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OPERA  2015-2016


2015–16 Live in HD Schedule

Contact person:  Larry Lowy, lowy53@comcast.net or call 941-347-8900

Don't miss the Met's tenth season of live performance transmissions to movie theaters around the world. 


Verdi's Il Trovatore

October 3, 2015

Soprano Anna Netrebko’s dramatic and vocal skills are on full display in her next new role at the Met—Leonora, the Verdi heroine who sacrifices her own life for the love of the gypsy troubadour. Tenor Yonghoon Lee sings the ill-fated Manrico, baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky is his rival, and mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick is the mysterious gypsy with the troubled past. Marco Armiliato conducts Sir David McVicar’s Goya-inspired production.


Verdi's Otello–New Production

October 17, 2015

Verdi’s masterful Otello matches Shakespeare’s play in tragic intensity. Director Bartlett Sher probes the Moor’s dramatic downfall with an outstanding cast: tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko plays the doomed Otello; new soprano star Sonya Yoncheva sings Desdemona, Otello’s innocent wife and victim; and baritone Željko Lučić plays the evil Iago, who masterminds Otello’s demise. Dynamic maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts.


Wagner’s Tannhäuser

October 31, 2015

James Levine conducts Wagner’s early masterpiece in its first return to the Met stage in more than a decade. Today’s leading Wagnerian tenor Johan Botha takes on the daunting title role, opposite soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek as Elisabeth, adding another Wagner heroine to her Met repertoire after her acclaimed Sieglinde in the Ring a few seasons ago. On the heels of his recent triumph in Parsifal, baritone Peter Mattei sings Wolfram, and mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung is the love goddess, Venus.


Berg’s Lulu–New Production

November 21, 2015

Acclaimed artist and director William Kentridge (The Nose) applies his unique theatrical vision to Berg’s notorious femme fatale who shatters lives, including her own. Musically, the masterful score is in the sure hands of Met Music Director James Levine. Soprano Marlis Petersen has excited audiences around the world with her portrayal of the tour-de-force title role, a wild journey of love, obsession, and death. Susan Graham joins a winning cast, including Daniel Brenna and Johan Reuter.


Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de Perles–New Production

January 16, 2016

Bizet’s gorgeous opera of lust and longing set in the Far East returns to the Met stage for the first time in 100 years. Soprano Diana Damrau stars as Leïla, the beautiful Hindu priestess pursued by rival pearl divers competing for her hand. Her suitors are tenor Matthew Polenzani and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien, who sing the lilting duet “Au fond du temple saint,” which opera fans know and adore. Director Penny Woolcock explores the timeless themes of pure love, betrayal, and vengeance in a production that vividly creates an undersea world on the stage of the Met. Conductor Gianandrea Noseda brings his romantic flair to the lush score from the composer of Carmen.


Puccini's Turandot

January 30, 2016

Nina Stemme, one of opera’s greatest dramatic sopranos, takes on the title role of the proud princess of legendary China. Tenor Marco Berti is Calàf, the brave prince who sings “Nessun dorma” and wins her hand. Franco Zeffirelli’s golden production is conducted by Paolo Carignani.


Puccini’s Manon Lescaut–New Production

March 5, 2016

The Met stage ignites when soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Jonas Kaufmann join forces in Puccini’s obsessive love story. Opolais sings the title role of the country girl who transforms herself into a Parisian temptress, while Kaufmann is the dashing student who desperately woos her. Director Richard Eyre places the action in occupied France in a film noir setting. “Desperate passion” is the phrase Puccini himself used to describe the opera that confirmed his position as the preeminent Italian opera composer of his day. Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi leads the stirring score.


Puccini's Madama Butterfly

April 2, 2016

Anthony Minghella’s breathtaking production has thrilled audiences ever since its premiere in 2006. One of the world’s foremost Butterflys, soprano Kristine Opolais, takes on the title role, and Roberto Alagna sings Pinkerton, the naval officer who breaks Butterfly’s heart. Karel Mark Chichon conducts.


Donizetti's Roberto Devereux—Met Premiere

April 16, 2016

Soprano Sondra Radvanovsky takes on the extraordinary challenge of singing all three of Donizetti’s Tudor queens in the course of a single season, a rare feat made famous by Beverly Sills—and not attempted on a New York stage since. In this climactic opera of the trilogy, directed by Sir David McVicar, she plays Queen Elizabeth I, forced to sign the death warrant of the nobleman she loves, Roberto Devereux. Tenor Matthew Polenzani is Devereux, and mezzo-soprano Elīna Garanča and baritone Mariusz Kwiecien complete the principal quartet in the bel canto masterpiece, conducted by Donizetti specialist Maurizio Benini.

Strauss's Elektra–New Production

April 30, 2016

The genius director Patrice Chéreau (From the House of the Dead) didn’t live to see his great Elektra production, previously presented in Aix and Milan, make it to the stage of the Met. But his overpowering vision lives on with soprano Nina Stemme—unmatched today in the heroic female roles of Strauss and Wagner—who portrays Elektra’s primal quest for vengeance. Legendary mezzo-soprano Waltraud Meier is chilling as Elektra’s fearsome mother, Klytämnestra. Soprano Adrianne Pieczonka and bass Eric Owens are Elektra’s troubled siblings. Chéreau’s musical collaborator, Esa-Pekka Salonen, conducts.


Special Events 

The Chairperson for Special Events is Judy Denham at judydandtonyf@yahoo.com or 941.833.8945.  Watch for PineappleGrams with detailed information on the planned events.


Events Planned for 2015:

December 7th:   Christmas Cupcakes & Canvas

July 4- Dinner at Village Fish Market followed by Fireworks over the Harbor.

March 20 - time TBD - Floridians will be hosting a workshop about your personality and how we relate to others.  The presenter will guide us through a personal analysis to help us identify why we get along well with some people and others make us crazy. Not only will this session be insightful, it will be fun.  Learn what motivates us, our family and friends; along with ways we communicate best. 

February 6 - Sarasota House Tour - Meet at PGICA at 8:50 a.m. to carpool.  The group rate is $20 and reservations are due by January 31.  Contact Judy Denham at 941.833.8945 and send your check made payable to Judy Denham, 499 Capri Isles Ct., Punta Gorda, 33950 by January 31. Following the tour, the group will stop for lunch at the Turtle Restaurant on Siesta Key.

January 17 - Cabaret Concert & Dance by Vocal Point, PGICA, 7 p.m.  Tickets are available at PGICA for $15 per person, BYOB, and a snack to share.  Put together a group of friends for tables of 8 and come out for a great night of entertainment.  More info at www.ourvocalpoint.weebly.com.


Events Planned for 2014:

November 19 - Naples Zoo

February 19 -  Calusa Indian Mounds on Pine Island.  A guided archeological walking tour of the site with information abut these early inhabitants of our area will be provided.  We will enjoy lunch afterwards at the nearby Tarpon Lodge.  Make your reservations with Judy at judydandtonyf@yahoo.com and receive all of the final details.


Events Planned for 2013:

December 6, 2013 - HOLLY DAYS HOME TOUR on at 10:45am at United Methodist Church, 507 Marion St., Punta Gorda.  Cost is $15.00.  This annual event is presented by the Punta Gorda Garden Club and is used to support scholarships and community projects.  There will be four festively decorated homes in the Historic District.  Many of the decorations are made from plant materials by members of the club.  In the past we have met at Elena's for an early lunch, but the tour is starting an hour earlier.  We will meet at the Church Fellowship Hall to purchase tickets and form tour groups.  Please sign up with Judy Denham, judydandtonyf@yahoo.com. Tickets may be purchased in advance from Bonnie Verminski, everrminski@centurylink.net.

November 20, 2013  - BUNKER HILL WINERY WINE TOUR AND TASTING WITH HORS D'OEUVERS in Manatee County at 9:45am.  Cost is $15.00 in advance.  Meet at the Civic Association, Magdalena Street side. This is one of the few wineries in Florida that grows its own grapes.  You may sign up and pay at the Floridian Meeting on Mon. Nov.11 or you can make out a check to Judy Denham and mail it to 499 Capri Isles Court, Punta Gorda 33950.  Passengers are advised to donate gas money to the driver.  If you pay and are unable to go on the trip, call Judy before 9:00 that morning at 833-8945. 

April 17, 2013  -  At 10:00am we will tour ECHO Farm, 17391 Durrance Road, N. Fort Myers.  Cost is $8.00.  Lunch to follow at a local restaurant.  Contact Judy Denham at judydandtonyf@yahoo.com for more information or to sign-up.  Also watch Pineapplegrams for more information.

March 14, 2013 - “May the road rise to meet you, may success be with you”…as Floridians are Out and About on Thursday March 14. Meet at 3 p.m. as we carpool from PGICA to a practice demonstration of Herrmanns’ Lipizzan Stallions at their winter home in Myakka City. Even the stallions know Florida is a great place for a winter home.  Cost is a $5 donation. We will stop on the way back for dinner. In April watch Pineapplegreams for details on our trip to Eden Winery. Everyone had a great time at the Everglades Wonder Garden in January.  Judy Denham coordinates our outstanding monthly Out and About activities.  Contact her at judydandtonyf@yahoo.com for more info.

January 30, 2013 - Jewels on the Bay Decorator Showhouses in Sarasota at 8:45am to Carpool.  Cost for the group rate is $15.00.  Deadline to pay is Jan. 16th.  This year the Decorators have chosen two gorgeous homes on Lido Key near St. Armand Circle. Our appointment is at 10:00.  By prepaying we are saving $5.00 per ticket.  If you prepay, you will get the ticket at the group rate and can use it on a different day if the Jan. 30 date is not suitable.  Reservations for lunch will be made for noon at the popular Columbian Restaurant on the Circle.  Enjoy a refreshing Sangria, a specialty of the house, at the Columbian.  You need to get your $15.00 to Judy Denham by Wed. Jan. 16, 499 Capri Isles Court. 

January 16, 2013 - We will visit the Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs. The garden dates back to the late 30’s and has been operated by the same family for three generations. Changes still offer both a historical and environmental appeal.  We will meet at 8:30 at PGICA to car pool for our 10 a.m. tour. Details on lunch stop will be shared when reservations are made. Cost is $15pp and may be reduced if group meets minimum. Contract Judy Denham at judydandtonyf@yahoo.com as she leads the way on another exciting adventure.


Events Planned for 2012:

November 30, 2012  -  Holly Day’s Historic Homes Tour.  Floridians can meet at Elena’s for an early lunch at 11 a.m.  Tickets are available from any member of the Punta Gorda Garden Club.  Bonnie Verminski has a supply so contact her at everminski@centurylink.net.  Every year members of the Garden Club decorate several homes in the historic district with natural materials for the Christmas Season.  It’s a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season.  Sign up with Judy Denham, judydandtonyf@yahoo.com.

November 16, 2012  -  Join us at Garsparilla Inn, Boca Grande.  The group will be treated to a tour of the grounds and hotel followed by lunch at the Pink Elephant.  This restaurant is less formal than the dining room and lunch is not provided.  Meet at PGICA at 7:30 a.m. to carpool to Boca Grade for the 9:00 a.m. tour of the grounds.  Leave Punta Gorda at 9:00 a.m. if you want to join us for the hotel tour at 10:30.   RSVP with Judy Berger at judberger60@embarqmail.com.

September 24, 2012 - Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1946;  at Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota. Meet at 9:00am to carpool; Free Admission.  This is the first exhibit outside of Tokyo dedicated to Japanese Art Deco.  It contains nearly 200 objects in the Deco style including metalwork, ceramics, lacquer, glass, wood furniture, textiles, graphic designing on paper, paintings, and woodblock prints.  Lunch at the elegant Treviso restaurant where the food and service is always a pleasure.  Sign up with Darlene, standar125@aol.com or call 505-1492.

May 2012 - Visit the Burroughs Home & Gardens, 2505 First Street, Fort Myers, 239-337-0706.  Walk among live oaks and lush gardens, relax in a rocking chair on the verandah as you watch the river roll gently by....but, first, join Mona and Jettie Burroughs as they share the history and colorful tales of living in one of Fort Myers' oldest homes - The Burroughs Home. Built in 1901, this Georgian Revival Mansion was the scene of many social events that hosted the Fort Myers' elite including the Edisons, Fords, and Firestones. Antique furnishings, historical artifacts, and delightful tales of growing up as the privileged daughters of wealthy businessman Nelson Burroughs and his wife Adeline await visitors who want to take a step back in time.  Watch PineappleGrams for more information.

April 18, 2012 - Visit Indian Springs Cemetery, lying along the banks of the Alligator Creek in Punta Gorda and believed to be the second oldest cemetery in Charlotte County.  It was briefly known as Pineapple River Cemetery early in this century. The origin of the name Indian Springs is unknown although some say that the Indians once got their water from a small spring on the property.  Land for the cemetery was donated to the county by James L. Sandlin, a prominent citizen and member of the Punta Gorda Council.  The late governor, Albert Gilchrist, a surveyor, laid out the land and the first plat was recorded on December 14, 1886.  Another segment was recorded June 8, 1891.  Watch PineappleGrams for more information.

March 21, 2012 - Visit Lions, Tigers & Bears, 9801 N.E. Bahia Ct., Arcadia, FL 34265, 863-494-0054.  Lions, Tigers & Bears is a Non-Profit Organization that gives homes to unwanted exotic animals and endangered species.  Watch PineappleGrams for more information.

February 15, 2012 - Visit Trader Joe's in N. Naples.  Leave at 9:00am.  Trader Joe's is a popular grocery store chain that many of us know and love. It started in CA and became a big hit because of the inexpensive, but very nice, wine popularly know as two buck Chuck. The Charles Show label will probably be priced at $2.99 due to transportation costs, but is still a great buy. Trader Joe's tries to sell natural products and screens against high fructose corn syrup as a sweetener. We will meet at the Civic Association, Magdalena side, to car pool.  Because of the distance involved, we urge passengers to contribute $5.00 for gas.  Contact Judy Denham to sign up, judydandtonyf@yahoo.com or call 833-8945.

January 26, 2012 - Jewels on the Bay Sarasota decorator Show Houses.   Payment must be made by Jan. 18th.  The Group Rate Tickets are $15.00, Full Price is $20.00.  Meet at 9:00am at the Civic Association to Car Pool.  This year we will be visiting two historic homes in the Baypoint District of Sarasota that was developed in the early 1900s. There is a movement on to restore these historic treasures that are stunning examples of the bungalow and ranch styles of architecture. Naturally, the Professional Decorators will present the interior of the homes in the highest current styles. The homes are within walking distance.  Reservations will be made at the historic Columbian Restaurant, 141 St. Armand Circle for 12:00 noon. You should make out your check to Judy Denham and get it to her by Jan.18th. She will make the total payment for the tour. You can sign up with Judy at judydandtonyf@yahoo.com or call 833-8945.  Be sure you make your lunch reservation if you plan to dine with us.  You may pay at the meeting Mon. night, Jan.9, or mail your check to 499 Capri Isles Court.  It is suggested that passengers should contribute $5.00 to the driver to help out with gas.


Events Planned for 2011:

January 19, 2011 - Visit Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples

February 16, 2011 - Visit Junior League Designer Show House in Sarasota.

March 16, 2011 - Babcock Ranch Eco Tour at 9:15AM.  Cost is $20.00 per person by March 14.  Join us for an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors. You will be driven through several Eco systems where you will see original cracker cattle, alligators, deer, wild pigs and even the elusive Florida panther. The tour lasts 11/2 -2 hours and is fully narrated by an entertaining naturalist. You will have an opportunity to visit the museum at the ranch. There is a covered picnic area and you are welcome to bring your lunch or you may purchase a barbecue pulled pork sandwich at the Snack Bar for the bargain price of $5.00. Other sandwiches, chile and soup are also available. Make your reservations with Judy Denham, 833-8945 or email judydandtonyf@yahoo.com. Payment checks may be mailed to 499 Capri Isles. Judy will be at the March 14 Floridian meeting to receive checks.

April 27, 2011 9:30-11:30. Please note change in date.  Wading Adventure at Ponce de Leon Park, Punta Gorda.  Let the pros from the Charlotte County Environmental Center present life in the estuary on a first hand basis. Mark your calendar for this free experience.  Meet at the park and be prepared to enter the water. You will learn about the environment of the estuary and meet some of its residents. Make sure you have a hat, sunscreen and water.  Sign up with Judy Denham, judydandtonyf@yahoo.com or call 833-8945.

May 25, 2011 - 10:30 - 4:30Big M Casino Boat, Fort Myers Beach.  Cost $10.00.  Cost for cruise and lunch buffet is $10.00.  The boat leaves Ft Myers beach at 10:30AM and returns at 4:30PM. The first deck is the casino, second deck is for dining and the third level is an observation area. The boat takes you three miles from shore. Gambling is not compulsory. We must prepay so you need to make your reservation and send a check by Wed. May 18. We will be car pooling from the Civic Association. It is suggested that you contribute $5.00 to the driver if you share a ride. Send your $10.00 to Darlene Rosen 3768 Whippoorwill Blvd., Punta Gorda 33950. For more information contact standar125@aol.com or call 505-1492.

July 15, 2011 - South Florida Museum in Bradenton. Leave at 9:00am from the PGICA.  The special exhibit of photos showing the 20-year recovery project of the Tampa Bay Estuary. There are also dioramas showing Florida history and in the environmental wing, Snooty the manatee. The Bishop Planetarium Theater and replicas of a 16th century manor house, chapel and Hernando DeSkoto's birthplace. Admission $15.95 adult, $13.95 65 and over.  RSVP to Judy Berger at judberger60@embarqmail.com or call 624-0405.

July 29, 2011 - Circus Sarasota at historic Asolo Theater at Ringling Museum.  Show is at 2:00PM.  Cost is $15.00.  Acrobatics, aerial acts, juggling, balancing, and hilarious buffoonery.  RSVP to Judy at judberger60@embarqmail.com, or call 624-0405

September 10, 2011 - BLACK MARIA FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL at Charlotte County Event Center.  Show is at 8:00PM.  Group Discount Price: $13.00.  Black Maria takes its names from the world's first motion picture studio built by Thomas Edison in 1893. It has been named by Movie Maker Magazine as "25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee" in the Spring 2010 edition.  The festival will feature a variety of bold contemporary works drawn from the annual collection of 50 or more award winning films and videos.  For anyone interested, we will meet for dinner at a local restaurant (to be determined) prior to the festival.  For reservations, please call Darlene Rosen at 941-505-1492 or e-mail her at standar125@aol.com.

October 18, 2011 - “Rock Around the Clock…”  Out and About invites us to take a walk down Memory Lane at Visani Comedy Club. “A Tribute to Motown” by Verceal, Wilson Williams, and Al Holland will transport you back to those tumultuous days when our feet could keep up with the tempo and our hair-dos couldn’t keep up with the hair spray!  Happy Hour runs from 4 to 6 p.m.  You can plan on dinner (your $$$ choice from the menu) at 5 p.m. and/or show tickets, starting at 7:30 p.m., priced at $12.  Join us for whatever part of the evening appeals to you.  Darlene Rosen, 505-1492, or standar125@aol.com, awaits your RSVP.

December 2, 2011 - Holly Days Home Tour.  Cost is $10.00.  Lunch at Elena's at 11:00am.  The Punta Gorda Garden Club has selected four homes in the Historic District to decorate for Christmas using natural materials. The tour starts at 12:00. We will meet for an early lunch at Elena's so that we can be at our first house at noon. If you do not have a ticket in advance you may purchase one at any house on the tour. This is one of the events that make the Holiday Season in Punta Gorda such a delight. Sign up with Judy Denham, judydandtonyf@yahoo.com or call 833-8945.

December 7, 2011 - Sausage-Mushroom Stuffing with Gravy…”stuff” this event into your calendar!  Out & About has a unique connection to tour a private garden in North Naples.  Hosted by horticulturists Rege Malone and Al Sanchen, we’ll visit a working farm with a wide variety of plants and trees, birds and animals.  Gardening activities are planned during the tour, so dress comfy in garden-ready shoes.  Bring a bag lunch and drink.  Plan for space in your car trunk if you buy a potted plant; cash only, please.  No charge for tour.  Carpool from PGICA (Magdalena side) leaving at 8:45 a.m.; $5.00 per passenger to the driver would be kind.  RSVP to Judy Denham, judydandtonyf@yahoo.com, or call Judy after November 1 at 833-8945.

December 29, 2011 - PINTA AND NINA REPLICA TOURS at Fisherman's Village on Thurs. Dec. 29th at 10:00AM.  Group Rate is $4.00.  The Columbus replica ships will be docked at Fisherman's Village from Tues. Dec.20 until Sun. Jan.1. The Nina was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools.  The Pinta was recently built in Brazil to accompany the Nina on her travels. You can have a self guided tour at the Senior Citizen rate of $7.00.  If we have a group of 15 or more, we will get a guided tour for the cost of $4.00 per person.  Sign up with Judy Denham, judydand tonyf@yahoo.com or call 833-8945.  When we know we have the minimum number for the group rate we will let you know how to pay.


Events Planned for 2010:

January 28, 2010 - Visit 2010 Designers Showhouse on Longboat Key, Sarasota.

February 16, 2010 - Florida Friendly Garden Tour in Downtown Punta Gorda with lunch to follow at Laishley Crab House.

March 16, 2010 - Harborwalk with lunch to follow at Benedettos.

March 30, 2010 - Visit Spanish Point in Osprey. Bring your lunch. Meet at 8:45 at Bal Harbor Plaza.

April 20, 2010 - Narrated trolley ride to view the murals and historic buildings in Punta Gorda.

May 18, 2010 - Tour Myakka River State Park in Sarasota.  Meet at 8:45 at Bal Harbor Plaza.

June 21, 2010 - Visit Koreshan Historic Site and State Park in Estero.

July 30, 2010 - Visit Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium in Fort Myers.

August 24, 2010 - Imax Theater in Gulf Coast Town Center Mall with lunch to follow at P.F. Chang's.

September 15, 2010 - Visit the Chihuly Collection at the Morean Art Center in downtown St. Petersburg. Our lunch break will be at Parkshore Grill in St. Pete.

October 28, 2010 - Visit Snook Haven Restaurant to hear the banjos.

November 9, 2010 - Tour the Water Treatment Plant on Kings Highway.  Lunch with be at Deans South of the Border in Punta Gorda. 

December 3, 2010 - Holly Days House Tour.