57th Annual Young Patronesses of the Opera Gala

Swanee Dimare, Michael Patty, Janelle Patty, Debbie Campbell

Not even Superstorm Sandy could keep opera singers from the National Opera in Washington D.C. from making a rare performance at the 57th annual Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO), “Tales from the Vienna Woods” Gala at the Coral Gables Country Club.

Concert pianist Roberto Berrocal began the program with a performance of “Concert Arabesques” on motifs by Johann Strauss on a Steinway & Sons Miami piano. Soprano Maria Antunez of the National Opera in Washington, D.C, Tenor Martin Nusspaumer, and Coloratura Soprano Maria Aleida Rodriguez also honored the timeless music of Johann Strauss with arias from the Viennese repertoire, while bejeweled ladies in gloves and gowns, waltzed with black-tie clad gentlemen to classics like, “By the Beautiful Blue Danube.”

It was an elegant evening in Miami as the city’s finest swirled to the uplifting music in order to raise funds for one of Miami’s most established and important cultural organizations, YPO and its mission to promote opera education.

Susan Danis, Ramon Tebar, Kristin Podack, Judy George

“Once again, the annual gala was a great success. The endless generosity of our sponsors, in both time and financial contributions, is vital to our continued goal of spreading our love for music and opera education throughout the community,” says Kristin Podack, president of YPO. “It is truly inspiring to see the hard work of our Gala Chairs Susan Feldman, Gail Piñon, and Valerie Grace Ricordi, committee members and volunteers yield such an elegant and enchanting evening that benefits such a worthwhile cause.”

Among the sponsors and benefactors that contributed to the gala’s success were The Batchelor Foundation, Swanee DiMare, Bunny Bastian, Judy George, Dr. Sanford and Beatrice Ziff, Pamela W. Cole, Florida Grand Opera General Director and CEO Susan Danis, Florida Grand Opera Music Director Ramon Tebar, Kristin and Dr. Eckhard Podack and Manager of Oscar de la Renta Bal Harbour Dante Carpenter.

Founded in 1956, the YPO is a non-profit group spearheaded by women who work to advocate educational music programs and the Florida Grand Opera. Proceeds raised from the gala fund music and opera educational programs, including a Girl Scout Workshop for more than 500 Girl Scouts, and an annual Teachers’ Workshop which offers continuing education credits for 150 Miami-Dade and Broward County teachers on opera education in the classroom.

Gala Chairs: Gail Piñon, Susan Feldman and Valerie Grace Ricordi (far right) with YPO President Kristin Podack

YPO’s dedicated group of volunteers brings professional children’s opera performances to more than 25,000 elementary school students annually, and supports the National Voice Competition, which awards scholarships to gifted young opera singers. The 27th National Voice Competition finals will be held April 27 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

For more information about YPO please visit www.YPO-MIAMI.org

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