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Get a head start on Valentine’s Day.

Metropolitan Opera stars Melissa Citro and Clay Hilley will present Romance in the Air, an afternoon of opera duets and other loving songs at The Church-in-the-Gardens in Forest Hills on Saturday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m. Local pianist — and church regular — Barbara Podgurski will accompany them.

The artists will offer parts of Wagner’s “Die Walkure,” and pieces by Puccini, Verdi, Janavek, Dvorak, and others. Plus, they will attend a post-show reception to meet audience members.

Citro is a soprano who radiates security and power when on stage. A scholarship winner to Westminster Choir College and the Juilliard School, the Illinois native’s resume includes stints with LA Opera, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Hawaii Opera Theatre, SF Opera, New Orleans Opera and Music Academy of the West, among other companies.

Her partner, Hilley, was described by The New York Times as a “heroic” tenor with vocal heft, clarion sound and stage stamina. He has worked at many of the same companies as Citro and performed around the world, including at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. The Georgia native has developed a reputation for his skill at Wagner pieces, and in fact, he won the Wagner Society of New York’s top prize, the Robert Lauch Award, in 2015.

Podgurski holds a degree in piano performance and music theory from the Mannes College of Music. The longtime Maspeth resident has played around the world, but she’s also the executive and artistic director of Music Reginae Productions, which presents concerts throughout the borough, especially at The Church-in-the-Gardens, such as this one on Feb. 10.

General ticket prices are $20, but students pay $10. Children under age 13 can attend for free, if they are accompanied by adults.

Images: Musica Reginae Productions


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