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Beginnings….The Opera Society

by Admin on May 19, 2020

Before the Opera Society was an affiliate of Florida Grand Opera, it was an affiliate of The Opera Guild, Inc. of Fort Lauderdale.

Organized by a committee of six, the Opera Society was founded in 1978 with Louise A. Miller as the first President.

Marion Gamble was a member of that organizing committee and she became President in 1985. The affiliate reported to the Opera Guild and became the fundraising arm of the Guild.

It was when Marion was President that the membership of the organization soared to 600 members and published the Opera Society Cookbook, Libretto.

Another affiliate, Junior Opera Guild was formed around the same time to promote education and interest in opera to younger Opera enthusiasts.

This is how I personally came to the Opera as a new resident of Fort Lauderdale.

Through the years I came to know some of the most influential people in Fort Lauderdale as a member of several arts organizations and as a past president of the Opera Society.

The Opera Guild of Fort Lauderdale and the Opera Guild of Greater Miami merged in 1994 to form Florida Grand Opera.

When you look at the long list of past presidents of the Opera Society, many still active members today and many established Life membership in order to keep in touch even though they have relocated elsewhere.

Marion Gamble lives today in Pacific Grove, California. She is the widow of Clinton Gamble who was one of the architects of the War Memorial Auditorium in Holiday Park, Fort Lauderdale.

Here are just a few notes on the beginnings of the Opera Society. It is my intention to interview the past presidents and feature their personal memories of this wonderful organization now in its forty second year. Stay tuned!

Melanie Camp

Historian

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephen B. Pierce May 20, 2020 at 1:51 pm

Melanie congratulations what a wonderful project. Good luck and Godspeed

Patrice A. Tedescko May 21, 2020 at 10:51 am

Melanie, What a great idea! Looking forward to learning about past Presidents and other information about the Opera Guild/Opera Society. My first introduction to Fort Lauderdale opera was through Nella Stoner who was a member. A very interesting woman. My husband, Bob Ferencik, and I have had season tickets to the opera for about 25 years, in large part thanks to Nella.

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