Two Minnesota Opera resident artists will perform in the opening concert of the Lakeville Area Art Center's "Coffee Concerts" series at 2 p.m. next Sunday.

Mezzo-soprano Victoria Vargas and tenor John Robert Lindsey will take the stage. Tickets are $15, or $12 for seniors and students. See or call 952-985-4640 for tickets or more information. The arts center is at 20965 Holyoke Av. The show is sponsored by Kingsley Shores Senior Community.

Vargas is entering her fourth season as a resident artist with the opera, having performed as Tisbe in "Cinderella," Anna in "Mary Stuart," Flora in "La traviata," Nelly in "Wuthering Heights" and many other roles. This season she appears as Adelaide in "Arabella," Natacha Rambova in "The Dream of Valentino" and the Third Lady in "The Magic Flute." She was a second place Upper Midwest regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions last year.

Lindsey, a recent graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder, has had roles including the tenor soloist in Handel's "Messiah," Sam Polk in Carlisle Floyd's "Susannah" and the stage manager in Ned Rorem's "Our Town." He was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the past two years, as well as taking third place in 2010 and first place in 2011 at the Denver Lyric Opera Guild competition.

The Coffee Concert series consists of four performances from now through May. The second in the series is the Chesnut Brass Company on Feb. 9. The shows are intimate performances in a setting designed to inspire conversation between the artists and the audience. And, of course, coffee is served.


Author to discuss South St. Paul of old

Local author and retired University of St. Thomas history Prof. Scott Wright will read from and discuss his book, "Of Snapping Turtles And Packing Plants," at 7 p.m. Jan 16 at the Dakota County Historical Society's Lawshe Memorial Museum, 130 3rd Av. N., South St. Paul. Admission is free, but attendees should call 651-552-7548 to reserve a seat.

The book is a semiautobiographical tale based in South St. Paul as it was in the 1940s and '50s. Wright will discuss "how his book … explores the boundaries between autobiography and fiction," according to the Historical Society. Copies of the book are available in the museum gift shop.


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