Opera Club of The Villages

Our mission is to inspire lifelong interest and encouragement in opera and classical music, and to promote music education for students, including financial support.

Proud sponsor of the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Program

Meet The Opera Club

The Opera Club of The Villages was established to present live musical performances, operas, and concerts to Villagers. Meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at Laurel Manor Recreation Center from September through May. In 1997, the Opera Club founded the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Program to honor the founder of The Villages. The goal was to encourage and support students who plan a career in music by awarding scholarships to applicants in Marion, Lake and Sumter Counties. Over $567,479 in scholarship money has been awarded to 89 students. Our major source of income is our “Three Tenors Plus One” concert scheduled for February 12, 2022 to be presented at The Sharon Performing Arts Center.

During the school year, our Scholarship Committee sends applications to schools in the Tri-County area. Students applying must be seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. They must be planning to major or minor in music education or performance in college. The student must complete the application and submit it with two letters of recommendation. In the past, qualified applicants were invited to audition in April at Laurel Manor. Scholarship auditions are adjudicated by professional judges. This year, due to COVID restrictions, the auditions were online, The students were sent instructions on how to make cell phone videos of their auditions. The Judges reviewed the recordings and voted their rankings. The deliberations were through a ZOOM conference.

In 2022, 4 Scholarships, valued at up to $12,000, $10,000, $8,000 and $4,000 will be awarded. Three Encouragement awards of $1,000 each may also be awarded.

The Oscar Feliu Award is given annually to a student at The Villages Charter High School who consistently demonstrated outstanding contributions to and participation in the music program. The $3,000 award is in memory of Oscar Feliu, one of the founders of the Opera Club.

The Opera Club of the Villages is a 501(c)(3) Corporation

Mailing address : PO Box 1228, The Villages ,Fl 32158

Learn more by visiting our Support Us page.

Greetings From Our President

Happy New Year!

It was wonderful to see so many members at our International Holiday Party . Marlene Croft and Rosalie Locke and committee members did a spectacular job decorating the room and setting such an elegant and interesting dessert table. Maestro Bill Doherty presented a fabulous program featuring Heather Ard, Sam Reynolds, Mariangel Cesstari and Leah Shewmaker. It was a fantastic way to end a very dark year.

We have a change in artists for our" Three Tenors Plus One" fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, February 12, 2022. Our Canadian Tenor, Marcel D'Entremont has withdrawn for fear of re-entry delays due to Covid when he returns to Toronto after the concert.

Bill Doherty was successful in contacting Russian Tenor, Pavel Sulandiza in New York. Pavel sang for us in the last Enchanted Evening concert at The Eisenhower Center, and also sang in Three Tenors Plus One three years ago. At that time, he was with the Miami Opera . Presently, he just completed studies at Mannes College of Music in New York City. He comes with high credentials. He was the 1st place winner in 2013 and 2014 with AADGT in New York, performing in Carnegie Hall, third prize winner in the Talents of the World International Competition and the finalist of Licia-Albenese competition and Giulio Gari competition. Villagers were thrilled with his command, personality and magnificent voice.Together with Fernando Varela, Devin Eatmon, and soprano, Ashley Thunder, under the Direction and accompaniment of Bill Doherty,, it will be a night to remember! Please support " Three Tenors Plus One"; our only fundraiser that fuels the Music Scholarships for local aspiring musicians.

Today, we announced that auditions will be Online once again due to the rising threat of the omicron variants. Since its inception, over $567,479 in Scholarship money has been awarded to 89 students from the tri- county area. Our yearly awards range from $28,000 to $56,000 awarded in 2021.

I look forward to seeing you at the Sharon Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 12 at 3:00 p.m. or 7:00 pm. Until then, take care and stay safe.


Gerri Piscitelli, President

Opera Club of the Villages