605 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco
As he thanked the standing-room only crowd for making the 31st Orion in the Round such a huge success last Wednesday evening, Keith Dameron, VP/Manager at Orion Marco openly admitted he’d broken a promise.
“When we launched In the Round in 2007 as a free community service, I made a promise that I would never try to sell you anything,” he reflected. “But tonight, I’m making an exception. I’m selling Opera Naples as the best buy in town — the best investment you can possibly make in our community of Southwest Florida.”
And as evidenced by the brisk response of ticket sales, $20 chances to win a vintage Mercedes sports car, as well as a $500 donation by an Islander, the guests seemed to agree.
I’d sort of forgotten about opera. This event brought back so many memories of growing up in New Orleans (sitting) at my grandfather’s knee.
Hermann Schulze, Marco resident
For Dr. Hermann Schulze who attended the event with his wife, Darlene, it was a bit like deja vu. “I’d sort of forgotten about opera,” he said. “This event brought back so many memories of growing up in New Orleans (sitting) at my grandfather’s knee. He was an opera aficionado. Portraits of opera stars were all over his library and his records were among his prize possessions.”
Dameron’s assessment of the opera initiative was full of superlatives. “As I watched the performers from the sidelines, I turned toward the guests and realized how moved everyone was. So many had tears in their eyes — not just when the children sang. They were riveted on Livio (Ferrari) and so taken by Steffanie. To me, this confirms that Marco Islanders love opera — that they have an unfulfilled love affair.”
IF YOU GO
Opera Naples’ 2009-2010 Season
Mark your cultural calendars! For tickets call 239-514-7464 or go to operanaples.com
■ “Opera Stars Under the Stars”
A preview of Operatic melodies with world-class soloists & ON Orchestra & Chorus
7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14, at the Cambier Park Bandshell, Naples
■ Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”
7:30 p.m. Jan. 22 and 3 p.m. Jan. 24, at the Performing Arts Hall of Gulf Coast High School
■ Gounod & Bernstein’s “Romeo & Juliet”
Black-Tie Gala with Champagne Reception
7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 and 3 p.m. Feb. 21, at the International Design Center, Estero
■ Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”
7:30 p.m. March 5 and 6, at the Cambier Park Bandshell