VIDA Guitar Quartet to perform free concert


The Beaches Fine Arts Series will present the VIDA Guitar Quartet in a free concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Jacksonville Beach. This British ensemble will be joined by soprano Christine Alfano for a beautiful performance of Hector Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5.

Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and seating is first come, first served. A reception follows with an art exhibit by Maiya Elaine.

Founded in 2007, the VIDA Guitar Quartet brings together four of the UK’s most exceptional guitarists: Christopher Stell, Mark Eden (the renowned Eden Stell Duo), Amanda Cook and Mark Ashford.

The VIDA Guitar Quartet has appeared on some of North America’s and Europe’s most prestigious stages for classical guitar. Notable performances include the 2015 Guitar Federation of America Annual Conference, the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Cornell University Concert Series, Atlanta’s Spivey Hall, Washington, D.C.’s Dumbarton Concerts, the Winter Park (Florida) Bach Festival, University of New Orleans, the Long Island Guitar Festival and the Allegro Guitar Series in Dallas, Fort Worth, and Las Vegas.

In the UK, they have appeared at London’s Purcell Room and Kingʼs Place, The Sage (Gateshead), Turner Sims (Southampton) and St. Georgeʼs (Bristol).

Following their acclaimed début CD, “Love, the Magician,” VIDA released their second CD, “Rhapsody,” in 2013, featuring works by George Gershwin, Malcolm Arnold and Adam Gorb. Their latest CD, released in 2015, is “The Leaves be Green,” with works by British composers including Benjamin Britten, Vaughan Williams, Elgar and more.

Praised for her “enticing strength and marvelous vocal character” (Arts Knoxville), Alfano’s powerful and sparkling voice has charmed audiences at home and abroad. Often described as possessing an “important” and “luscious” Verdian instrument by top coaches and conductors, her voice is particularly at home in the music of the bel canto, romantic and veristic periods.

She has performed in concerts, outreach events, and operas with organizations including Knoxville Opera, Marble City Opera, Florida State Opera, Tennessee Opera Theatre, Vienna Summer Music Festival, Gulfshore Opera, Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival and Brancaleoni International Music Festival.

In December, she appeared as a featured soloist in Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noel in Jacksonville. Earlier this season, she tackled the title role of Angelica in Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” with Bold City Opera and appeared as a guest soloist in Vivaldi’s “Gloria” with The Bolles School.

Highlights of recent seasons include a role debut as Rosalinde in Strauss II’s “Die Fledermaus” and Zweite Dame in Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte,” both with Tennessee Opera Theatre.

Alfano has also been engaged in several world premieres.

Elaine is a native Floridian who began studying the arts at the age of 9. Graduating from the 2014 class of Douglas Anderson, she trained as a theatre technician, studying set design, lighting, sound, costume and prop making, focusing on scenic painting. By junior year, she became the lead painter for that year’s major musical theatre production, “Beauty and the Beast,” in 2012.

She acts as culture correspondent on First Coast Living’s monthly segment, “The Artist Corner with Maiya Elaine,” where she discusses arts and culture events happening in Jacksonville. She is currently working on murals around Jacksonville and a smaller series of work in the studio.

Signature Concert Sponsors for this concert are Hud and Rolly Berrey. For further information, call 904-270-1771 or go to