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.
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.
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."
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.