AVAlum James Valenti and current Resident Artist and MONCA National Winner Marina Costa-Jackson discuss working together for BrAVA Philadelphia!
Marina Costa-Jackson is second from left
Regarding the experience of performing at the venue itself, Marina said, “you are already treated like a star with by those that have organized the competition. Everyone we worked with was nice and respectful.” Marina also mentioned that singing on the stage itself was surreal.
“I came backstage and thought, ‘did that really just happen?’ You’re performing onstage where your famous soprano idols have sung which definitely adds to the fear of the performance but makes the experience enjoyable as well.”
Incidentally, Marina will be performing “Teco io sto... Gran Dio!” from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera with alum and 2002 National Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, James Valenti at AVA’s BrAVA Philadelphia! 80th Anniversary Gala and Concert.
“James is such a professional and made me feel at ease as soon as we started working together,” Marina recalls. “It would be easy to be intimidated at the prospect of singing with him because of his success as an artist, but it’s a testament to his professionalism that he made me feel at ease. I have so much respect for him as an artist and it’s an honor to be able to perform with him.
On his duet with Marina, James said that he was “struck by her presence and her composure, especially at such a young age. Marina’s maturity is beyond her years and I was very impressed with her."
“It’s also nice to be back and I’m looking forward to seeing and working with old colleagues again,” James says of the upcoming performance. “Some of my best musical memories are from AVA and working with Maestro Macatsoris.”
BrAVA Philadelphia! 80th Anniversary Gala and Concert will begin at 8pm at Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts on Friday, March 27, 2015.
Academy of Vocal Arts Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition Winners:
2014 - Patrick Guetti
2012 - Margaret Mezzacappa
2011 - Michelle Johnson
2002 - James Valenti
2001 - Jesus Garcia
2000 - Latonia Moore
Samantha van Adelsberg is a Los Angeles native working in AVA's marketing department and managing the AVA Young Professionals group. Samantha holds two degrees from Binghamton University in English and Vocal Performance and is an active rock vocalist in the Philadelphia music scene.