Acclaimed New York soprano Nikoleta Rallis returns home for a unique gala concert at Wilmington's Thalian Hall with international piano virtuoso Aza Sydykov on Friday, September 23, 2016 at 7:30pm. The concert will feature a large and colorful variety of music including everything from opera and art songs to classic Broadway show tunes, solo piano pieces and duets with special guest, tenor Michael Rallis. “Performing in New York City is great, but there’s something very special about returning to the place where my musical inspirations began”, said acclaimed soprano Nikoleta Rallis, battling the street noise while strolling along Manhattan’s beautifully restored High Line park. After attending the historic Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, she knew her next step would be to move to New York City. “Being here has been very important for my musical journey, both in terms of the valuable experience I have gained and exposure to some of the world’s greatest performances and musicians but also because of the collaborations and friendships I have cultivated, living in one of the world’s most vibrant cultural centers. It has afforded me the opportunity of performing not only here but other parts of the US and over seas.” While having had many incredible opportunities and career benchmarks away from home, she admits that she retained a special place in her heart for southeastern North Carolina. “I’m very excited now to be able to share a special concert with the community where I first fell in love with music and opera.” Rallis says that the concert features a little sampling of all of her musical influences while traveling and living in New York. She will bring with her renowned concert pianist Aza Sydykov originally from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, one of her long-time collaborators. Mr. Sydykov, who studied at the prestigious Moscow Conservatory in Russia, made history in 2014 when he became the first musician from Kyrgyzstan to perform in Carnegie Hall and has since enjoyed an active career throughout the US both as a soloist and collaborative musician. They will perform a large and colorful variety of music. The program will include everything from opera and art songs to classic Broadway show tunes, solo piano pieces and duets with another special guest, tenor Michael Rallis, Nikoleta’s father. “My father has been a huge inspiration in my musical career thus far and is no stranger to the area, performing regularly with local concert presenters.” Mr. Rallis, though a doctor by profession, has shared the stage with opera stars both in the US and Italy. “It’s important to me that this concert will be a very personal event which people will remember,” Nikoleta explains. “After the concert, there will be a champagne reception in the ballroom of the beautifully restored Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts where the concert will take place. So people can come and mingle and have fun. We also look forward to interacting with the audience and having a great time!” For more information about this event please visit www.thalianhall.org.