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Alumnae Use Opera to Support MCC


Four Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) alumnae are teaming up for the fifth annual “Voices of Hope, Winter Opera Gala” to support the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

The event will feature renowned operatic soprano, Madeline Bender, who graduated in 1993. Two former EMU field hockey players Gina Hoover Breslin ’92 and Jeané Horning Hershey ’94 are on the planning committee for the event. Amy Warnick Troyer ’91 is the chairperson for the event. The four women became friends on their 1991 EMU cross-cultural semester to Munich, Germany, where Bender’s appetite for opera was whetted.

“I had the opportunity to attend (in 2010) and I was immediately hooked,” said Breslin. “Madeline is so talented and amazingly generous – donating her time and talents to such a good cause.”

The fifth annual “Voices of Hope” event will feature renowned operatic soprano, Madeline Bender, a 1993 graduate of EMU. Photo by Jon Styer.

Bender’s husband Paul Whelan, a bass-baritone opera singer from New Zealand, is scheduled to appear with Bender in Voices of Hope. The EMU Chamber Singers will also perform at the gala.

Voices of Hope will be held Saturday, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m., at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The event will feature a range of musical styles, from spirituals and operatic pieces to excerpts from well-loved musicals. All proceeds from the concert will go to support MCC community-based education programs.

About Madeline Bender

Praised in Opera News for her “glowing, full-bodied lyric soprano” and “haunting timbre,” Madeline Bender’s operatic roles include “Violetta in La Traviata,” with both Santa Fe Opera, and Vancouver Opera; “Konstanza in Entfuhrung aus dem Serail,” at the Aix en Provence festival, “Baden Baden,” at the royal opera house in Luxembourg; “Helena,” in A Midsummer Nights Dream with Glyndebourne opera, and at the Royal Opera House in Brussels; as well as concert appearances including “Beethoven’s ninth symphony,” with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Sir John Elliot Gardiner, and “Handel’s Messiah,” with the Toronto Symphony with Sir Andrew Davis conducting.

More information

For more information on the Global Family Program or to sponsor, visit donate.mcc.org/global-family.

Tickets for the winter gala are available through the Fulton Theater box office by calling 717-397-7425; or online.

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