Thursday, March 15, 2018

A Little Night Music on the Beach

"I cried through the entire thing!" 
-- Sophie, a concert attendee, March 10, 2018

Opera music filled the warm beach night air. Three sopranos amazed throughout the performance. Their voices floated down to us as if angels singing from above.

Nadia Neiazy, Anjali Caillat and Anica Lazin shared their heavenly voices with us


Anjali Caillat and Nadia Neiazy were visiting from Canada. Their former voice coach, Anica Lazin, now lives in Coastal Ecuador. Together with pianist Cyndy Wergin, they provided a magical night to more than 120 guests.


The night began with a social hour at The Sea Garden House, a lovely hotel on the beach. Hotel owners Maria and Rodolfo's friends from Guayaquil volunteered to play live background music as attendees arrived and settled in with appetizers and drinks.

Many excited conversations centered on how long it had been since each of us had heard live opera. For some, the answer was never, for others, several years. We all had one thing in common - we had not heard it performed on the Ecuador coast.

When the sopranos took the stage (the balcony next to the tree house hotel room you can rent), the audience was silent with anticipation. The magic began when Nadia, Anjali and Anica sang J. Offenbach's Barcarolle from Les contes d'Hoffman. Fourteen songs later, the audience was still rapt.

If you would like to virtually participate in this concert, here are the last two songs of the evening.
Gershwin's Summertime from Porgy and Bess

Delibes' Duo des fleurs from Lakmé

Conversation during the post-concert social hour centered around how amazing the performance was. We all hope Nadia and Anjali visit some day to team up with Anica and Cyndy again.

Olon Orphanage 

This fundraising concert benefited the Santa Maria de la Esperanza Orphanage in Olon, Ecuador (Olon Orphanage). Regular readers are familiar with this orphanage, which is close to my heart. You can find previous posts here.

The orphanage opened 27 years ago and the women who started it all attended the concert. One of them, Isabel the orphanage director, spoke eloquently about how government funding provides for food and specialists (psychologists, etc.). The orphanage relies on the generosity of others for everything else. She brought tears to many eyes with her heart-felt appreciation while thanking the global community for all we do for the children they raise.

Isabel, Orphanage Director speaking straight from her heart to ours

Fundraising Results

Friends of Santa Maria Orphanage (FOSMO) held this fundraising concert at The Sea Garden House in Olon. (Full disclosure: I am a FOSMO board member.) Anjali ensured fundraising success before she left her Canadian home to sing in Ecuador by raising $2000!

Anjali presenting check for funds she raised in Canada
Inset is darkened version of the check above for easier viewing

All told, we raised more than $4100 for the benefit of the orphanage! Thank you to all attendees, Rodolfo and Maria at The Sea Garden House, performers Anjali, Nadia, Anica and Cyndy, my fellow FOSMO board members, and Anjali's friends and family for your part in making this such a successful and amazing night.


  1. Great article Emily! Thank you for all of your help as well!

    1. Thanks Mark! The concert could not have been as successful without your efforts.

  2. Hi Emily - sounds like it was a great event ... and how lovely to have Canadian friends, who came down to share their love of classical music with mutual friends in Ecuador - while benefiting the orphanage at the same time. Excellent - loved the photos and the concept - thanks for posting your thoughts about it ... cheers Hilary

    1. Hi Hilary,

      I just realized I completely forgot to mention that the performers were at the orphanage the day before our concert. They gave a mini-concert to all of the children there! The kids absolutely loved it, too.

      Thank you so much for your kind comments.

  3. Great way to raise funds for the orphanage!! The location looks beautiful!

    1. The location was perfect and you're right, a great way to raise funds. Thank you, Lisa, for stopping by and commenting.