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Cristina Fontanelli in concert (Credit: Daniel Robinson)
Cristina Fontanelli in concert
(Credit: Daniel Robinson, courtesy)

A tradition will return to the North Fork on Saturday when Opera in the Hamptons presents “Cristina Fontanelli and her Fabulous Friends: From Opera to Broadway” at Duck Walk Vineyards North in Southold.

An award-winning opera singer, Broadway performer and PBS/WLIW TV host, Cristina Fontanelli and several world-renowned artists will perform a selection of the world’s greatest opera arias, duets and trios; as well as Broadway favorites and classic songs in Italian and Spanish. Kaitlyn Heath, a 9-year-old student at Southold Elementary School, has also been invited to perform.

This year’s concert will be bittersweet for many as one of its biggest promoters and supporters, Dr. Herodotus Damianos, will not be in attendance. Dr. Damianos, a North Fork wine pioneer and founder of Pindar Vineyards, Long Island’s largest vineyard, died last year.

Dr. Damianos was a patron of the arts and a major supporter of Opera of the Hamptons. He loved opera and for many years hosted the concert at Duck Walk Vineyards. This year’s concert is dedicated to his memory.

Saturday's concert is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Herodotus Damianos (Credit: Ellen Watson)
Saturday’s concert is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Herodotus Damianos
(Credit: Ellen Watson)

“I know this performance means a lot to myself and my family,” said Alex Damianos, owner and general manager of Duck Walk Vineyards South in Water Mill. “My father had such a love of opera, so to be able to have people enjoy something like this on the North Fork, there’s nothing like it. Our last performance had 175 people, so we expect the same this year, if not more, in memory of my father.”

Cristina Fontanelli is also feeling the loss of Dr. Damianos and is even considering creating a musical scholarship in his memory.

“When it came to the arts during this difficult recession, Dr. Damianos’ help was urgently needed, so we really owe him a debt of gratitude. Through the years we became friendly. I miss him, but his memory and what he did will live on,” she said.

“We’re all grateful to Dr. Damianos for what he’s done,” Fontanelli said. “We’re going to keep his memory alive this way and it’s a beautiful way to be remembered.”

“Opera in the Hamptons presents “Cristina Fontanelli and her Fabulous Friends: From Opera to Broadway” takes place this Saturday, July 18, at 7:00 p.m. at Duckwalk Vineyards (4435 Main Road, Southold.) Tickets range from $47 to $57.

To purchase tickets, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1673300.

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