Opera Night at La Trattoria in Old Town Alexandria with Pianist and Tenor Carlos Ibay

Although there is no recorded history that Mozart ever visited the Andean country of Bolivia (in fact he never traveled outside of Europe as far as we know) his musical spirit was infused into the Bolivian folkloric song “Llorando Se Fue” with the help of concert pianist and tenor Carlos Ibay. To the delight of a well represented audience of Bolivians, including a Venezuelan and Peruvian, Ibay performed an instrumental version of “Llorando Se Fue” (which was made popular by los Kjarkas), at the La Trattoria Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria, imaginatively combining several musical traditions during the restaurant’s Opera night.
In a rich tenor voice and with great pianistic virtuosity, Ibay performed a  wonderful array of operatic arias from Puccini’s “La Boheme,” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” to Broadway gems such as “Maria” from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story, and Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” Carlos Ibay enthralled his audience as they enjoyed La Trattoria’s exquisite Italian fare.
On the program were also great Italian Art songs, including “Santa Lucia” and “O Solo Mio,” cleverly interspersed with a selection of bossa nova songs sung by Carlos Ibay’s cousin, “Bambi” Lourdes Benadette Manalang. Her rendition of the Sesame Street theme song was a showstopper and a definite audience sing-along.
More pieces such as “Estrellita” by Manuel Ponce from Mexico, works by Ernesto Lecuona from Cuba, and the Franz Liszt operatic transcription from the Opera Faust, showed Carlos Ibay’s skill as a pianist. Last but not least was his celebratory Happy Birthday greeting for an audience member, with a rousing transcription at the piano of Happy Birthday in the various musical styles of Mozart, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and even in the style of a Gregorian chant.
Finally with the Schubert version of “Ave Maria,” Carlos Ibay transcended his audience to another world.
For all music lovers, Opera Night with Carlos Ibay at the La Trattoria Restaurant in Old Town Alexandria is not to be missed.
Carlos Ibay will also be performing the Tchaikovsky Concerto No.1 in B flat minor, Opus 23  with the Manassas Symphony at the Hylton Performing Arts Center March 3rd at 7:30 pm (10960 George Mason Circle Manassas, Va  20110,  tickets 888-945-2468,703 853 0749.) Also included in the programming will be the Symphony No. 7 by Antonin Dvorak, and works by Gian Francesco Malipiero and Charles Ives.

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