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Saratogian Spreads Message Of Hope With Moving Rendition Of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’

Saratoga native Noah Opitz recorded the song as part of a fundraiser for the Rye Arts Center in Rye, where he serves as director of development.

Judy Garland (Dorothy) in the 1939 classic, 'The Wizard of Oz.'

Westchester County has been one of the areas hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis in New York State, with more than 30,000 confirmed cases and 1,000-plus deaths. And just like here in the Capital Region, many of Westchester’s nonprofits have been forced to temporarily close, rethink their continued coverage and raise much-needed funds for the future.

One such organization is the Rye Arts Center, located in the downstate city of Rye, which is a community-based, nonprofit whose mission is to inspire interest and participation in the arts in Westchester and the surrounding region. To raise funds for the arts center, the organization launched its “fRYEday Not Live” video series on May 8, as a way to build community and highlight local performers of all ages.

The first video in the series features Saratogian and Skidmore College graduate Noah Opitz, who serves as the Rye Arts Center’s director of development—and is a talented vocalist and pianist in his own right—performing a moving version of the Harold Arlen-composed and Yip Harburg-penned “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” made famous for its inclusion in the 1939 classic, The Wizard of Oz.

If Noah’s last name sounds familiar, he’s the son of Lary and Barbara Opitz, who were the founding members of the Saratoga Shakespeare Company and have been longtime faculty members at Skidmore.

Like what you hear? You can give to the Rye Arts Center here.

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Will Levith

Will Levith is Editorial Director at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living magazine. He's a native Saratogian and graduate of Saratoga Springs High School. His work has been published by Esquire, Playboy, Condé Nast Traveler, Men's Health, RealClearLife and many others. He lives in Troy with his wife, Laura, and dog, Esopus.

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