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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Roy Ullrich at email@example.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 1 - Hurricane Matthew 0
What a fantastic concert! And this despite the fact that an unusual amount of obstacles were put in our way. The bottom line is that a sellout crowd enjoyed a marvelous program. But leading up to it . . .
Strike 1 -- Hurricane Matthew reared its ugly head, and because of its imminent danger, all Villages Rec Centers were closed on Friday, October 7th, and the program had to be moved to Saturday, October 8th. Also, since our original venue, the Eisenhower Recreation Center, was not available on that date, the event was moved to La Hacienda Recreation Center. Oh, and yes, the programs had to be reprinted with the new date and location.
Strike 2 -- On Saturday morning, Maestro Bill Doherty awoke with chest pains and after going to the emergency room wound up in the hospital overnight. Fortunately, he was released after a number of tests and the only problem that could be found was high blood pressure.
Strike 2.5 -- Soprano Mary Lee, who had been scheduled to entertain us, had to cancel because of being involved in an automobile accident. She was replaced by tenor Fanyong Du, who delighted the audience with his gorgeous voice.
Strike 2.75 -- Irish Flutist Amy Gillian had an unexpected scheduling conflict, but was more than ably replaced by Violinist Claire Austin, who together with pianist Eoin Fleming were to make their Carnegie Hall debuts a week later.
Despite all of these obstacles, the evening was a huge success. All of the performers were excellent and were showered by appreciative applause from the audience. Linda Charlton, who so ably filled in for Maestro Bill Doherty on the piano, also deserves heartfelt thanks for her splendid efforts. Last, but certainly not least, this "Enchanted Evening" was after all organized for the benefit of our Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Program, and having a sold out house will certainly help our Scholarship Fund.
Standing, left to right, Dr. Julie Jordan of the New York Concerti Sonfonietta, who sponsored our two Irish instrumentalists; pianist Eoin Fleming; tenor Fanyong Du; violinist Claire Austen; and mezzo-soprano Kaitlyn McMonigle. Seated are Opera Club President Gerri Piscitelli and Special Events Chair Pauline Pan.