Falling In Love Concert

CUBA — Over the past several months, the Palmer Opera House in Cuba has remained solvent during the pandemic through a number of music festivals, raffles and food sales.

The opera house will benefit from another fundraiser this weekend when the Fall-ing in Love Concert will provide a performance for both an in-house audience as well as a virtual audience from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 for the live performance, while donations for the virtual performance will be accepted in a “tip jar” during livestreaming of the show through a link at the Palmer Opera House website, palmeroperahouse.com

Marcia Wymer, chief organizer and performer of the 90-minute show, said the event will be open to 30 people at the Opera House to ensure social distancing is maintained by the audience, who are required to wear masks.

Wymer, who is employed by the Allegany-Limestone Central School District, is also coordinator of liturgy and music at St. Bonaventure University and music director at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse for the Franciscan Sisters of Allegany. In her spare time, she has directed and performed in community and school musicals in the area that have included the Opera House.

“It’s such a great organization and they do so many good things,” Wymer said of the Opera House. “I’ve done different shows there and I teach a theater camp there. They’re just so welcoming and interested in providing good stuff for the community … and they’re the best people to work with.”

Wymer said the singers and musicians with the production will perform a number of love songs from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as Broadway tunes and music from the Swing and Jazz eras for the performance.

“It’s kind of a mixture of things from most of the music that I grew up singing … the musicians are fabulous” and include Angela Emley, Paul Nelson, Gia Haid and Eric Van Druff, who plays the drums and serves as music director, Wymer continued. All of the performers are providing their time and efforts on a volunteer basis.

The group rehearsed in-person over the past couple of months while being mindful of Covid guidelines and related safety issues.

“We rehearsed a few times over the past few months with social distancing,” Wymer explained. “We were spread out as far as we could to rehearse and everybody wore masks” during the sessions.

Michele Conklin, director and theater manager of the Opera House, said the organization is “most appreciative” of the concert and any money it raises.

“As with everyone — we have had to become creative in order to keep the doors open at The Palmer,” Conklin said. “We have done chicken BBQs with the Perfect Blend Eatery and Coffee Shoppe, we have had bake sales, soup and chili sales and our Music On The Lawn Series this summer have been so well-attended and supported by the many faithful followers. The Palmer has become so important to the area and nobody wants to see it go away.”

To make a reservation and purchase tickets for the in-person concert, call the Opera House at 12 W. Main St. at (585) 209-5512.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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