Stuarda
  • Renaissance (France and Spain): Don Carlo
  • Religious Repression (17th-Century England): I Puritani
  • Religious Repression (French Revolution): Dialogues of the Carmelites
  • Napoleonic Era: Tosca
  • World War II: Kaiser von Atlantis

Hailed by Opera News as “delightful” and by La Rioja as “unstoppable in her brilliant singing and a true stage animal,” Ashley Galvani Bell has performed in the United States, Spain, France, Italy, and Russia. She recently made her Carnegie Hall debut as soprano soloist in Hadyn’s Nelson Mass and Schubert’s Mass in C, debuted as Mimi in La Bohème with Mississippi Opera and Natchez Festival, as Madame Butterfly with Townsend Opera in California, and with New York City Opera in L’Amore Tre Re. Other performances include Elle in a critically acclaimed performance of La Voix Humaine in the New York Opera Fest and Spain’s Rioja Forum, where she was praised for “a voice that is a landscape of unknown depths,” (Opera Wire), and for her “brilliant suitability to the intense vocalism that Poulenc demands.” (La Rioja). Ms. Bell is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University and speaks five languages fluently.
Anton Armendariz Diaz‘s directing experience began in short videos, being a finalist for the productions of Serjei and Imprudencia in the Barcelona Film Festival. He studied film direction with Eduardo Gil, and his passion for music soon led him to form the company La Rioja Lirica, where he has directed many successful productions including Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte, El Barberillo de Lavapies, La Voix Humaine, La Traviata, and Las Heroinas de la Zarzuela. In the U.S., he made his New York debut directing Elisir D ́Amore for Divaria Productions, subsequently presented a successful bilingual version of the zarzuela La Dolorosa for International Women ́s Day, and directed the first opera ever presented at Bay Street Theatre, returning for six seasons.

Bay Street Theater is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center, which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. It serves as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.


Photos courtesy of Bay Street


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