sustainable food · artistic freedom · digital dignity

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    LA CENA È PRONTA is a project that explores the many ways food and music enrich our lives and reimagines how each are presented and consumed. We offer up the idea that when food and music are mindfully, sustainably, and lovingly made (and eaten), they are inherently good, nourishing, and valuable, regardless of whether or not they fit into commonly accepted standards for what makes "good food" or "good music."



    LA CENA È PRONTA ("Dinner is ready*") began two years ago as a live recital series. Wishing to connect with audiences outside of the concert hall, singers Joshua Arky and Alexandra Rodrick and pianist Ines Irawati performed for an intimate group of guests while simultaneously cooking them a multi-course meal. The event was so surprising and exhilarating to audiences, that the LA CENA team reprised the event the following year.



    Ever adapting and seeking innovation, LA CENA È PRONTA has recently extended its offerings to an online community of food and music lovers with a video series that features the same essence of culinary musical celebration that made the in-person events so exciting and one-of-a-kind, a virtual cookbook, private voice lessons, cooking classes, and more to come.



    *"Dinner is ready" is not only one of our favorite phrases to hear on a daily basis, but also a line from one of our favorite operas: Verdi's La Traviata. A server enters a party scene to announce - "LA CENA È PRONTA!" and beckon people to the dining room. It's the character's one line in the entire opera, and the role is often played as a cameo appearance by a local celebrity.



    By creating a collaborative, artists-first platform, LA CENA È PRONTA continuously and consistently supports artistic output, creating a sustainable future for performance art.



    LA CENA is also sustainable from a food sourcing point of view. By inspiring others to cook at home and teaching people about the intersection between food sourcing and accessibility and the climate crisis' effect upon each, LA CENA upholds the values of an equitable, safe future for all people.


    LA CENA believes that sustainability inherently relies on the intersection of people from all walks of life, and recognizes that barriers to classical music and food education and engagement - both of which disproportionately affect marginalized communities - only result in a further weakening of music and climate justice.


    invites FREEDOM

    We believe that when artists have the space to say what they want to say how they want to say it, the result is the best possible art and a MORE engaged community of music and food lovers.


    invites FREEDOM

    LA CENA È PRONTA supports artists in their creative visions. We believe that permission and an invitation to create are invaluable to every artist - be they well established, or just starting out. We also believe that artists should ALWAYS be paid for their labor and output, and we are committed to supporting artists on a financial level.


    LA CENA is an environment in which artists can collaborate and explore new ideas. We are wholeheartedly committed to the emotional, artistic, and financial wellbeing of our artists.


    While recognizing that there is nothing inherently good or evil about (most of) the technology we use every day, we as much as anyone have felt many of the worst side-effects of an overly connected world: loneliness, the shortening of our attention spans, and the siloing effect of algorithms.


    promotes DIGNITY

    We believe that when artists are paid to make art they believe in, as opposed to producing art for free - for exposure, or for "likes," - we add value to the digital space by offering to our audience something more than clickbait.


    Classical music and the savoring of a good meal can help us to re-access a feeling of flow: of peace, gratitude, joy, sorrow, love, and empathy. LA CENA È PRONTA strives to bring to its audience an experience of quality in a digital space, recognizing that the dignity of its viewership and its artistic contributors lies beyond their data and attention being bought and sold to the highest bidder.


    Meet the founders of LA CENA È PRONTA.

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    Alexandra Rodrick

    Singer Alexandra Rodrick is a fiery force on stage and a deeply engaged and thoughtful storyteller. She is LA CENA È PRONTA's resident bartender, cheese monger, and baker.


    Alex began singing in church and school choirs when she was very small, but was perpetually chastised for being "too loud." Rejecting that premise to this day, Alex strives to be true to herself and true to her voice, and to encourage and uplift others in their pursuits of loud and unapologetic self-expression.


    Alex has performed all over the world, most notably under the baton of Seiji Ozawa singing Carmen while on tour with VEROZA Japan. She's also performed with Chautauqua Opera, San Diego Opera, Baltimore Concert Opera, OperaDelaware, Wolf Trap Opera, Vero Beach Opera, Boston University Opera Institute, Atlanta Opera, and Des Moines Metro Opera.



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    Josh Arky

    Josh Arky is an operatic bass-baritone and avid home cook. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and currently lives in San Diego, CA. LA CENA È PRONTA is his brainchild.


    Josh studied Sustainable Development at Columbia University before transitioning into his professional music career. Passionate about the intersection between modern agricultural practices and great home cooking, Josh is a teacher and advocate for a sustainable future that starts in the home kitchen.


    As an opera singer, Josh has performed at San Diego Opera, Virginia Opera, Central City Opera, Opera San Jose, Palm Beach Opera, and OperaNEO. As a home cook, some of his favorite recipes include Julia Child's Glazed Carrots, Michael Solomonov's Lamb Shoulder, Kris Yenbamroong's Thai Fried Rice, and Josh's very own speciality: "Burn the House Down Chicken."



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    Ines Irawati

    Solo and collaborative pianist Ines Irawati is know for her expressivity, virtuosity, and truly infectious enthusiasm. Widely respected on the San Diego classical music scene, Ines is passionate about challenging and expanding accept notions of what creativity is and how we perform classical music.


    Ines has performed with LA CENA È PRONTA since its inception and is passionate about such personalized and unique projects (she's also passionate about wine). She is a collaborative artist in the truest sense, and embodies one of LA CENA's core values: when artists have the space to say what they want to say how they want to say it, the result is a MORE engaged community of support and a NEW community of classical music lovers.


    Ines is a founding member of the acclaimed Aviara Trio, and has collaborated with many other esteemed chamber musicians such as Strings of the West and the Hyperion String Quartet. She has performed with TEDx San Diego, the Art of Èlan, San Diego Opera. Ines studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Yale University, and Music Academy of the West, where she was awarded Best Vocal Pianist by the Marilyn Horne Foundation.