Recently a Petaluma resident, Cynthia Ermshar, along with fellow soprano Katie Hopgood performed in front of a packed house at the historic White Barn in St. Helena. The White Barn is an 1872 Carriage House that was once part of U.S. Civil War General Erasmus Keyes’ home and winery estate. This event benefited the following charitable organizations: RIF (Reading is Fundamental) program, Rianda House, Jewish Historical Society of Napa Valley, St. Helena Preschool.
They were joined by the Napa Valley Duo of pianist Terry Winn and the virtuosity of cellist Jeffrey McFarland-Johnson, they offered a fresh pairing of musicianship in a repertoire that encompasses classical, jazz, and opera, with many pieces that were never before performed in a cello/piano format. True to their mutual love of the music of Paris from 1880-1915, Winn and McFarland-Johnson presented their program as a French-inspired soirée, with an emphasis on musical immediacy in an informal setting. The intimate afternoon featured opera arias, classical repertoire, Gershwin and jazz.
Katie Hopgood and Cynthia sang Barcarolle from the opera “Tales of Hoffman” by Jacques Offenbach, O Mio Babbino Caro “Oh my beloved Father” from the opera Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini and Flower Duet from Léo Delibes’ opera Lakmé, which was first performed in Paris in 1883 together. While Cynthia performed solos of “Mr. Sandman“, which was originally done by The Chordettes in 1958 and “Quando men vo“, also known as “Musetta’s Waltz” from act 2 of Puccini’s opera La bohème.
Click here to view Cynthia’s and Katie’s performances on her YouTube channel at
Click here to read the article regarding this event in the Napa Valley Register.
Click here to view the history of the White Barn.