, Salem, MA


March 21, 2013

'Bon Appetit'

Opera celebrates Julia Child's culinary expertise and spirit


Archer had a number of guests he didn’t want to disappoint, so he called Child in Cambridge, thinking she could provide a solution from her vast knowledge of the cooking process.

“She said, ‘I know exactly what to do,’” Archer said. “‘Turn the lights off.’”

He took her suggestion and served the chowder by candlelight, which disguised it well enough for people to enjoy their meals.

While he loves Child’s humor, Archer also appreciates the serious impact she had on American life and considers the culinary arts an important part of our cultural experience.

“She revolutionized cooking, which is a big part of everybody’s life,” he said. “To add these aesthetics into our lives, so that common housewives are making Crepes Suzette and using wine in cooking — it accelerated our taste buds to a new level, and no one else was doing it.”

In the same fashion, Music at Eden’s Edge believes it’s important to bring great music into the community, which they accomplish by offering free programs throughout the year.

These include a summer concert series for seniors and families, and youth chamber concerts that bring music into public schools around the North Shore.

“We want to be present in our community,” said Maria Benotti, director of the ensemble. “We do fundraisers so we can do these outreach programs free.”

Fortunato has appeared with Eden’s Edge before, at a concert in 2000, and Benotti appreciates the demands she must meet to perform “Bon Appetit.”

“I think for most of us, doing two things that are complex at once is challenging,” she said. “Singing and acting are difficult. Singers’ bodies are their instruments, and you also act with your body. So that has to be integrated.”

Eden’s Edge holds two benefit concerts per year, and Benotti appreciates the support the community has already shown.

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