The Edit by Brett Graff
This week SocialMiami's editor reports on Pegasus World Cup, Florida Grand Opera and a Sunset Harbour restaurant opening.
Pegasus World Cup
Florida Grand Opera Names New Executives
Big changes in Florida Grand Opera’s leadership. Former Studio Artist Manager Matt Cooksey has been named the new Director of Artistic Operations. He left the Indianapolis Opera for FGO in October 2021, joining to serve as Artist Services Manager and was later promoted to the Studio Artist Program Manager. FGO audiences will recognize him as the pre-show lecturer for mainstage performances and for his “Matt in a Minute” videos introducing FGO’s upcoming operas and concert series. In addition to his arts administration skills, Cooksey is an accomplished stage director, writer/arranger, baritone, and lighting designer. He also recently assisted Metropolitan Opera director Paula Suozzi in her production of Falstaff at the Aspen Opera Theater.
South Florida bass-baritone Neil Nelson, at the same time, has been selected for the role of Studio Artist Program Manager, the company’s highly competitive and comprehensive career development program. His most recent roles at FGO on stage were during the 2021-2022 season and in his new role as Studio Artist Program Manager, Nelson is responsible for guiding the artistic development of FGO’s exclusive cadre of early-career performers. A graduate of The New England Conservatory of Music with a degree in music performance, Nelson has performed operatic roles worldwide with prestigious companies such as Tatarstan Opera Theatre and Ballet in Kazan, Russia, Boston Lyric Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Orlando Opera, Opera Naples and many others. Nelson will not, FGO reports, disappear from the stage and upcoming engagements include the Dark Angel in Kurt Weill’s Road of Promise with Orchestra Miami, the bass soloist in Bruckner’s Te Deum with the South Florida Symphony, and the Sacristan in FGO’s upcoming production of Tosca.
“This is an amazing team that will help lead the artistic direction of Florida Grand Opera,” says General Director and CEO Susan Danis. “The breadth and depth of experience and knowledge these two men bring to our company is tremendous. We all are looking forward to great things under their leadership.”
Launch Party for Sunset Harbour Trattoria & Pizzeria
Sunset Harbour’s newest Casa Bufala, the newest trattoria and pizzeria Casa Bufala launched with party of epic proportions. In its family-friendly space, Casa Bufala brought together esteemed guests including Commissioner Michael Gongorra, Real Housewives of Miami cast member Kiki Barth, DJ Irie, Jessica Cristobal, Emilie Sobel, Stephen Gamson, Linda Levy Goldberg among others.
Guests were greeted with signature cocktails and specialty wines, followed by a multi-course preview of the menu. Casa Bufala brought the flavor of Naples, Italy throughout the evening, featuring menu staples including Truffle Bruschetta, Parmigiana Eggplant, Minestrone, Carbonara, Seafood and Truffle Risottos, Ossobuco, Signature Calzone Cacio, and Pepe, as well as wood-fired pizzas made by their master Pizzaiolo, complete with their most popular desserts. While guests drank and dined, DJ Joey Tracks was spinning top 40 beats among a backdrop of lemon trees.
Brett Graff is SocialMiami.com’s managing editor and has been a journalist covering money, people and power for over 20 years. Graff contributes to national media outlets including Reuters, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, Maxim, and the PBS show, Nightly Business Report. A former U.S. government economist, her nationally syndicated column The Home Economist is first published in The Miami Herald and then on the Tribune Content Agency, where it’s available to over 400 publications nationwide. She is broadcast weekly on two iHeartRadio news shows and is the author of “Not Buying It: Stop Overspending & Start Raising Happier, Healthier, More Successful Kids,” a parenting guide for people who might be tempted to buy their children the very obstacles they’re trying to avoid.