Those of you who have spent time sitting at our bar in the evening have probably met Opera John. And if you’ve met him you certainly know that he loves his hops and he loves his opera. He even got a few people from his group in to sing for us one night. Well Johns drank enough of my beers that we figured it was about time to name one after him. Since he likes his hops we figured it would only be appropriate to make an IPA. So here’s Hopera John, a big IPA hopped with Amarillo, Citra and of course, Bravo hops. John and I will be at the bar enjoying a couple of them this Monday around 6:00. Maybe we’ll even get some singers in for the occasion! I asked John to tell us alittle about himself and how he developed his love for opera. What he sent me is below my signature. See you Monday!
When you informed me of the beer coming out in my name, I was so thrilled and exciting that this was happening to me in my late 60′s. I got involved in opera at an early age with my first job being at 15 working in a candy store in my neighborhood in Philadelphia. The owner, an Italian who settled in Port Richmond used to play opera. He would bring me back past the candy room to listen to the opera greats.
I was raised with music playing in the house, with artists as neighbors and friends. The great wirter, composerr and musican, William Zaccagni, Vince Trumbetta the great horn and sax man, his sister the great singer Joan Trumbetta Lanza who married Lous Lanza of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and their son Lou Lanza, also a singer. Also the great sculptor and teacher Anthony Visco.
Attending schoolin St. Louis I had a roomate from Baltimore that I keep in touch with. He was an Italian man from Baltimore and he took me to my first opera at the Metropolitan Opera. I wanted to know more about the art; listening, reading and taking courses in Opera. I started attending the Opera Company in Philadelphia and the Met in New York. I travelled to see opera in the great opera houses in Europe and met the greats of opera. It was about six years ago that I became involved in the academy of vocal arts (AVA) in Philadelphia. It is a school for artists around the world who win a scholarship. Helen Warren was a great opera lover who started this facility, leaving an endowment for the school.
There are three auxilliary organizations to help with the scholarship and fellowship funding; The Bucks County Opera Association, Mainline Opera Association, and the South Jersey Opera Association (of which I am the President). My goal in the art is to bring people’s awareness of the art.
John McCarthy, President, SJOA