Each Fall we kick off the season with our largest fundraiser, the annual Fall Gala. This season’s Gala will be held at Old Warson Country Club for the second year in a row. Sponsored by Lu Barnes and Nancy Pillsbury and organized in part by the Gala Committee: Mary Pillsbury, Lynda Lieberman, and Gina Galati, this year’s Gala is looking to be the best one yet with entertainment by Gina Galati, Gregory Schmidt, Karen Kanakis, Nicholas Ward, Benedetta Orsi, Keith Boyer, and Gail Hintz.
Tickets are selling fast so don’t forget to reserve yours today! Join us for an evening of beautiful music, delicious food, and plenty of fun! Wonderful auction items available as well.
Cocktails begin at 6:00pm, dinner served at 7:00pm.
|Gregory Schmidt, tenor: is on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera. He made his main stage debut in the role of Arbace in Mozart’s Idomeneo, with Maestro James Levine conducting. Last season he covered the role of Edmondo de Nobile in the American premier of Thomas Adés’ The Exterminating Angel, and sang the main stage role of Normanno in Lucia di Lammermoor. Mr. Schmidt made his professional debut with Washington D. C. Opera in the role of Count Belfiore in Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera, returning to the Kennedy Center stage the following season as Tamino. He apprenticed with Santa Fe Opera and was a Metropolitan Opera Audition National Finalist.
|Karen Kanakis, soprano: is hailed for her fine vocal technique and dramatic flair. Her operatic credits include Giorgetta in Il Tabarro, Alice Ford in Falstaff, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro, Violetta in La Traviata, and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. She is frequently featured as a soloist with symphony organizations performing the Verdi Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Brahms’ Ein Deutches Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and Orff’s Carmina Burana. A frequent performer of modern compositions, she can be heard on American composer Brooke Joyce’s CD “Waves of Stone” on the Innova label.
|Nicholas Ward, baritone: Nicholas has been hailed as a performer of “effortless voice and agile presence” (Houston Press). He is happy to be making his debut with Winter Opera this season as Taddeo in L’Italiana in Algeri. Previously, he has sung with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Florida Grand Opera, the Crested Butte Music Festival, Central City Opera, Opera Fayetteville, Opera in the Heights, Union Avenue Opera, and many other companies across the U.S. Recent roles include Papageno in Die Zauberflöte, Le Mari in Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Marco in Gianni Schicchi, and Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff.
|Gina Galati, soprano: Ms. Galati has performed numerous principal roles such as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Rosina in The Barber of Seville, both Musetta and Mimi in La boheme, the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Nedda in I Pagliacci, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, and many others. She has performed with Opera Medellin (South America), Wichita Grand Opera, Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, Naples Opera, and Union Avenue Opera. Ms. Galati was recently nominated for “Best Soprano” in the Miami Life Awards for her role of Norina in Don Pasquale for Miami Lyric Opera. She is the recipient of The Historical Society of St. Louis County’s James O’Flynn Community Service Award for founding New Opera Saint Louis, now called Winter Opera St. Louis, where she serves as General Director.
|Benedetta Orsi, mezzo-soprano: Winter Opera audiences will remember Benedetta from our Season 10 production of Bizet’s Carmen, resulting in a nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Opera by the St. Louis Theater Circle. Along with concert appearances at Carnegie Hall in NYC and throughout Italy, England, United States and Spain, Ms. Orsi’s performance credits include roles in Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda, Roberto Devereux, Carmen, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in Maschera, Cavalleria Rusticana, L’Italiana in Algeri, La Sonnambula, Werther, Il Turco in Italia and Il Trovatore. Benedetta performs the role of Adalgisa in Norma with Winter Opera this season, and will also serve as Chorus Master.
Tickets are $150 per person and include: cocktails, dinner, wine, and entertainment by top Winter Opera artists. $75 of ticket price is tax-deductible.