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Almost 130 people attended the very elegant and enjoyable event “Arias at Sea” aboard Holland America’s ms Westerdam at Port Everglades on Saturday, March 21st. Guests were treated to the beautiful performances of eleven of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artists while sipping champagne and mimosas in the beautiful ship’s show room. Justin Moss, in his inimitable style, provided the introductions for each of the singers and their selections.

Following the performances, a superb luncheon was served by the ship’s staff. The food and service were absolutely first class. A brief business meeting was held for the election of officers.  The elected candidates were congratulated by all. Next came the raffle drawing.  The raffle prizes, two Florida Grand Opera subscriptions for next season and a cruise certificate from Holland America Lines for up to seven days for two people aboard any Holland America ship to Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico or Canada/New England delighted the winners!

Comments from all the guests were uniformly enthusiastic and The Opera Society looks forward to repeating this wonderful event next year.

This event was very successful in raising funds for Florida Grand Opera thanks to the generosity of Holland America Lines with their much appreciated community outreach, support and the donation of the cruise certificate; to Coldwell Banker Cares Foundation for their generous donation towards the event and to the dedication and hard work of many of The Opera Society’s board members.

Betty Young provided all the great photos.

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St. Patrick’s Day – Erin Go Bragh!

by Eric on March 25, 2015

Louise and Terry “O’Moore” were delightful hosts at their lovely home as part of The Opera Society’s Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner series. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were followed by a wonderful menu of traditional dishes including corned beef and cabbage, parsley potatoes, glazed carrots, red and white wines, key lime pie, Irish Mist and coffee.

To make the evening really special the guests were treated to the beautiful singing of Louise and Terry performing well-known Irish songs.

Thank you to Lesleen Bolt for the great pictures!

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The Ladies Who Lunch

by Linda on March 11, 2015

On Thursday, February 19, twenty nine ladies of The Opera Society gathered at Umberto’s of Long Island for a delicious Italian lunch. Part of the Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner series, this event is anticipated by many members. Each year we enjoy different cuisines in different venues.

This year we decorated the single long table with Sunflowers and enjoyed a sumptuous salad served family style and red wine also served family style. The guests had a choice of Mussels Marinara, Chicken Marsala or Stuffed Shells. Dessert was spumoni and a very large cup of coffee! Everyone had a wonderful time and enjoyed their authentically Italian meal. Join us next year in a new venue!! Enjoy the photos taken by our own Betty Young!!

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Wonderful Holiday Party with the Young Artists

by Eric on December 24, 2014


On Dec. 20, 2014 at 7:30 PM, Larry and Ruth Molina hosted 65 members and friends of the Opera Society at a Holiday Party in their home in Plantation Acres.

It was gratifying to see not just the regular members, but friends of the Museum of Art and the Friends of the Uffizi Gallery and the Molina’s personal friends get together and enjoy an evening of drinks, dinner and music.

The evening began with champagne and appetizers indoor, and from there we moved out doors to the patio, which was festively decorated in honor of the season. The lovely pool area was large enough to accommodate the large group, and the weather was extremely cooperative.

Everyone was hungry and tackled the buffet feast, which included London broil, lasagna, penne a la vodka, asparagus oreganato, salad, and chicken francaise. Everyone repaired to the patio deck and had some wine and awaited the performance.

The FGO Young Artists, Will Hughes – bass-baritone, Rebecca Henriques – soprano and Marina Paulina Garcia – accompaniest, provided us with a program full of Holiday Songs, Cuban ballads, and excerpts from the Opera. Everyone joined in and tried their hand at singing holiday songs. It was wonderful!

Then on to dessert and more conversation and music, and we still manage to collect some greatly needed funds for the Opera. All in all, we have established a great December tradition that we hope will continue for years to come.

All the delightful photos are courtesy of our Vice-President for Publicity, Betty Young.

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The Opera Society celebrated its first Lyrical Luncheon on November 20, 2014 at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club attended by almost 50 guests. Chair Barbara Parent welcomed the members and guests. Co-Presidents Ruth Molina and Eric Koskoff spoke about up-coming events including the January 29, 2015 Lyrical Luncheon, which will be held at the Coral Ridge Country Club and the March 21, 2015 Lyrical Luncheon, which will be held onboard the Holland America ms Westerdam cruise ship with a 45 minute performance by our Young Artists. Also planned for March 6-7 is the Sarasota Opera Trip. For more information contact Ruth Molina.

Other events coming up: December – April are the Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner series. Chairpersons Claire Crawford and Caroline Seabright had the sign up sheets available for the members.

New member, Barry Rabinowitz, was welcomed.

Justin Moss then gave his presentation “The Lower Voices You Can’t Do Without Them”. Young Artists Raehann Bryce-Davis, Mezzo Soprano, and Isaac Bray, Baritone, sang several beautiful arias to illustrate the variety of roles these voices sing from hero (or heroine) to villain (or villainess). The piano accompanist, Maria Paulina Garcia, performed beautifully. The guests thoroughly enjoyed the performance and luncheon!

Enjoy the delightful photos courtesy of Betty Young!

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The Opera Society enjoyed a delightful Fall Membership Cocktail Party on Saturday, October 25th, graciously hosted by our esteemed patroness, Barbara Copanos, at her lovely home in Sea Ranch Lakes. We had a good turnout of our members and their guests attended this time-honored event.

Co-President Eric Koskoff opened up the evening by thanking Barbara for her hospitality and over 20 years of significant support for Florida Grand Opera and The Opera Society and for providing the drinks and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. Ruth Molina then reviewed the upcoming events, including the Lyrical Luncheon, which will be held on November 20th. Ruth introduced Claire Crawford and Caroline Seabright, chairs of the Popular “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” series. They presented the roster of lunches and dinners, that included some annual parties as well as new parties. Sign up soon to ensure a reservation!

Helena Caplan, VP of membership, presented a rose to new member, Barbara Franco, and welcomed her to the group. Brenda has joined our Board this year and we are excited about her energy and enthusiasm.

Susan T. Danis, Florida Grand Opera’s CEO & Director previewed the exciting upcoming Opera Season.

Enjoy the wonderful photos taken by our Public Relations Vice-President, Betty Young!

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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.


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


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.



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