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Our Season Opening Mixer at the Royal Pig Pub

by Eric on September 18, 2014

September 16, 2014
Over 40 members, new members, and guests launched the season and reconnected with friends at the Royal Pig Pub at 350 E. Las Olas. Over drinks and appetizers, we caught up with co-members who returned to Florida to enjoy the season. A lot of members stayed for a special prix-fixe dinner organized by the Royal Pig. The favorite drink was the dirty pig, a dirty martini garnished with a bacon-wrapped olive. What an unusual way to savor a vodka!
Our first membership event is on Saturday evening, October 25th, and we will be treated to a performance and cocktails at the lovely home of a prominent board member.
Then, we’ll be ready to enjoy a great season of Opera. Our first is Madama Butterfly, which opens on Thursday, December 4th. There will be a Reception at the Broward Center before the performance, so be sure to get tickets for both the performance and the Pre-Opera party. If you or your company is interested in helping to sponsor the reception, please contact Eric or Ruth at [email protected]. Justin Moss will do a pre-Opera presentation to provide us with his unique perspective and little-known facts about this great Puccini classic. Even if you have already seen what is probably the world’s most famous opera, the staging and sets will still astound you, and the story and melodies literally never get old.
Come to our Lyrical Luncheon on November 20 and get private glimpse into the workings of an Opera Company, directly from the people who manage it.
And mark your calendars for our Holiday Party on Friday, December 18th so that we can celebrate the season together in style!
Check back for new listing of events and picture postings from all of our gatherings.
Photos from this event will be posted shortly.

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On Thursday, May 8th, 2014 the Opera Society held the Installation of Officers Luncheon at the Bistro Mezzaluna in Fort Lauderdale. As guests gathered in the lounge, they were greeted to a champagne reception and the delightful sounds of Ann Rentoumis on the piano. After mingling and sharing stories of plans for the summer, guests went upstairs to the Lighthouse room for the Spring membership meeting and luncheon. As the guests’ lunch menu preferences were being taken, a brief business meeting was conducted.

Event chair, Karen Mathieson thanked the guests for attending the luncheon and introduced our President, Eric Koskoff. Eric thanked the membership, board and the chairs of the year’s events for a very successful year. He gave a brief, but positive report on the membership and financial statement. He then presented gifts of acknowledgement to the Opera Society 2013-2014 Officers.

We were then honored to have Susan Danis, General Director & CEO of Florida Grand Opera install the new Officers for 2014-2015 and to present each of the ladies with a lovely rose and for the gentlemen, a tasty chocolate rose. The new slate of Officers for 2014-2015 is:

Ruth Molina and Eric Koskoff                   Co-Presidents

Elizabeth Hopwood                                        1st Vice President, Ways & Means

Karen Mathieson                                            2nd Vice President, Membership

Betty Young                                                       3rd Vice President, Public Relations

Ted Belloise                                                       Recording Secretary

Linda Balent                                                      Corresponding Secretary

Gary Loft and Ann Clark                               Co-Treasurers

Bistro Mezzaluna served a lovely lunch consisting of lobster bisque, choice of grilled salmon or chicken breast, rosemary roasted potatoes, mixed vegetables and key lime pie for dessert. Everyone had a wonderful time. Special thanks to Ann Rentoumis our pianist and to Betty Young our photographer. Enjoy her photos!

Karen Mathieson, Installation Luncheon Chair

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The Opera Society celebrated the opening night of Tosca with a sumptuous buffet, champagne and wines on April 10th. The generosity of Regina di Notte Carol Harrison, Principessa Beth Holland and the Coldwell Banker Cares Foundation were acknowledged and plaques presented. The event was made possible by their donations and the support of Henry & Helena Caplan, Barbara Copanos, Harriet Mertz, Ruth & Larry Molina, Fatos Mullen, Barbara & Roland Parent, Stanford Smith & Betty Young and Marc & Rose Mary Zenobia and donations from Strategic Importers and the Royal Pig Restaurant.

Thanks to Betty Young for the wonderful photos.

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Mad-Hatters-Tea-2014-20

Ann Rentoumis, Elaine North, Carole Nugent

On Thursday, March 20, 2014 the Opera Society celebrated the first day of spring with the Mad Hatters Luncheon and Election of Officers for 2014-2015 in the grand ballroom of the Josephine S. Leiser Opera Center. Thirty-eight guests donned their tea attire and maddest hats and were treated to a spectacular garden party straight from the pages of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Guests were greeted with a beautiful display of jewelry and handbags by All Things Fabulous by Lisa Cooper and Collections by Maureen Jacobson as they sipped pink champagne with fruit and brie, and enjoyed the gifted Ann Rentoumis on piano.

True to theme, the room was decorated as the Mad Hatters garden party. Each table setting was a unique creation, loving designed and all donated by committee members; Barbara Parent, John Kovacs, Lianette Marquez, Susan Cordes, and Helena Caplan. Hats off to all of you!

A brief a brief business meeting was held prior to lunch to elect the new slate of officers for The Opera Society 2014-15. The slate as follows was unanimously elected:

Co-Presidents: Ruth Molina and Eric Koskoff
First Vice-President – Ways & Means: Liz Hopwood
Second Vice-President – Membership: Karen Mathieson
Third Vice-President – Public Relations: Betty Young
Corresponding Secretary: Linda Balent
Recording Secretary: Ted Belloise
Co-Treasurers: Gary Loft and Ann Clark

Kim Naimoli catered a magnificent lunch featuring: Tarragon Chicken Salad; Baby Greens with pecans, feta cheese and lemon vinaigrette; Lemony cucumber and prawn open face sandwiches; Goat cheese, walnut & roasted pepper finger sandwiches; Cupcakes, Chocolate covered strawberries and tea.

John Kovacs, our Mad Hatter introduced our very special guest judges for the Mad Hatters Hat Competition: Frances Herrera, Interior Designer; Brian Hero, Vice-President, Broker, ONE Sotheby’s International Realty; and Jason Hughes, General Manager of Classical South Florida. The winners in the hat competition were as follows:

Fit for a Queen – Vintage/Regal – Carole Nugent
Tea Time – Spring Tea Hat – Elaine North
The Mad Hatter – Whimsical/ Fun – Ann Rentoumis

A delightful time was had by all. Special thanks to committee members Barbara Parent, John Kovacs, Helena Caplan, Susan, Cordes, Lianette Marquez, and William Riddle, and to Ann Rentoumis, our pianist and Kim Naimoli for catering the event.

Enjoy the superb photos taken by Betty Young.

Karen Mathieson – Event Chair

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President’s Message

by Eric on January 14, 2014

Eric KoskoffHappy New Year!

It’s a pleasure to report that we have been enjoying reasonable success this year. The VIP Reception for the season opening performance of Mourning Becomes Electra was a delightful success, both socially and financially. We were incredibly honored to have the composer, Marvin David Levy, attend both the pre- and post-receptions.

The post-performance event was graced by the full cast and key members of the production staff. Kudos to Ruth Molina and her committee for the outstanding job they did. If you haven’t already checked it out take a look at the article “VIP Opening Night Reception – A Resounding Success!” and all the wonderful photos.

Our Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner series is well underway. First let me say THANK YOU to all the generous hosts that make this series possible. Nearly all the events are full. We are looking for more attendees for the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at Louise & Terry Moore’s on Sunday, March 16th and have arranged for several people to drive. You should have received the booklet for the series. Please contact Ann Clark (954-562-8425 or [email protected]) to sign up.

Plans are underway for another reception at the Broward Center on April 10th for the opening night of Tosca. Underwriters are welcome! Please contact either me or Ruth Molina for more information.

I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events and hope you will continue to honor us with your presence! To date we have contributed over $18,500 to FGO! Let’s keep it up!

We’re planning other exciting and wonderful events so stay tuned!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and successful New Year.

Eric Koskoff, President

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Marvin David Levy

Marvin David Levy

This season, Florida Grand Opera opened in Broward for the first time presenting Ft. Lauderdale native Marvin David Levy’s American Masterpiece, Mourning Becomes Electra, in its Florida debut. This is the first time that the Opera Season opened in Broward County, and viewers were awed by this daring new production.
To commemorate this momentous night The Opera Society held a VIP Opening Night Event where guests mingled with composer Marvin David Levy at the exclusive Pre Performance Champagne and Hors d’Oeuvres Reception, and capped off the evening with an exciting Post-Performance Sweet Celebration!

Opera Society President, Eric Koskoff, announced that over $9,000 was raised to benefit the programs of FGO. He then introduced Event chair, Ruth Molina and her dedicated committee members, Ted Belloise, Helena Caplan, Sasha Ezquerra, Nadia Greenidge, Tanya Ho-Shue, John Kovacs, Kim Naimoli, Maria Salgado, Andrew Tripoli, and Betty Young.

Business sponsors included the Gunster Law Firm, Bodegas Riojanas, S.A. and Strategic Importers, Thasos Greek Taverna, Royal Pig Pub & Kitchen, Dr. Gus Armenakis, MD, PA, and Tatiana Lee-Chee of Eye Physicians of Florida.

Opera Society sponsors included Drs. Alvan & Linda Balent, Henry & Helena Caplan, Barbara Copanos, Dr. Rudy & Carol Frei, Stanley & Pearl Goodman, Larry & Ruth Molina, Harriet Mertz, Kim & Steven Naimoli, KayeLynne Northcutt, Roland & Barbara Parent and Roger & Isobel Sturgeon.

For more information on The Opera Society and it’s future events call 954-321-0330 or email President@The OperaSociety.org.

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President’s Message

by Eric on July 17, 2013

Eric Koskoff

Congratulations to Kim Naimoli, our past President, the Board and all the dedicated members who made this past year a success. We contributed $28,500 to Florida Grand Opera during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. I’m honored at being elected to succeed Kim and am excited by the challenges that lie ahead. We are currently in the planning stages for many exciting events and invite you to help us succeed.

This season, Florida Grand Opera will perform all four operas in Broward County. The season will be opening here for the first time! We are planning a special evening to celebrate this wonderful occasion. We will have the extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the work of a local Fort Lauderdale resident, Marvin David Levy, the composer of Mourning Becomes Electra. A VIP reception and post-performance celebration are being arranged. Your participation in this event and on committees such as the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, the newly introduced Pre-Opera Elixir Mixers, Lyrical Luncheons, the In-School Opera program, Mad Hatters and others is critical as is your involvement in our future success and development.

My goal this year is to significantly increase the size of the membership and to restore the level of support that The Opera Society has provided to Florida Grand Opera in the past. Your input, suggestions and assistance will help achieve this goal and are most welcome.

I look forward to seeing each of you during the coming year. Please feel free to contact me by phone (954) 321-0330 or by email to: [email protected]

Here’s looking forward to another great year!
Eric Koskoff

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The 2013 Diva Impresario Awards Luncheon

by Linda on April 1, 2013

Diva2013Diva2013HonoreesArticle and photos by Betty Young 

 On Friday, May 3, 2013 the Opera Society’s highly acclaimed Diva Impresario Awards Luncheon will be held at the newly renovated Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  The Opera Society, a philanthropic group of supporters of the Florida Grand Opera, will recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to the Opera, the arts, and our community. Luncheon Chairman, Becky Irwin stated, “The Arts are more than just a wonderful pastime, the business of “the Arts” drives significant revenue, jobs, and increased quality of life in South Florida. No one knows this better than these dedicated men and women. I am delighted to announce this year’s honorees.”

 

The Divas

Mary Becht,  Former Director, Broward County Cultural Division

Harriet Mertz, Longtime Opera Patron, Opera Singer, Florida Grand Opera Lyric Society Grand Patron Member

Kristin Podack, President, Young Patronesses of the Opera

 

The Impresarios

William K. Hill, Esq., Shareholder, Gunster, Chairman, Florida Grand Opera Board of Directors

William Riddle, Executive Director, Venetian Arts Society

Kelley Shanley, President and CEO, Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Samuel M. Townsend, Longtime Opera Patron, Lyric Society Impresario Member

Gregory von Hausch, President and CEO, Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival           

 

Guest will be welcomed in the Peck Court reception, with a special signature “Tsartini” cocktail courtesy of Tsar Premium Vodka, and a glimpse behind-the-scenes of the performance, “La Traviata.” The new Chinese raffle will include a Holland America Caribbean Cruise, a weekend stay at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, portrait sitting by Tiffany photographers, Florida Grand Opera tickets, Broadway show tickets, discounts from Travel Spots Shots and much more.

Following the reception, guests will be seated in the theater for the program, hosted by the beloved voice of FGO, Justin Moss.

At the conclusion, guests will be ushered into the Horvitz Lobby of the Au-Rene Theater to indulge in a gourmet feast prepared by the Broward Center’s Executive Chef. The angelic voices of members of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio will fill the lobbies as guests enjoy this one-of-a kind event.

Committee members include Becky Irwin, Chairman, Kim Naimoli, President, Helena Caplan, Carol Frei, Barbara Parent, Nuccia McCormick, Eric Koskoff, Ruth Molina and Betty Young and Barbara Copanos, Founder.

For information on how to become an underwriter or sponsor of the “Diva Impresario Awards Luncheon,” or make reservations to attend the event, please call 954-249-0374

Photo of the Committee

Front row

Becky Irwin, Chairman

Betty Young, VP Public Relations

Eric Koskoff, VP Membership

2nd row

Shelly Bradshaw. VP of operations at Broward Center for the performing Arts

Helena Caplan

Carol Frei

Kim Naimoli, President

3rd row

Maria Ordonez

Barbara Parent

 

Photo of Honorees

First row

Samuel M. Townsend

Harriet Mertz,

Mary Becht

Kristin Podack

William K. Hill, Esq.

2nd row

Kelley Shanley

William Riddle

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[svgallery name="MadHatters 2013"]

Photos by Betty Young

Almost fifty of The Opera Society members and guests gathered at Windows on the Green at the Hyatt Regency Pier Sixty Six in their best Easter attire to celebrate the annual Mad Hatters’ event.  The guests were  greeted by the beautiful music of harpist, Charlene Conner, of the  Symphony of the Americas, generously underwritten by Carol Frei.  As the guests sipped champagne, they browsed the beautiful jewelry displays from Susan Angert of Susan’s Jewelry and from Elaine Johnson of Jewels by Parklane.  Each piece was more dazzling than the next!  When everyone was seated for lunch, a brief business meeting began to elect the new slate of officers for The Opera Society 2013-14.  The slate as follows was unanimously elected:

President:                                               Eric Koskoff

First Vice President Ways & Means:  Barbara Parent

Second Vice President Membership: Karen Matheison

Third Vice President Public Relations:  Betty Young

Recording Secretary:                                    Liz Hopwood

Corresponding Secretary:                        Maria Salgado

Treasurer:                                                Ruth Molina

After lunch, our Florida Grand Opera Broward Director, Justin Moss, updated us on the 2013-14 opera season that will open in Broward this year.  Then, the annual hat competition began. There were three categories that the guests could choose to enter: a hat which would be worn by an operatic heroine.  a classic Easter bonnet, and a hat which is great for any occasion!  Doing the very difficult job of judging the hats were:  Robert Allen and  Lee Chilcote of Robert Allen Salons, Willie Riddle of the Venetian Arts Society, and Pina Ackerman of Pina’s European Fashions for Women.  The winners in the three categories were as follows:  Ann Rentoumis for her operatic heroine hat, Linda Balent, for her classic Easter attire, and Betsy Bradford for the hat which is always right!  It was a very lovely day for everyone catching up with friends and seeing everyone so beautifully attired.

 

 

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Lyrical Luncheon November 5, 2012

by Linda on November 14, 2012

[svgallery name="Lyrical_Luncheon Nov 2012"]

The Opera Society had its first Lyrical Luncheon of the 2012-2013 season at the Windows on the Green, Pier Sixty Six, Hyatt Regency.

Beginning with a lovely champagne reception, about thirty members gathered to catch up with friends and to meet the new General Director of Florida Grand Opera, Susan Danis. Justin Moss, Director of FGO’s Broward operations, introduced her.

Susan comes to FGO with more than 20 years of arts administration, having most recently served as Executive Director of Sarasota Opera for the past 14 years. During her tenure in Sarasota, the company’s operating budget more than doubled, growing from $3.2 million to over $8 million. 

She worked to establish a unique artistic vision for Sarasota Opera. This included the start of an American Classics Series, presenting great American 20th-century works together with an innovative educational program to engage the community. She was also instrumental in the ongoing commissioning of new works for the Sarasota Youth Opera Program and ensuring the completion of the company’s Verdi Cycle, making it the only company in the world to have staged every note written by the great composer!!

She also served a six-year term as a member of the Board of Trustees of OPERA America, three of which she served as treasurer. We look forward to the new ideas she will bring to FGO in the coming seasons!!! Welcome, Susan !

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