Hilmar Cheese Company Pops Series
Blurring the boundaries between classical and popular music, Poperazzi was created in 2009 by founder and tenor, George DeMott. Joined by fellow tenor Cody Shawn Gay and soprano Janien Valentine, the three members of Poperazzi have performed in premiere opera houses in the U.S. and Europe, aboard the award-winning Crystal Cruise luxury ships, and in the top shows on the Las Vegas Strip. Poperazzi is committed to maintaining and preserving the core traditions of the classical music style, while infusing each show with rock and pop-inspired energy. The result is pure aural adrenaline.
Poperazzi ‘s symphonic pops production, entitled “Viva Italia”, is conducted and co-produced by Michael Krajewski, Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. With a nod to their Italian roots, Poperazzi’s “Viva Italia” explores the music of Italy through art song, opera, symphonic literature, and songs popularized by Italian-Americans. Elegant, versatile, and entertaining, their performances are delighting audiences in Atlanta (New Year’s Eve 2010), Houston, Phoenix, Detroit, Naples (Florida), and Edmonton (Canada). Poperazzi was featured in a live PBS broadcast from Madison, Wisconsin in July 2010.
From rock to opera, classic Sinatra to The Rolling Stones, and Pavarotti to The Jersey Boys, Poperazzi performances present hundreds of years of musical tradition in a fresh and contemporary format. These young, sexy, and versatile entertainers are like a classic Vegas martini, performing a delicate musical mix of opera with a twist!
A mix of classic masculinity and charm, George DeMott captures the essence of the great singers of days gone by with his unique contemporary style. Singing opera to pop and everything in between, his performances have captured the hearts of listeners around the world. Classically trained, he holds degrees from UC Santa Barbara and the prestigious Eastman School of Music. In the opera world, he has performed several classic Tenor roles with Orlando, Glimmerglass, Virginia, Illinois, Peoria, and others. Additionally, George has also been the winner of several awards and competitions that include the 1993 Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition's regional finals in Los Angeles and he was also a recipient of the National Italian-American Foundation's Luciano Pavarotti Scholarship.
Although he enjoys singing many styles of music, his heart and voice shine in the new Pop-Opera genre. This year marks his symphony pops debut performing with his new vocal trio, POPERAZZI. The group‘s symphonic pops production, entitled “Viva Italia”, is conducted and co-produced by Michael Krajewski, Principal Pops Conductor of the Houston and Atlanta Symphony Orchestras. With a nod to their Italian roots, Poperazzi’s “Viva Italia” explores the music of Italy through art song, opera, symphonic literature, and songs popularized by Italian-Americans. Elegant, versatile, and entertaining, their performances are delighting audiences in Atlanta (New Year’s Eve 2010), Houston, Phoenix, Detroit, Naples, and Edmonton (Canada). Poperazzi was featured in a live PBS broadcast from Madison, Wisconsin in July 2010. Check them out at www.poperazzivocalgroup.com.
George has also been a featured guest entertainer aboard several cruise ships, namely Crystal Cruises, bringing his love of Pop-Opera to audiences all over the world. His shows have been well received and praised by Mario Lanza's daughter Ellisa Lanza-Bregman. “George is very talented. His grace and ease with the audience reminded me of my father Mario Lanza. He too was from a very large Italian family and, like George, was very proud of his Italian American heritage”
George has two CDs he has produced. The first being SERENADE, a collection of Mario Lanza's signature songs and classic tenor serenades; and most recently TWO FOR MY BABY which showcases several pop-opera favorites as well as Broadway and jazz classics.
Cody Shawn Gay
Cody join Poperazzi from Las Vegas, Nevada where he currently performs all over "The Strip" but primarily at Bellagio's famous Fontana Room with the band FUSE. Bringing with him a diverse range of singing talents, which have delivered him to destinations all over the world, Cody has performed for corporations ranging from Tokyo Disney to Crystal Cruises and venues Operafest at Tanglewood to Deutsche Oper, Berlin. After studying vocal performance and musical theater at several universities including, Mesa State College, U.N. Colorado, and the University of Urbino, Italy, his vocal capacity and acting diversity also lent him to the opportunity to acquire his Equity card and go on to play many title roles in various theaters including some of his favorites; Jekyll and Hyde and Phantom (Yeston and Koppit's). He thanks family and friends for their encouragement, love, hope and support.
Performing has always been in the cards for Janien. She has been singing and dancing since age 5. Her professional career started at 16 when she landed her first recording contract with Amherst Records. Numerous singing awards later she decided to continue on this path.
From here she continued to hone her skills by attending the performing arts college Niagara University where she starred in such musicals as Nunesense and Little Shop of Horrors earning her a slot to perform before the great composer and lyricist Kander and Ebb.
After graduating cum laude with a BFA ash took a train to NYC to try her luck. She landed her first audition for a show in Las Vegas called Starlight Express.
Fifteen years have passed and Janien is still making waves and getting great reviews for her work both in and outside of Las Vegas. She has starred in three world premier musicals Norte Dame De Paris, Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus, and most recently Carmen starring in the title role for the La Jolla Playhouse with Cirque founder Franco Dragone as Director. She has been voted "Best Female Singer and Thespian" by the Las Vegas Review and the Las Vegas Sun.
Janien has also finished starring and producing a sitcom pilot Gags and co-starred in the indie film Siren. You may have seen Janien on the small screen as a well as she starred in ABC Family's My Life is a Sitcom, Datenight for AMC and Breaking Vegas for The History Channel among numerous others.
Although she is very proud of her accomplishments thus far she is most proud of her beautiful children Sabrina 7 and Nico 4.
She thanks God for her luck and prays it will never run out. Her favorite saying is from Helen Keller "Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all."