Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Opera Guild of Southern Arizona January Newsletter

-----Original Message-----
From: Opera Guild of Southern Arizona []
Sent: Wednesday, January 28, 2015 11:15 AM
Subject: OGSA January Newsletter



Opera Guild of Southern Arizona

Volume 56, Issue 12 January 2015

" I enjoy all forms of music - pop, classical and opera." - Stephen Hawking

Lovers of romance, Valentine's Day, opera, streetcars, and downtown Tucson won't want to miss this event, the first live performances on Tucson's new SunLink Streetcar. Space is limited, so sign up now! The $25 ticket price includes your round trip reusable streetcar pass, hors d'oeuvres, wine, and admittance to the Aria Auction. For tickets and more information, go to or call Susan Stokes 520-298-8062.

We'll whisk you to downtown Tucson, riding the streetcar with live singers serenading us. You'll enjoy appetizers and drinks and hear Arias by Auction at The Screening Room; all to benefit opera students from southern Arizona at this fundraiser!

The centerpiece of this event is the "Aria Auction" . David Ward, director of the UA Opera Theater, has gathered an amazing array of artists for the auction (UA voice faculty members Andrew Stuckey and Kristin Dauphinais, several advanced UA voice students, and local singers including Larry Alexander, Mary Paul, Susan Lane Stokes and Francisco Renteria.) Sign up to bid for your favorite arias and artists which will establish the concert's order. Winning bidders will have the option of sitting on the stage during "their" artist's performance.

Finish your evening dining at our partner Janos Downtown Kitchen; they will donate 10% of your meal

cost to the OGSA scholarship fund.                                  For dinner reservations, call (520) 623-7700 or go to

President's Message:

Continuing the Excitement for the Opera Guild

Welcome back after the holidays! Don't you feel fortunate to belong to the ONE non-profit that did NOT ask you for an end-of-year contribution?

We're very excited about our new fundraiser, Opera on the Streetcar, Sunday, February 15th. This is a first-time event for Tucson representing collaboration between a non-profit (us), government

(Suntran and SunLink) and small business (Reel Arts, The Screening Room and sponsors.) And it's all to benefit the gift that keeps on giving here in Tucson--our wonderful opera program at the University of Arizona.

Then we catch our breath. Quest for the Best will be upon us on Saturday, March 28th, when we will be back in Holsclaw Hall at the UA. Last year we donated almost $10,000 onstage to the winners of the competition--all of whom had been selected by you, the audience.

In 2013-14, we were the largest private donor to the University of Arizona opera program. We can only continue that if each of us steps up to the plate, and opens our hearts, and wallets. The gift of beautiful music sung by energetic and vital young people keeps us alive to the beauty of our world. And in a world that seems increasingly chaotic, with the deeds of darkness shadowing the map, it's important to maintain that precious fragment of beauty. Nothing shows the futility of vengeance with more power than opera; no moment in the theatre communicates the heartbreak of love and longing with more

tenderness. We need this in our lives and our students need us.

In April, I'll be handing over the gavel to our First Vice President, Judi Hasbrouck. It's a bit earlier than scheduled, but my husband John, UA Professor Emeritus of Russian Studies, has been named a visiting scholar at St. Antony's College, Oxford University, England, for Trinity Term (April 18-June 26th.) and we'll be in residence there. Any and all of the Opera Guild who will be in England during those months is welcome to contact me by email to join us for lunch or tea at St. Antony's.

In the meantime, Judi is a dynamo who will take this organization to new heights!

Let's make the 2014-2015 opera year our biggest

success ever!                ~~~ Carol Garrard, President


Notes from our Winners and Scholarship/Grant Recipients


Our greatest reward as members of the Opera Guild is the thanks of the students we help to launch their careers. Below is a sampling of letters from recent beneficiaries of your support.

"..because of your support, I was able to participate in La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. I had an amazing time and improved my Italian abilities and refining my craft..."

"...your generous support allowed me to audition for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ryan Opera Center Young Artist Program, the semi-finals of the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program in Miami and the Arizona Young Artist Program in Phoenix. You gave me the opportunity to get out there and perform..."

"...your support allowed me to spend my summer at the Aspen Music Festival and School where I received weekly voice lessons and frequent coaching and master classes with renowned musicians and directors from prestigious institutions including the Julliard School and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. I made many wonderful friendships and professional connections...this allowed me to have the best summer of my life..."

"...thank you for Quest for the Best and your grants program and the opportunity to perform in your opera previews. I am truly grateful to your organization for the support of young singers..."

"...I want to express my gratitude for your generous support of my summer project, attending the Vancouver International Song Institute. My time was spent in seminars, coachings, singing recitals and lectures with some of the most well-renowned scholars, professors, pianists and singers in the world..."

"...thank you so much for supporting my summer program at La Musica Lirica in Italy. I was able to perform in Novafeltria and Cesena, Italy, and had the opportunity to sing in the Master Class with maestro Alberto Zedda. I learned Italian diction in detail and bel canto singing style. It was the most wonderful and precious time in my life for being a good opera singer and a summer I will never forget..."

"...words cannot express how grateful I am to have received your financial award that allowed me to attend the Saarburg International Music Festival & School in Germany. It was the first summer voice program that I had ever attended and the experiences that I gained will keep with me forever. I am truly blessed and it is all thanks to you..."

Operatic Events Not to Be Missed:

Opera at Reel Arts 6 Theater

292-2430 4690 N. Oracle Rd, Tucson

Filmed performances

Admission: Adults $17 / Seniors & Students $15

Monday, January 26th

The Barber of Seville, Opera de Paris           10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, January 28th

L'elisir d'amore, Royal Opera House            11:00 a.m.

Saturday, February 7th

La Forza del Destino, Opera de Paris           10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, February 11th

La Forza del Destino, Opera de Paris           6:00 p.m.

Monday, February 23rd

La Forza del Destino, Opera de Paris           10:30 a.m.

Wednesday, April 1st

Der Fliegende Hollander, Royal Opera House 11:00 a.m.

Saturday, April 16th

Der Fliegende Hollander, Royal Opera House 11:00 a.m.

UA Opera Theater

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April

Two Menotti Classics!

The Medium (1947), in English

This short two-act dramatic opera opened on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theater over 50 years ago. The tragedy of a woman, Madame Flora, caught between two worlds, reality and the supernatural, unfolds with her daughter, Monica, and her mute friend, Toby. Leading the cast are Mackenzie Romriell, Clare Demer and Melanie Alameda.

The Old Maid and the Thief (1939), in English

This one-act work was conceived as a radio opera, and later staged. Miss Todd, sung by Erin McMullen, invites a handsome young drifter, portrayed by Matthew LaRochelle, to stay with her. Suddenly strange thefts begin to occur about town. But WHO is the culprit?


Support OGSA's Quest for the Best!

Saturday, March 28, at 1:oo p.m.
UA Music Bldg, Holsclaw Hall

Southern Arizona's best undergraduate and graduate voice students will compete for $8000 in cash awards to further their education, and you the audience are the judges! Afterward, enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres, and chat with these exciting young artists. Advance tickets are $50 per person ($30 tax-deductible); only $20 for all students and for Fine Arts faculty and staff. Reserve now, because prices are higher at the door.

Students always tell us that Quest is their favorite performing event of the year, and they do their best for us;

please do your best by contributing toward an award. Arizona Opera recognizes the importance of Quest by funding our highest undergraduate award of $1000. But we can't make it happen without your support!

A message in our Quest for the Best Program Book is a good way to honor or memorialize a music lover,

promote a business, or just cheer on our students. Get a 1/8 page for $125, up to a full page for $1000. Donations of any amount are welcome, and will be recognized in the Program.

To reserve, donate or learn more visit or contact Reservation Chair Patrick Schifano at (520) 825-1563 or by email at .

See you at Quest!


Quest for the Best Award to Honor Vivian and Robert Weede

The OGSA Board has named the top graduate student award of $1500 at our twelfth annual Quest for the Best vocal competition in honor of longtime stalwarts Vivian and Robert Weede, Jr. Bob and Vivian sang leading roles together in La Traviata, Madame Butterfly, Die Fledermaus, Carmen and The Gypsy Baron. Bob also enjoyed a marketing and management career with a major paper corporation.

Upon retirement the Weedes moved to Southern Arizona where Bob and a friend founded the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council in 1997. GOVAC grew to become Southern Arizona Arts & Cultural Alliance, a presenter of over 150 events, including Opera 101.

Vivian Weede has sung leading roles in La Traviata, La Boheme, Tosca, Pagliacci, Eugene Onegin and Carmen with Seattle Opera, Rochester Symphony, San Francisco Opera, West Bay Opera and New Orleans Opera. She studied at the Manhattan School of Music and Louisiana State University, and with her father-in-law, Metropolitan Opera baritone Robert Weede, prior to studies in Italy with Franco Ferraris. She has narrated many opera previews for the Opera Guild, has chaired our preview committee, and is a past President of the Opera Guild.

The Weedes will be recognized during Quest for the Best at 1:00 p.m. on March 28, 2015, at the UA School of Music's Holsclaw Hall. To reserve and donate, see page 3. Donations in honor of the Weedes are particularly appropriate this year.

OGSA VIP Tour to the Musical

Instrument Museum

by Mary Casady

You shoulda been there! Eighteen Opera Guild members enjoyed a day long trip for a tour of the Musical instrument Museum in Phoenix. Early on November 20 we boarded a luxury bus and enjoyed breakfast and coffee on the way. We toured the Museum on our own for about an hour and then met with our tour guides for a VIP tour of the behind the scenes workshops areas not open to the public. We saw the special humidity controlled facilities where instruments are cleaned and refurbished before placing in the many displays. We saw delicate antique pianos and stringed instruments in various stages of repair. Then we toured the area where costumes from opera productions are cleaned and repaired. Just for fun we had a little contest to see if we could recognize the operas by looking at the costumes being made ready for public display. We saw a gown from a production of Anna Bolena and a uniform worn by Luciano Pavarotti performing in The Daughter of the Regiment.

Then back to the public area where we enjoyed drumming and listening to a computer-controlled steam pipe organ just to mention a few. MIM is a beautiful and fascinating place with more displays than one can really absorb in a day. On the way home, we enjoyed wine and more food and conversation for a relaxing end to a fun day. Many thanks to Judi Hasbrouck for arranging such a delightful event.


Report on our Opera Previews

by Philippe Bodin

Our 2014-15 previews season began with the exciting new mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (Crossing the Face of the Moon) concerning the separation of families across the US-Mexico border. Our preview featured a 6-person ensemble from Tucson-based Mariachi Sonido de Mexico with lead vocalist Diana Olivares, a UA music student and Quest for the Best winner. Narrators were Joshua Borths, education director of Arizona Opera, and our own Susan Stokes. Our audiences were thrilled! A second opera by the same composer is in the works.

Verdi's Rigoletto, our second preview, featured baritone Laurence Alexander in the title role, a role he has sung many times on the professional stage. Soprano Mary Paul sang the part of Rigoletto's daughter Gilda, and tenor Francisco Renteria was the Duke. Mezzo-soprano Mackenzie Romriell joined the others as Maddelena for the celebrated Quartet. Our singers, every bit the equal of those who performed the opera at the Music Hall, received enthusiastic applause from our audiences. Bonnie Bird, long-time OGSA supporter and member of our Advisory Council, was our accompanist, and Charles Roe, recently retired head of the Opera Program at UA, narrated. This was an outstanding show from start to finish.


Say Hello to Opera                                                                Brown Bag Opera

Oro Valley Public Library—3pm                                                                  Grace-St. Paul's Episcopal Church—Noon

1305 W Naranja Ave, Oro Valley 594-5580                                             2331 E Adams Street, Tucson 327-6857

Monday, February 23, 2015 - The Magic Flute                                     Friday, February 27, 2015 -The Magic Flute

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - The Daughter of the Regiment            Friday, April 8, 2015 - The Daughter of the Regiment

Membership Matters:

Join Online

New members are always WELCOME any time!!! Renewals are due July 1, 2015.

You can securely join, renew and donate on our website,

These members have joined since the last newsletter. Please add them to your Member Directory.

                        Burke, Carole

                        Dolter, Catherine

                        Korn, Diane & Greenbaum, Gary

                        McDonald, Margaret

We Have Winners!

UA School of Music has again shown their support of OGSA's preview program by giving us vouchers good for admission to virtually all of their productions, including concerts, competitions, and the two student operas.

At every preview we award these vouchers to the two winners of our raffle. The winners at Cruzar la Cara de la Luna preview at Oro Valley were OGSA member Joan Peet (and another lucky audience member whose name we neglected to record); at Grace-St. Paul's, Mary Londsdale Baker, and OGSA member Marianne Vivirito. The Rigoletto preview winners in Oro Valley were Maud Koch and Joan Schrepfer; at Grace-St. Paul's, Steve Grisillo and Peggy MacDonald. And the Eugene Onegin preview, the winners at Oro Valley were Dorothy Salerno and OGSA members Raphaela & Robert Consigli; at Grace-St. Paul's, OGSA members Felicia Sanders May and Joan Cox and her friends Mary and Art Foushee.

We are most thankful to Ingvi Kallen, UA School of Music, for providing these vouchers.

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Tucson AZ 85728-4327

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