The Hudson Riverfront Performing Arts Center, Inc. (HRPAC) will host its annual benefit concert and dinner gala at the Chart House Restaurant in Weehawken on Saturday, April 16 at 6 p.m. The evening will honor of late state Supreme Court Justice Marie Garibaldi, who lived in Weehawken, where the HRPAC effort is also based.
HRPAC is a non-profit organization that runs several free concert series on the Hudson Countywaterfront, and ultimately would like to build a performing arts center on the waterfront.
Until her passing in January, Garibaldi had been HRPAC’s chairwoman since the organization’s inception and one of its driving forces.
Justice Garibaldi’s accomplishments as a groundbreaking figure in the New Jersey legal world are well known. She was the first woman Supreme Court justice in the state’s history and was also the first woman president of the New Jersey Bar Association.
Less known was Garibaldi’s giving side. She firmly believed in the importance of philanthropy and volunteerism and served on many boards including that of the Hackensack University Medical Center.
Bruce Sherman, HRPAC’s president and executive director, remembers Garibaldi as an “extremely generous soul who inspired others. Garibaldi gave financial resources to our organization and introduced us to other who could help as well. She also volunteered countless hours to the work of our board of trustees and to our annual benefit gala. She encouraged our gala committee to work hard in an effort to benefit our non-profit.”
Garibaldi’s neighbor, Dorothy Riley, was a lifelong friend whom Garibaldi enlisted for the gala committee. “It was hard to say no to Marie. I and the rest of the committee members were devastated by her loss but believe in the work of HRPAC and want the fundraiser to be the best yet, as a tribute to Garibaldi.”
Garibaldi was also involved with many Italian-American organizations and causes. Due to her love for all things Italian, Sherman felt that it would be fitting to pay tribute to Garibaldi by presenting “An Evening of Italian Song” performed by four exceptionally talented and up and coming operatic tenors.
Tenors with a future
Years ago Sherman worked in opera management and has engaged four gifted singers whom he feels are likely to have major careers in the future. They are Piotr Buszewski, Eric Margiore, Matthew White, and Mackenzie Whitney. And they will be accompanied by Danielle Orlando, who has collaborated with major opera stars, including legendary tenors Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Andrea Bocelli.
Sherman said, “The program will be a similar format to that of the hugely popular ‘Three Tenors’ phenomenon which thrilled audiences worldwide in the ’90s and early 2000s. We will have four tenors and I am confident that the program by our four tenors will be just as enjoyable and, probably more so, because the audience will see and hear them up close. The evening will include well-loved and popular arias and Neapolitan songs. It will no doubt be a fun and joyous evening. I know Garibaldi would have approved!”
This is HRPAC’s only ticketed event of the year. Through its two concert series, Summer Concerts on the Hudson and the UBS Atrium Series, HRPAC has brought diverse programming to the North Hudson region. HRPAC has additionally presented educational programs to thousands of students in most of Hudson County’s school districts. Over its 13-year history, HRPAC has presented scores of concerts and shows, many of which have featured Grammy and Tony winning artists. These presentations, which are offered free of charge to the general public, have attracted thousands of fans from Hudson County and the New York metropolitan area. HRPAC concerts are co-sponsored by the Hudson Reporter.
For more information on the April 16 benefit gala, including how to purchase tickets, please visit HRPAC’s web site at www.hrpac.org or call the HRPAC office at (201) 430-6881.