Palm Beach Opera and supporters toasted to opening night of the company’s historic 2021 Festival – the first large-scale live opera performance in the nation since the onset of the pandemic – at the South Florida Fairgrounds’ iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre on Feb. 19.
Guests were welcomed by Palm Beach Opera’s Chairman of the Board David Genser and enjoyed an introduction by General Director David Walker, who shared behind-the-scenes insights into the company’s first-ever festival and thanked all in attendance for their continued support. Guests and audience members were also able to join in a special celebratory moment honoring the company’s previous Board Chairman, Dennis Williams.
Palm Beach Opera’s 2021 Festival was covered nationally and locally, praised as a “courageous winter operatic feast” and for its “breathtakingly beautiful” performances by South Florida Classical Review, noted as “the centerpiece of this year’s season” by WLRN, and celebrated for the “palpable feeling of joy” found in performances by Musical America.
“To be able to present large-scale live opera at a time when no other company in the country is doing so is something we are immensely proud of,” said General Director David Walker. “We are incredibly grateful to our board of directors, our Co-Producer Society members whose significant support made our festival possible, the iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre staff, our arts-thriving community, and all of our top international artists that helped make this a truly unforgettable moment in PBO history. With more than 3,700 attendees who joined us from all over South Florida, we hope our 2021 Festival will help to heal our community from this challenging year and will linger with audiences for many years to come.”
Palm Beach Opera’s 2021 Festival was generously underwritten by the following members of Palm Beach Opera’s Co-Producer Society: Executive Producer Ronnie Isenberg; Producers Bloomberg Philanthropies and Ari Rifkin, Chief Conductor Sponsor; Triple Co-Producers Sanford Baklor and Arlene Kaufman, Opening Night Sponsors, and Isanne and Sanford Fisher; Double Co-Producers David and Joan Genser, Patricia Lester, in loving memory of Howard Lester, Karen Tell, and Dennis and Roseanne Williams; Co-Producers Cynthia and Theodore Berenson, Douglas and Delphine Daft, Daft Family Foundation, Robert and Ann Fromer, Mickey and Allan Greenblatt, Judith and Jerry Kaufman, Associate Conductor and Chorus Master, Nathan Leventhal, Marc Solomon, Solomon Family Foundation Trust, and Ed and Lynn Streim; Associate Co-Producers Jeffrey and Lee Ann Alderton, Hans and Sigrid Baumann, Andrea and Ken Brodlieb, Randell and Rebecca Doane, Annette Y. Friedland, Paul and Sandra Goldner, Merrill and Charles Gottesman, Ingrid Kosowsky, and Scott and Monica Laurans; Assistant Co-Producers David Brodsky, David and Suzanne Frisbie, Barbara Greis and Howard Gottlieb, Carol and James Herscot, Florence Kaufman, Sidney and Dorothy Kohl, and Elaine and Peter McCombs.
Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton, Meg and Robert Biscup, Andrea and Ken Brodlieb, Noel and James Buscemi, David Brodsky and Susan Byrd, Anne Carmichael, Sandra and Jerry Fineberg, Sanford and Isanne Fisher, Annette Friedland, Ann and Robert Fromer, Joan and David Genser, Susan and Ross Hechinger, Carla and David Herwitz, Judy and Jerry Kaufman, Sandy Baklor and Arlene Kaufman, Elaine and Peter McCombs, Nancy Oelbaum, Betty Starr, Karin and John Strasswimmer, Linda Taub, Barbara and Fred Tepperman, Roseanne and Dennis Williams, and General Director David Walker were all in attendance among others.
Palm Beach Opera will also present “I Capuleti e i Montecchi,” starring the company’s artists in residence, outdoors at the Norton Museum of Art on March 21 as its final performance of the season. Tickets are available for purchase at pbopera.org. Palm Beach Opera will return to the Kravis Center for mainstage performances in 2022 during the company’s 60th anniversary season.