NORWAY — The Norway Opera House fundraising evening of music has sold out.

Ed Gabrielsen is set to sing the music of 19th-century American songwriter Stephen Foster in one of the Opera House’s first-floor storefronts on June 15. The event will raise funds for the continued restoration of the 1894 Main Street building.

Tickets went on sale earlier this month.

“It sold out 3½ weeks before the performance date. It amazes us all,” said Sally Jones, local director and actor who is bringing music back into the partially restored Opera House in the concert she titled Musical Dreamer.

Jones said in an earlier statement that Gabrielsen, a classically trained tenor, has many fans in the area and often sings at local church services and concerts.

She said 79 tickets were sold, raising $1,286 plus a $350 donation in Gabrielsen’s name for the Opera House Corp. restoration project.

Three of the five storefronts are now occupied by businesses, but the Norway Opera House Corp. is still trying to pay about $200,000 in debt on the $1.1 million renovation project that enabled the first floor to be utilized again.

A portion of the roof on the three-story brick edifice on Sept. 21, 2007, severing a sprinkler pipe, flooding the building and compromising its stability. The town eventually took ownership of the landmark and stabilized the back wall before deeding it to the Norway Opera House Corp.

While the upstairs theater that hosted balls, plays, dances, graduations and civic events remains unfinished, corporation officials hope to renovate the remainder of the building someday.

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