In August another wonderful alumni couple decided to have their ceremony in their adopted city of Philadelphia. Eglise Gutierrez and Burak Bilgili were married in a ceremony amongst friends and family. The guests came from all over, including Burak’s family from Turkey and Eglise’s family and friends from Florida. I got a change to see alums Ellie Dehn, James Valenti, Luis Ledesima, Latonia Moore and Othalie Graham and find out their performing schedules – but that’s for another blog. Dean of Students Val Starr was the wedding coordinator for the happy couple and helped with everything from decorations to food, which was both Cuban and Turkish, and loved by all.
The last AVA wedding of the season was that of Ailyn Perez and Stephen Costello, again in Philadelphia, where the couple resides. As with most opera singers, there’s no time to rest up before the big day; Ailyn and Stephen flew back from Salzburg only 7 days before the event. Actually Ailyn had not been home to Philadelphia in almost four months because of performances in Japan, St. Louis, and Saltsburg. With the help from both families and the internet, the wedding was a beautiful event. The ceremony was made special with the help of fellow musicians Aprile Millo, and Bryan Hymel. AVA alums Joseph Specter (and his wife Kate), and Matthew Arnold were part of the bridal party. It was a rainy day in Philadelphia but the sun was shining on the happy couple.