Diva departs after 13 years on Juneau stages

She'll be studying religion, but farewell is no solemn affair

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2007

Besides founding Opera to GO!, Juneau soprano Joyce Parry Moore has performed with Theatre in the Rough, CrossSound, the Juneau Lyric Opera, Perseverance Theatre and the Juneau Symphony since moving here 13 years ago.

Her 7:30 p.m. Saturday benefit concert with Portland mezzo-soprano Beth Madsen Bradford - "Two Divas, Four Breasts, One Cure" - will be her last performance in town for at least a few years.

Parry Moore, her husband, Patrick, and their daughter, Ariana, are moving to Berkeley, Calif., where she will study for three years at the Pacific School of Religion.

She was accepted a few years ago but had to postpone her studies due to her battle with breast cancer.

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Proceeds from Saturday evening will benefit Cancer Connections, a Juneau nonprofit organization that provides travel grants and assistance to cancer patients and their families.

"We'll be doing opera favorites, and we'll be doing musical theater also," Parry Moore said. "It's going to be really fun and uplifting and accessible. It's all for a good cause."

Conductor William Todd Hunt is taking over as artistic director of Opera to GO! The group is planning a production of "Dido and Aeneas."

Parry Moore and Madsen Bradford met last April, when they were two of four featured soloists in the Juneau Symphony's presentation of Verdi's "Requiem." On Sunday in Portland, Ore., they performed a concert similar to Saturday's.

"(Beth and I) realized we were separated at birth, and then she's from Portland, which is where I did my radiation vacation," Parry Moore said. "We palled around when I was there, and we decided we had to sing together again."

Parry Moore and Bradford also will perform together this November with Juneau Symphony conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett's other orchestra, the North State Symphony in Chico, Calif.

Portland pianist Joey Prather, an opera coach, will accompany the singers Saturday. The three, with dancer Eliza Soule, also will host a "divas workshop" at 6:30 tonight in the Baranof Hotel's Treadwell Room.

"It's about affirmation, positive health images and some creative group exercises and some group singing," Parry Moore said. "It's for anyone that wants to feel together about their inner diva. It's an evening to increase your self-esteem and your creativity."

• Korry Keeker can be reached at korry.keeker@juneauempire.com.

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