Cleveland Opera Theater
@ Nighttown - Cole Porter
Eat, Drink and Enjoy the music of Cole Porter
April, 23 7:30pm
$40 General Admission Tickets
Cleveland Opera Theater offers a unique one-night-only performance of songs from the Great American Songbook
each year at Nighttown. Our annual performance for 2020 features the music of Cole Porter. Enjoy great food and drink from the menu while you experience the most beloved songs by this iconic composer. Performed UpClose in Nighttown's
intimate jazz club atmosphere.
Nighttown food and drink menu will be available for purchase
à la carte at your table.
Meet the Artists
Maria DiDonato (soprano) is a multi-talented Cleveland based artist. She specializes in classical, musical theatre, jazz, rock, and pop music. She is an award winning songwriter, music director, actress, pianist, vocalist, band leader, teacher, and church music ministry leader. She has obtained a Bachelor of Music Education with a Minor in Theatre and a Master of Music (Vocal Performance) from Cleveland State University. Maria is a professor of musical theater at Cleveland State and a music theory professor at Cuyahoga Community College.
Maria is the manager and lead vocalist of local jazz group Hip to That, and plays all throughout northeast Ohio. Some of her favorite engagements include music directing at Playhouse Square, recording an album/performing with renowned hip hop violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain, opening for the rapper Common at the Wolstein Center, and performing the National Anthem for President Barack Obama. Favorite roles in operas and musicals include Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, Christine in Phantom of the Opera, Fräulein Kost in Cabaret, and the Seawitch in The Little Mermaid.
Pianist Ben Malkevitch is in demand as a music director, vocal coach, organist, and pianist in the greater Cleveland area. He has a versatility and depth of knowledge in the fields of opera, musical theatre, and choral music. This fall, he joined the staff of Baldwin Wallace University. Recently, he was the chorus director for Verdi's Requiem, performed under the baton of James Gaffigan with CityMusic Cleveland and was chorusmaster as well as vocal coach and rehearsal pianist for Opera Western Reserve's production of Verdi's Macbeth in Youngstown. Ben is the choir director and organist at Lakewood Congregational Church, as well as the regular collaborative pianist at Temple Emanu El. Last year, he founded Lakewood Singers' Forum, a group supporting the singing community in Cleveland and beyond. Ben is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he earned a Master's of Music in Collaborative Piano, studying with Virginia Weckstrom. He is passionate about art song, new music, and designing cogent supertitle translations for classical vocal performances. Please visit malkevitch.com for upcoming performances.
Baritone Benjamin Czarnota originated the role of Mr. Webb in the world premiere of Ned Rorem's operatic setting of the iconic Thornton Wilder play Our Town. Other notable roles include Stanley Kowalski in Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Guglielmo in Così fan tutte, Schaunard in La Bohème, and Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, as well as roles in The Merry Widow, Susanna, Savitri, and Un Ballo in Maschera with companies such as Wichita Grand Opera, Cleveland Opera, Cleveland Opera Theater, Opera Circle Cleveland, The Janiec Opera Company, and the Indiana University Opera Theater. While attending Indiana University, he was chosen by baritone Håkan Hagegård to perform the role of Anton Chekov in Dominick Argento's A Few Words About Chekov in music written for the world renowned singer. He has also appeared as baritone soloist in the Fauré Requiem, Puccini's Messa di Gloria, the Mozart Requiem, and Handel's Messiah in appearances with the Traverse Symphony and the BlueWater Chamber Orchestras. Regional music theatre roles include the title role in Sweeney Todd, Marcus Lycus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Freddy in My Fair Lady, the Father in Children of Eden, and, most recently Emile de Beque in South Pacific, a production with the Akron Symphony Orchestra at EJ Thomas Hall. He also served for two seasons as the official national anthem singer of the Cleveland Browns, performing at all home games. Czarnota is a Level III Certified Teacher of Somatic VoiceWork™ - The LoVetri Method and particularly interested in working with singing actors to cultivate an understanding of and relationship to their instrument that will enable them to perform successfully across the widest breadth of musical styles desired and with access to the full extent of dramatic choices healthily possible. He is the Coordinator of Musical Theater Voice at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, having formerly served as a member of the voice faculty at the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music for over a decade. During this time, he has seen students go on to perform in leading roles on Broadway in the casts of American Psycho, Anastasia, Godspell, Hands on a Hard Body, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables, and ONCE; and on National Tours in: A Chorus Line, The Color Purple, Flashdance, Kinky Boots, and Wicked. In addition, former students have been seen all over the country in countless regional productions. In his private studio, he has worked with everyone from a Tony award-winning singing actress to a speaking actor in a one-person play portraying dozens of uniquely voiced characters across the full spectrum of gender, age, and origin.