The Urbane Conspirators : rites of spring

Apr 7, 2023
6:30 PM | Doors
7:00 PM | Program
8:00 – 10:00 PM | Mingling
skylight gallery
Open to Coffee House, Salmagundi members, and their guests
Eventbrite RSVP required
FREE to attend
For any questions, please email Brittney at

About the Event

HIP Lit and special guest host Tony Perrottet celebrate the advent of spring with the Coffee House Club’s Urbane Conspirators. The event will open with poetry from Simona Blat and will feature a medley of stunning love songs (program, below) from opera singer Valeriya Chibisova and pianist Sergey Iorov. Plus, there will be a pop-up bookshop from Black Spring Books for all of your reading-in-the-park needs and much mingling over cocktails and cake (for Joe Cooke’s birthday!)

Featured Performers & Contributors

In black-and-white photo, Simona Blat smiles, putting a fork into the food on her plate that she holds with her other hand.Simona Blat is a Soviet-American writer, editor, educator, and bookseller. She was born in Riga, Latvia and emigrated to Brooklyn, NY in 1990. She owns and operates Black Spring Books, an independent used bookstore and literary social club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is the co-founder and creative director of the Brazenhead Review. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University and served as poetry editor and criticism column editor of Epiphany Magazine. She teaches writing at New York University and The New School.

Black Spring Books is a bookshop and literary social club located next door to Henry Miller’s childhood home on a historic street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They buy & sell mostly used books, with an affinity for modern first editions and rare/vintage printings, striving for an eclectic selection.

Valeriya Chibisova leans on a balcony infront of a city skyline. She wears a floor-length black gown and long matching gloves.Valeriya Chibisova is a Russian-educated soprano born in Moscow. She began her music studies at the Mozart school of music in violin and piano. Valeriya graduated from the Moscow Academy of Choral Art with a degree in musical theater. She went on to win awards in international competitions and festivals, including: the Mario Lanza and Elaine Malbin Vocal Competition, the International Competition Theatrical Assemblies, the Montecatini Opera Academy Competition, among others.

Valeriya made her debut in the role of Tatiana’s in Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” with orchestra in Vologda, Russia, conducted by Alexey Petrov in 2017. Currently, Valeriya resides in New York City, where she organizes and performs in concerts at the United Nations, Opera America Center, Naumburg Bandshell and Bethesda Terrace in Central Park, Center for Jewish history, University galleries, and other venues.

Sergey Iorov and Chibisova stand against each other in a forest, color-coordinated with mint tops with a splash of red.Sergey Iorov, opera accompanist coach and collaborative pianist. Born in Velikiy Novgorod, Sergey studied at the P. Tchaikovsky Moscow Central music school and became the laureate of Russian young pianists competition. He then graduated from Moscow State Conservatory and went on to win awards in the International competition “Les rencontres du piano” and the International Festival UNESCO.

In recent years, Sergey has worked as a concertmaster at the International Creative School of Vocal Excellence Elena Obraztsova Foundation with D. Vdovin, S. Nesterenko, G. Pisarenko, M. Casarashvili, M. Ber, L. Kurdyumova. He has performed the piano version of the Tchaikovsky’s opera “Eugene Onegin” at the “Durance Luberon” festival. In 2019, Sergey worked in “Premier Vocal Arts “master classes with Barbara Frittoli and was as an accompanist in the Mannes School of Music. Sergey currently works as a personal accompanist in New York in Michael Paul, Arthur Levy and Olga Makarina studios.

Tony Perrottet is photographed diagonally in a brown leather jacket, swirling a straw in his drink. He is lit by a spherical lamp in the foreground.Tony Perrottet is the author of six books — a collection of travel stories, Off the Deep End: Travels in Forgotten Frontiers (1997); Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists (2002); The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Greek Games (2004); Napoleon’s Privates: 2500 Years of History Unzipped (2008); The Sinner’s Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe (2012); and most recently, ¡Cuba Libre!: Che, Fidel and the Improbable Revolution that Changed World History (2019).

From his current home in the East Village of Manhattan, he has continued to commute to Iceland, Tierra del Fuego, Beijing, Tasmania and Zanzibar, while contributing to international publications including Smithsonian Magazine (where he is a Contributing Writer), the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal Magazine, Condé Nast TravelerEsquireOutside, Afar and the London Sunday Times. His travel stories have been translated into a dozen languages and widely anthologized, having been selected seven times for the Best American Travel Writing series. He is also a regular television guest on the History Channel, where he has spoken about everything from the Crusades to the birth of disco.


Valeriya Chibisova, soprano & Sergey Iorov, piano

“Quando me’n vo'” from La Bohème, Puccini
“Donde lieta usci” from La Bohème, Puccini
“Oh! Quante volte” from I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini
“The jewel song” from Faust, Gounod
“Io son l’umile ancella” from Adriana Lecouvreuri, Cilea
“Tacea la notte placida…Di tale amor” from Il Trovatore, Verdi

[Short intermission]

“Yo soy Maria,” Piazzolla
“Habanera” from Carmen, Bizet
“Plenivshis’ rozoj solovey” (“The rose and nightingale”) from Oriental Romance, Rimsky-Korsakov
“Ya zhdy tebya” (“I wait for thee”), Rachmaninoff
“Liebesleid” (“Love’s sorrow”), Kreisler-Rachmaninoff
“Morgen” (“Tomorrow”), Strauss
“Ständchen” (“Serenade”), Strauss
“When I have sung my songs,” Charles
“I could have danced all night” from My Fair Lady, Loewe
“Les chemins des l’amour” (“The pathways of love”), Poulenc


Salmagundi members are welcome to have dinner in our dining room. Dining reservations can be made via our Reservations page.

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