Friends and Members, it has been a great pleasure to serve the Naples Opera Society as a Board member since January 2001 and as president since January 2003. We have enjoyed so many fun evenings together listening to opera and songs by wonderful local talent or special guest artists. However, I am no longer able to offer my volunteer time for the continuance of the concerts at the Norris Center. It isn’t easy to offer a simple reason for my decision in this matter as it is mainly a personal decision.
I discussed the potentiality of this change with the Board of Directors for several years. They unanimously agree, although saddened by the eventuality, to the closing of the local recital series. The management of the Norris Center understands our wishes, and we deeply appreciate their many years of support and assistance in organization of the musical evenings. The Norris Center has been a wonderful home for us, and the management and employees have served us with outstanding courtesy, accommodation, and professionalism. Especially, we send our love and enduring appreciation to Mrs. Lavern Gaynor, local humanitarian and community treasure, who gifted the Norris Center by donating funds for a second construction of the building. The original Norris Center was given to the community by Mrs. Gaynor’s father and mother. The Naples Opera Society enjoyed both structures in our history, including the opening night at the current Center.
There is much that I wish to share with you about the history and accomplishments of the Naples Opera Society. I will try to prepare a detailed article for you shortly. Basically, it has all come from our members and their love for opera that has inspired me, our Board, and the many opera artists who have performed for the community.
I realize that this is a bittersweet announcement; yet, we must remember that an opera company for our community (We have two!!) is a regular activity now. There is no absence of operas, recitals, and opportunities for participation. How Naples has changed! I like to believe that the Naples Opera Society has played a role in this musical development.
I hope to see you at the last two concerts on March 6 and April 3. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you.