Valparaiso’s Historic Memorial Opera House Hosts Evening of Classical Music, Featuring the South Shore Orchestra

Valparaiso’s Historic Memorial Opera House Hosts Evening of Classical Music, Featuring the South Shore Orchestra

One of the best-kept secrets in Valparaiso enjoyed the chance to show off their talent last night with an evening of classical music. The South Shore Orchestra presented a show of resurrection-themed music, featuring features Alan Hovhaness’ Janabar and moved into the Requiem Aternam by Giacomo Puccini, featuring Maura Janton Cock, Soprano and Jamie Caporizzo, Mezzo-Soprano.

To see more photos from this event, click here!

As the orchestra took their seats and warmed up their instruments, we were able to speak with Stacy Ruiz, front of house manager for Memorial Opera House.

“I have the best job! I get to come here and hear this beautiful music in this historic setting – it’s just wonderful,” said Ruiz. “This is such a wonderful place to hear this music, and the South Shore Orchestra is our resident orchestra. This is their home, and we’re very glad to have them. This is our second year featuring the South Shore Orchestra, and we’re looking forward to their upcoming concerts later this year.”

Memorial Opera House's Kirsten Renehan agreed.

“Troy Webdell is our conductor, maestro, and music director. He’s remarkable at blending music pieces together, and he’s always wanted to do a concert with Nancy Menk (Director NISO Chorus), to blend together a mixture of the choral and the symphonic, and that’s the theme – “Symphonic Voices.”

“South Shore Orchestra is Valparaiso’s very own orchestra,” said Renehan.”This is our eighth year doing this, but still some people don’t even know we exist. We’re hoping to do a Veteran’s Day concert this year. We are looking for sponsorship to help us do that. We’d like to do a Holiday Pops concert, as well.”

The Memorial Opera House was filled nearly to capacity for the night’s performance. Built in 1893, the intimate setting seemed a perfect match for the night’s performance, with wonderful acoustics and turn-of-the-century architectural details lending ambiance to the voices of both the chorus as well as the instruments.

Ruth and Floyd Samplawski, Valparaiso residents enjoyed the show.

“We loved it! We’re celebrating out 50th wedding anniversary and this is our first time visiting the opera house here,” said Floyd.

“We were very surprised at the talent,”said Ruth. ”The orchestra was just wonderful. We had such a nice time here tonight… we’ll definitely come back again!”

For more information on the Memorial Opera House, visit them on the web at, and if you’d like to learn more about the South Shore Orchestra, you can read more about their programs at