The Opera Club of The Villages encourages all lovers of good music who are residents of The Villages to attend our regular monthly meetings and the special performances scheduled.  You do not have to sing or know all about opera - a love of good music is our only requirement.  Members as well as visitors are welcome.

The main mission of the Opera Club is to collect donations from members and friends, or from special fund raising events, to fund the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarships, which are awarded to graduating high school seniors from Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties, who are planning to pursue music education in college.
If you would like to make a contribution toward our Scholarship Fund, a remittance form is attached here.

In the past two years we have awarded $72,000 to deserving students.

In addition to checking the Recreation News of The Villages "Daily Sun," you may receive advance notice of upcoming events, as well as news about the club by signing up for email.  To get on our mailing list or to change an existing email address, please contact Membership Chairman Lou Sasmor at dlsasmor@gmail.com or Roy Ullrich at pelicanroy28@gmail.com

Because we have outgrown the room in which our meetings have taken place for the past several years, we have switched to the Lincoln Theater of the Laurel Manor Recreation Center.  Since February 2014, we have held out meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m.  The exceptions were November and December 2015, when Thanksgiving and Christmas fell on the fourth Thursday and alternate arrangements had to be made.


"An Enchanted Evening"
Friday, October 7, 2016  -  7:00 p.m.   --   Eisenhower Recreation Center
Pictured (from left) Eoin Fleming, Claire Austen, Kaitlyn McMonigle, Mary Lee, Bill Doherty, Dr. Julie Jordan
We are excited to announce an outstanding musical event to take place on October 7th.  The artists appearing at this special concert are pictured above, and their biographies are shown below.  Tickets for this event are available now at all Villages box offices.  The price for residents is $20.00, non-residents $25.00.  The two instrumental performers are being brought to us by Dr. Julie Jordan, while our vocal performers are under the tutelage of Maestro Bill Doherty.  This promises to be an excellent classical concert not to be missed.

Eoin Fleming is an Irish pianist with outstanding credentials, who began his studies at age 5 at the Royal Academy of Music in Dublin, Ireland.  In 2009 he played piano in the film "Parked" starring Colm Meaney and was cast as the "Child Pianist."  In 2013 he won the Gillian Smith Cup for under 18 piano repertoire at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  In June of 2015 he was 1 of 23 in the world to be selected to compete in the Van Cliburn Junior International Piano Competition in Texas.  A week after performing for us he will make his Carnegie Hall debut playing Beet-hoven's Emperor Piano Concerto.  For us he will play Rachmaninoff's Piano Sonata No. 236, Chopin's Nocturne in E-flat, and Liszt's Schubert Soiree de Vienne.

Claire Austen is a 19 year old violinist who is in her second year at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Ireland for several years and served as its co-leader for two years.  At the tender age of 8 she appeared at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.  In 2011 she performed works by Saint Saens at the Kodaly Academy in Budapest, Hungary.  She currently performs regularly with the Trinity College Orchestra and with the Royal Irish Academy of Music.  She, too, will debut at Carnegie Hall on October 15th with the New York Concerti Sinfonietta.  For the "Enchanted Evening" she has announced that her program will be "From Ireland with Love: Violin Favorites by European Composers."

Kaitlyn McMonigle is no stranger to us, having won first place in our Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship competition in 2010.  She is a mezzo-soprano who received her Bachelors of Music degree from Florida State University in 2014.  Currently she is completing her Master of Music in Vocal Performance at Indiana University.  During summers she has attended Wolf Trap Opera in Virginia, Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Vocal Academy, and Chautauqua Music Festival Vocal Program.  She has also appeared with Central Florida Lyric Opera Company.  Kaitlyn is looking forward to completing her graduate studies to pursue an operatic singing career.

Mary Lee is a soprano who developed her musical skills in Toronto, Canada, and in New York City.  She has completed her undergraduate degree at the Manhattan School of Music.  Most recently she became the finalist at the 2016 Paris Mozart Competition.  She has performed at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.  She has won first place in five separate categories, as well as  being the overall winner in the prestigious Toronto Kiwanis Musical Festival.  Some of her operatic roles have been Mimi in "La Boheme," Magda in "La Rondine," Poppea in "L'Incoronazione di Poppea," and Lucia in "Lucia di Lammermoor."