Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts
By Henry C. Mayer

An Invaluable Ally For Kentucky Opera: the Kentucky Opera Guild

There are several reasons why Kentucky Opera is a reason for pride. One of them is the Kentucky Opera Guild.

The Guild, which has over 200 members, is beginning its fourth season. President Diana Winkler brings a deep commitment, wonderful people-to-people skills and a tireless enthusiasm.

The Guild puts on an annual book sale, during which members solicit, pick up, arrange, and price books that would be invaluable additions to anyone's library. Last year was its best year yet, bringing in a little more than $24,000.

Kentucky Opera Guild President Diana Winkler, right, presents B. J. Mason with the Guild's "Volunteer of the Year Award".

The Guild also sponsors the annual District Metropolitan Opera Auditions for young singers. The Louisville District, along with Southern Indiana and southern Ohio, makes up one region. Every third year, Louisville is host for the regional competition and this is such a year. The auditions cost $8,000 and the Guild raises that sum, with PNC Bank is making a significant contribution to that fund this year.

The District Competition is to be held on Saturday, November 14 and the Regional Finals will be Saturday, January 9, 1999. Both will start at 1 p.m. and will be held at the U of L School of Music North Recital Hall.

Both events are free and open to all music lovers. Early arrival is advised because seating and parking is limited.

Another Guild activity that is growing in popularity is the "Lunch and Listen" programs, which enlighten and entertain about the operas to be performed this season. Each of these operas will have three such programs and their popularity has led to sell-outs. If you are interested, early reservations are a must. VISA or Mastercard are accepted.

Before the opera luncheons kick off the current season, two other gala events will highlight this calendar. With gracious support from Bank One, the Guild is repeating "Puccini and Pasta," a casual summer evening of beautiful music and exquisite cuisine at Vincenzo's at 5th and Market.

This program is scheduled for Wednesday, August 19 and will be repeated on Thursday, August 20 and Friday, August 21. Each event will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., followed by an evening of music. Admission is $39 per person, $21 of which will help underwrite the 1998 Metropolitan Opera Auditions. For reservations, please call 502-584-4500 by noon, Monday, August 17. All reservations are final.

Jacobson's joins the Guild by offering a Fashion Show and Brunch at Jacobson's, 11 a.m.. on Friday, September 11. Again the Auditions are the beneficiary. Admission is $20 per person and reservations must be made by noon on Wednesday, September 9. Call 502-584-4500. All reservations are final.