Now IKEA really does have everything -- including opera

  • Opera performance
    Opera performance
    Alexandra Witt '12 will be among those performing at IKEA in Woodbridge, Va., this weekend. She is pictured here during a recent opera master class with William Joyner '84.
    Photo by Stephen Salpukas

A group of William & Mary opera singers will find themselves performing in an unusual setting this weekend.

Two students, an alumnus and the director of the William & Mary Opera Workshop will perform at the IKEA home furnishings store in Woodbridge, Va., on Jan. 28 at 2 and 4 p.m. The performances are part of the store’s 25th anniversary celebration, which will include four days of music, giveaways and other promotional activities.

The opera singers were invited to participate in the weekend by store manager and College alumnus Fredrik Rabe ‘94, whose sister Carin Rabe ‘01 studied with opera workshop director Ryan Fletcher while she was a student at William & Mary. Carin Rabe, who now works for IKEA in Sweden, had students from the opera workshop perform at her wedding.

“(It) was a huge hit, and it left an impression on me,” said Fredrik Rabe in an e-mail to Fletcher.

When the store manager began planning the anniversary weekend, he remembered the William & Mary opera singers.

“We want to make this a special day,” Fredrik Rabe said in the e-mail. “I will have a string quartet in the store as well as a classical piano performance ... but to surprise co-workers and visitors with opera would be amazing.”

Fletcher, Alexandra Witt ’12 and Barret Armbruster '10 will each sing one aria and then will perform together during the two Saturday performances. They will be accompanied on the piano by Nick Starr ’13. Each performance is expected to last approximately 20 minutes.

"We are very excited to participate in the celebration,” said Fletcher.