Barbara’s Bistro and Wine Tasting

by Admin on October 26, 2020

On Thursday, October 22, eight lucky guests gathered at the lovely home of Barbara Copanos for a dinner and a Wine Tasting with Erich Theinert, Wine Master for PRP Wines! They also enjoyed a musical offering from FGO Studio Artists, Michael Moore, Baritone and Paul Schwartz, Pianist.

The menu included endive salad with Baltimore lump crab cake ( Barbara’s hometown), Filet of Beef with Oyster Soufflé and fruit tart. Each course paired with a magnificent wine, thanks to Erich our Wine Master. An elegant and delightful evening for all! Thank you to our hostess ! and her guests who generously donated the proceeds of this event to support Florida Grand Opera!

Barbara Copanos with her elegant appetizers!
Wine Master Eric Theinert at work
Dinner poolside!
Michael Moore, baritone, accompanied by Paul Schwartz.

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President’s Message 2020-21

by Admin on October 25, 2020

Dear Members,

Welcome to The Opera Society. The Opera Society is dedicated to building community through support of that pinnacle of performing arts, opera. Opera combines all the performing arts into one gorgeous production: symphony, ballet, and stories of Shakespearean depth. The Opera Society creates events to foster this community and to raise funds for Florida Grand Opera (FGO) which performs in Broward County as well as Miami-Dade.

Whether you are new to opera or a lifelong fan, this is the group for you. Newbies can learn from lifelong fans. And lifelong fans can relive their initial joys of discovering opera for the first time by sharing experiences with others.

During this pandemic the performing arts have been devastated. Artists are in desperate need. Performances of grand operas have been postponed and canceled around the country. Florida Grand Opera has also been badly affected. And although FGO has retained a few Studio Artists to create an opera film which to start an in school educational program to foster enthusiasm for opera in the next generation, staff has been slashed to the barest minimum. Those still employed are working longer hours at big pay cuts. They need our help now more than ever. Unfortunately the earliest a staged production by FGO could happen is spring 2021. With information about infection rates, testing techniques and efficacy, and vaccine availability and efficacy changing rapidly, so, too, could the date of a staged opera and its venue. 

Still The Opera Society will strive to create in-person and live events so we can meet and share our love of this art form.  News of events will be sent electronically so be sure you are allowing our emails and notices to get to you. You can update your email preferences at our website. We have already scheduled events for November and December. FGO is having concerts in Broward during those months as well. Other events are being planned for January, February and on into summer 2021. Stay tuned!

I welcome new ideas and input. I hope you will call me with any issues. My cell phone is listed in our directory. I would love to hear from you. I close with best wishes for all of you to stay healthy and to see you soon.

Sincerely yours,

Isobel Sturgeon

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Fall Membership Luncheon

by Admin on October 8, 2020

Date: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Time: 11:30am
Where: Coral Ridge Yacht Club, Upstairs Covered Veranda (outside)
Cost: $50/pp
Entree: Chicken or Salmon
Zoom option: $10 donation

Social-distanced seating is limited to 50 people
Please wear your mask into the building and until you are seated

Featuring: Mitch Roe, Director of Artistic Administration, FGO
FGO Studio Artists performing enchanting arias!

Fall 2020 Membership Luncheon
Attendance *
In support of The Opera Society and the continuation of live opera in our community

Food Selection *

After you click "Submit", you can use a credit or debit card, or PayPal.



Opera is for Everyone!

by Admin on June 17, 2020

Linda Balent, Corresponding Secretary

Can you remember your 1st Opera??

I can because I was an Ophthalmology Resident at Boston University.  

Dr. Mohandas Kini, Head of the Retina Department, was an opera lover.  Every spring, he would bring all the residents to see The Metropolitan Opera when they performed in Boston.  It was Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci (Cav-Pag).  Many of the residents were unmoved but I was riveted.  I loved music and played an instrument throughout high school and was a singer in high school choruses and college choirs.  

I have had season tickets to the opera since I moved here in 1982 after residency. So now I sit in the audience and dream of having the vocal gifts that the FGO singers possess and share with us. 

Linda Balent

Corresponding Secretary

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Opera is for Everyone!

by Admin on June 10, 2020

Barry Rabinowitz – Vice President, Public Relations

Can you remember your 1st Opera??

I can because it was the opening of a new world for me.

My ex-wife was an Opera Singer and she always wanted to take me to the Opera.

I loved jazz and rock and always declined.

One day she bought tickets for Madame Butterfly and I reluctantly agreed to go.

I was in awe at what I was missing. Guess what?? I cried at the end.

That was over 30 years ago, and I have attended Opera while living in NY, Ca, and now in Florida.

How can we love Opera??

You don’t need special training and special intellect.  What matters is your emotional response.  You won’t like everything, but once you hear something that calls out to you, it will tell you something about yourself.

Once you enter its domain and it enters yours, it will become a life partner.

Opera is for Everyone.

Barry Rabinowitz 

Vice President, Public Relations

The Opera Society


Looking Forward to our 2020-21 Season

by Admin on June 3, 2020

As an affiliate of Florida Grand Opera one of the purposes of the Opera Society is to devise fund-raising projects in order to bring better opera to our community.   We generally do this through events.  As we face these challenging times together, during which we are remaining physically apart, the role of music in nourishing our emotional well-being and creating shared experiences is more relevant than ever.  We’re inspired by the ways Florida Grand Opera is continuing to create connections and moments of joy for us to enjoy online through FGO GO.          

 We look forward to the time when we can all once again gather at homes and venues, reconnect with one another, rebuild our cultural communities and look to the future, all while experiencing the joy of grand opera.  During these summer months we are planning events for the coming season, at this time we are not sure exactly what form they will take, but our imaginations are working on alternative ideas.   Although they might be different than in the past, we are planning for our Fall Annual Membership meeting at the beautiful home of Barbara Copanos, our first Lyrical Lunch on November 19 to celebrate Verdi’s La Traviata, participation in the Winterfest Boat Parade on December 12 and a cheerful Holiday Party on December 13. The time will come, when we are together again and can celebrate our resiliency and enjoy opera together.    

Claire Crawford, First Vice-President, Ways & Means. 


Thank you for making our 2019-2020 Season a rewarding and successful season for The Opera Society and Florida Grand Opera. As you know, in an abundance of caution we cancelled all Opera Society events starting March.

However, we are thrilled to tell you that we were able to gift $40,000 to Florida Grand Opera this year as a result of your full participation in all of our events – Guess Who’s Coming to Dinners, Lyrical Luncheons, our Fall Luncheon at the beautiful home of Barbara Copanos, our first Annual Holiday Party, Member Mixers, In-School Operas, and the Mad Hatter’s Tea. Not to mention the membership dues of 151 Regular, Supporting, and Corporate members. Thank you, thank you!

Your new Officers of the Board of Directors 2020-2021 were installed on May 6th by FGO Executive Director and CEO, Susan Danis, via conference call.

  • President: Isobel Sturgeon
  • First VP, Ways and Means, Dr. Claire Crawford
  • Second VPs, Membership, Barbara Parent and Helena Caplan
  • Third VP, Public Relations, Barry Rabinowitz
  • Recording Secretary, Patrice Tedescko
  • Corresponding Secretary, Dr. Linda Balent
  • Treasurer, Ruth Molina

We welcome them and wish them the best of luck in fulfilling their duties in the upcoming season.

Discussions, led by the newly appointed Board, have been underway and will continue throughout the Summer months. We will explore creative alternatives to allow us to be together again while keeping with social distancing protocols to ensure everyone’s continued safety. 

On May 1st, we started our renewal and new membership campaign as we look forward to realizing our purpose to continue to foster culture and community interest in opera, promote friendships and our mutual love for the arts, raise funds and be an indispensable affiliate to the Florida Grand Opera.

On behalf of The Opera Society Board, from our homes to yours, we wish you good health and best wishes in the coming months. Please stay safe and sound.

We look forward to “seeing” you and being with you in the not-too-distant future.

Jan Solomon, Immediate Past President


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