Music 2011 & 2012_Songs Of Hope

Thank you very much to our underwriting sponsor, our local pharmacist, Lewis Drugs and other generous contributors!

Harriet says "Click here to buy tickets! 
See I'm beggin because it is so important to us Freegles, Beagles, and peoples.." 

Harriet says "It was so much fun last year! Look at Mommy singing to me at the Finale!"

Songs of Hope 2012  2 p.m. to 3. p.m. (which includes Reception & Exhibit Event) 

Opera Event "Compassion for All" introduces some new performers to our core volunteer group.

We will tell you about some of these wonderful new performers.

One such performer is the lovely dramatic soprano Sara Henry. "Hailed by the Jerusalem Post as “A Magnificent, Dramatic Voice” soprano Sara Henry has charmed audiences around the world. She began her formal vocal studies at La Scuola di Musico di Sesto in Florence, Italy, and later went on to graduate from Sarah Lawrence College, where she made her debut as the alto soloist in Bach's Christmas Oratorio, with the Sarah Lawrence College Orchestra, under the baton of Grammy-winning composer, George Tsontakis.

Possessing a strong lower register, Ms. Henry sang successfully as a lyric mezzo for several years before ultimately making the transition to soprano repertoire in 2008. As such, she has had the opportunity to perform an amazingly wide variety of operatic repertoire. Highlights of her career have included the soprano roles of Elvira (I Puritani), Norina (Don Pasquale) Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor) Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Semiramide (Semiramide) as well as the mezzo roles of Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice), Diana (La Calisto), Adalgisa (Norma), Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena), the title role in Carmen, and a trio of Handelian heroes: Ariodante (Ariodante), Ruggiero (Alcina), and Arsamene (Serse).

In addition to opera, she has frequently appeared as a concert soloist in the tri-state area, and has served as the alto soloist at St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church of White Plains, NY, since 2006. Upcoming engagements include the role of Donna Elvira in Palisades Opera’s production of Don Giovanni, highlights from William Grant Still’s seldom-performed opera, Troubled Island, at the University of Ottawa, and a solo recital to benefit Sea Change Theater Company of Beverly, MA. "

Another is spintotenor Kevin Courtemanche. New York City tenor Kevin Courtemanche (The Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto excerpts) has plied his trade throughout the United States, France and even the Czech Republic. Kevin created the Brigadier General in Philip Glass' Appomattox at San Francisco Opera. In the Tri-State area he has performed as Offenbach’s Hoffmann, Radamès in Aida, Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos, Don José in Carmen, Turiddu in Cavalleria rusticana, the Duke in Rigoletto, Alfredo in La traviata, Carlo VII in Giovanna d’Arco, the Chevalier in Dialogues des Carmélites, Pluto in Orpheus in the Underworld and Don Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, with such companies as New Rochelle Opera, Vertical Player Repertory, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, New York Grand Opera, Osh Opera, Opera at Florham (New Jersey) and his home company, Hudson Opera Theatre. Elsewhere he has played Verdi’s Otello, Gounod’s Faust, Dick Johnson in La fanciulla del West, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Calaf in Turandot, Canio in Pagliacci, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Macduff in Macbeth, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Judge Danforth in The Crucible, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi and Rodolfo in La bohème. He has also been a member of the choruses of the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera New Jersey and Opera Orchestra of New York, among others. Future engagements include the title role in Verdi’s Otello with Riverbend Opera, performing in Washington, DC and Virginia in June 2012.

Jeannette LoVetri is the Director of The Voice Workshop in New York City where she teaches singing for a wide variety of professional singers and also individuals recovering from vocal illness and injury. Her method to train teachers of singing in Contemporary Commercial Music Styles Somatic Voicework™, is presented at Shenandoah University, at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, The University of Michigan and at Oklahoma Central University. She is also Singing Specialist with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, a Grammy® winning children’s chorus. She has lectured and taught worldwide for three decades and is a recognized expert in vocal production. For more info please

Songs of Hope Musical Theatre, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. (which includes Reception & Exhibit Event). 

"Karma Songs".  

Melanie Portsche, Harriet and the Freegles are back.  Jody Mullen will join Melanie, Harriet and the Freegles Troupe for some fabulous fun and beautiful singing. Gabrielle Salerno reinvents herself with a new group of fantastic singers. Gabby's group showcases the talents of  Alexa Fisektsis, Victoria Lopez,  Chris Mangum, Danielle Martin, John Sapida, and Jason Ver Hage. Jim Cagle will sing some Jerome Kern Broadway and Jazz Standards with Jennifer Cece and surprise guests. Veteran performers, Aaron Berk and Crown Production members Aysa and Ron Morehead, Liz Toleno, and Johanna Tacadena  will open the show.   Yeah! 

We are so grateful to have the continued support of these wonderful performers !!! 

And trilled are we.. because this year.... Broadway Sensation Cheryl Freeman will be debuting with peace4paws on April 22, 2012 bringing the strength, beauty and determination from her amazing voice to this cause to help support sanctuary for the animals of research and related fields.  

 Cheryl Freeman is a veteran of stage, screen, and television. Her theatrical credits include work on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in regional productions, as well as her solo show, I'm Every Woman. On Broadway, Cheryl has been seen in several shows including Showboat, The Who's Tommy, where she originated the role of The Acid Queen and The Civil War, in which she originated the role of Bessie Toler.  Off-Broadway, Cheryl has been seen in roles in Walmartopia, Fame on 42nd Street and more. Cheryl's voice can be heard as Melpomene the Muse of Tragedy in Walt Disney's animated movie and television series, Hercules.  Further television credits include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, One Life to Live and more.  

Our Press Release

Peace4paws will be presenting the second annual Songs of Hope at the Grace Episcopal Church, 9 Harrington Avenue, Westwood, New Jersey, for the benefit of sanctuaries that rehabilitate and find homes for the animals of research and related fields on Sunday, April 22, 2012 beginning at 2 pm. Mike Stabler, Executive Director of the Kindness Ranch will be a special guest at the event.

Peace4paws is a recognized 501 (c) 3 charity public charity dedicated to raising awareness for the necessity of permanent sanctuary and forever homes for the animals of research and related fields through fundraising, student outreach and related activities. Peace4paws was formed in 2007 by Jennifer Cece Bellon and Susan Boudrot from the painful acknowledgement that advocacy for research animals, especially the area of companion animal advocacy, is the most neglected area of companion animal welfare.  

In 2010 Kindness Ranch newsletter appeared in our mailbox! We were thrilled at the thought of directing our energies to support a 1000 acre sanctuary devoted entirely to retired research animals!  Who in the community could possibly object to this kind of compassion?  Who could possibly deny the right for an animal, such as a sweet beagle who had lived their entire life in a laboratory serving everyone but them self, the opportunity for sanctuary and a real home?  So, to assure our donors that Kindness Ranch was as wonderful as it seemed, we visited Kindness Ranch.  See the Kindness Ranch page on our site. The visit served as a great opportunity for us to ease the minds of our donors, who may sometimes be skeptical of charities, and to hand-deliver the funds.  It allowed for our personal testimonials and pictures to show that Kindness Ranch was indeed worthy of endorsement.  Via a shared great concern for the animals of research and related fields and a desire to make a positive impact for them, the peace4paws team has been incredibly delighted to have discovered Kindness Ranch! 

People need to know that these “research” animals are no different than non-research animals of the same breed or species, who we consider "pets". Just as their pet deserves love, so does that same dog, cat, horse, etc. in a laboratory!  Please visit the pages for Harriet and Puddy, and Cleo who are former testing dogs and horses, and Blackie and Liberty, who are retired blood donors.

Our other beneficiaries include the sanctuary where Cleo lives happily, which is Mylestone Equine Rescue in Philipsburg, New Jersey, as well as The Beagle Freedom Project, Valley Village, California, and the Hudson Valley Humane Society, Pomona, New York where Liberty, the blood donor is still sheltered and awaiting her forever home.

We are thrilled to announce our second annual benefit, "Songs of Hope" with two concerts and a reception and exhibit event on April 22, 2012 will be presented during World Laboratory Animal Liberation Week (April 21st through April 29th). The afternoon promises two back-to-back shows and one great peace4paws-style reception and exhibit event at the Grace Episcopal Church 9 Harrington Avenue, Westwood, New Jersey. The same Episcopal church, led by Father Rob Rhodes who presides over the Blessing of the Animals every year in October, and this last year, in fact, was linked with peace4paws’ Pawsfest at the same church at the same time which raised funds and awareness for the animals of research and related fields living at the Kindness Ranch, The Hudson Valley Humane Society and Mylestone Equine Rescue. Here are the details for Songs of Hope 2, 2012:  

At 2pm, peace4paws presents "Songs of Hope from Opera" featuring singers from the Palisades Opera.  All of the singers have performed extensively in the New York City area and many have significant international credits.  One such renowned opera singer is Sara Henry, who has performed in Germany, Italy, Israel, and the US, captivating audiences with her portrayals of Carmen, as well as Mozart and Verdi heroines.  Most of these singers have captivated Westwood audiences in their portrayals of Puccini characters in the La Boheme also at Grace Episcopal Church.  Back again will be Mimi, Rudolph, Musetta, and Marcello, but, playing roles in Don Giovanni and other famous operas. Those singers include Bergen and Rockland based board members Jennifer Cece Bellon, Ronni Sarrett Lederman, Robert Prowse, Kenneth Whiteman, Dennis Fox, and Jim Cagle. A special guest artist will be the renown voice teacher and singing voice specialist, Jeannette Lovetri, founder of the Somatic Voicework ™. And, to top it off, it is rumored that there may even be an appearance from our male mascot dog, peace4paws’s Blackie, a rescued blood donor hound, as Blackie adores opera music.  We believe that Puddy will definitely be at that show representing the Freegle beagles! 

At 3:30pm, peace4paws presents "Songs of Hope from Broadway" featuring Broadway and Screen Sensation, Cheryl Freeman.  Cheryl has performed leading roles on Broadway including the role of The Acid Queen in "The Who's Tommy" and Bessie Toler in "Civil War", as well as voicing the role of Melpomene the Muse of Tragedy in the Walt Disney movie, "Hercules" and a variety of roles Off-Broadway and on television including "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", "New York Undercover" and more.  She will be joined by many other performers with Broadway, Off-Broadway and New York credits like Aaron Berk, the brother of our Second Vice President, Amanda Berk, who is also a certified dog trainer. Our Finance Chair & CPA, Jim Cagle will grace the stage, as well.  And one very special New York performer will be Melanie Portsche, the proud mother of freegle, Harriet, our female peace4paws mascot-beagle.  Harriet was one of 120 beagles and 55 primates emancipated from a bankrupt New Jersey laboratory just in time for Independence Day in July, 2010 through an amazing combined effort of animal activists and animal rescue organizations.  Harriet and a number of her fellow freegles will be in attendance and will be making an appearance in support of peace4paws and the many other animals of research still in laboratories, hoping for their sanctuary and "home", too. 

This year we are incredibly honored that Kindness Ranch's Executive Director, Mike Stabler, will be introducting for both of our concerts and will have a table at the reception.  Mike's visit offers our guests the great opportunity to learn more about the amazing work that Kindness Ranch is doing for animals of research and related fields and to hear more about this beautiful sanctuary and the mission behind it.  We've certainly been thrilled to follow their work and new arrivals including the recent Thanksgiving week arrival at the Ranch of 16 dogs who had been used in Lyme disease research.  

At 3 pm, right after the Opera Show finishes, our Reception and Exhibit Event to honor the animals of research and related fields will commence.  This reception will include delicious vegetarian food, free samples, vendors, raffle prizes, holistic wellness and information tables and piano music by Sarah Solow also of Bergen County. Some of our vendors include Pet's First Aid Kits with Natural Essentail Oils for Pets and People; Westwood Pets Supplies; Gina Calogero, a member of the Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (ALPB) specializing in pet custody and trusts and author of "Pitfalls for Pittbulls: NJ's Vicious Dog Act"; Vital Essentials (pioneers of the raw food pet diet), Pet & People Sketcher, Laurie Harden (please bring photos of your pets and Laurie will once again create a beautiful sketch of your pet, just like she did in Pawsfest); Silpada Jewelry; Elizabeth Hess, Holistic Wellness Facilitator, Juno Rescued Beagle, Lewis Drugs, Sound Earth (products safes for people, pets and the planet) and more.  There will be lots of free samples of animal, people and environmentally friendly products and lots of delicious foods. This event is underwritten in part by our local, animal friendly pharmacist Lewis Drugs of Westwood, New Jersey. 

The admission for one individual show is $20 for adults, $15 for students and / or seniors and $10 for children under ten years of age.  If you are interested in attending both shows, admission is $30 for adults, $20 for students and / or seniors and $10 for children under ten years of age.  If you would prefer to attend only the reception, admission is $10.00 . Tickets can be purchased on our “donate” page through PayPal.

Peace4paws is always looking for volunteers to help with all aspects of our organization including fundraising, fliers, our website, greeters and more.  Please visit contact us here at to learn how you can help!

We will put an updated list of performer bios up soon.  Most of the performers listed below will be back this year. It will be a wonderful show and even better reception with lots of free samples, delicious foods, cool booths including the opportunity to meet Executive Director of the Kindness Ranch, Mike Stabler himself, and of course great prizes !!!