Pricing $30 and up | Limited View $15
On Sale 10 AM
Dec 8, 2021
3pm & 7pm
Annual fundraiser hosted by The Villages Opera Club to fund The Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Foundation for young budding musicians in our community. Program to come.
ABOUT THE OPERA CLUB
The Opera Club of the Villages was established in 1997 to present live performances to Villagers and establish a music scholarship program to honor the founder of the Villages, Harold Schwartz. Since it’s inception over $550,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to local students in Marion, Lake and Sumter counties who aspire to pursue a career in Music.
More information is available on the Opera Club Of The Villages website.
Fernando Varela - Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Fernando moved to Florida at the age of 8. His impressive talent was discovered at 17, under the vocal coaching of Maestro Bill Doherty. Villages favorite operatic and classical crossover tenor, Fernando trained with some of opera's renowned classical icons and tours worldwide with Grammy Award Winning producer David Foster. Varela can also be seen featured on David Foster's recently released PBS Special. He has also performed amongst some legendary superstars including Lionel Richie, Sara Brightman, Babyface, Gladys Knight, Peter Cetera, Neil Diamond, Benny Anderson, Seal, Jewel, The Beach Boys, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban, and Chaka Kahn.
This year saw Fernando as a special guest performer at the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honoring Gloria and Emilio Estefan, as well as celebrating Julio Iglesias on the Grammy Salute to Legends. Varela is signed with Universal Music Group. He is the Executive Director of arts outreach organization Victory Productions. Fernando Varela sets the standard for what true musicianship is all about, combining a unique voice and an engaging passion which lights up the stage.
Edward Washington II - Edward Washington II was born in England raised in Saudi Arabia and lives in New York City. A classically trained tenor, this past winter, he was featured as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, and performed in Porgy and Bess at the MET. He is a former artist with Orlando Opera, Central Florida Lyric Opera, International Festival of the Voice, New York City Opera and the Metropolitan Opera. He is a graduate of Stetson College, and has a Masters of Arts from Morgan State University. Edward has been a featured soloist with the U.S. Air Force Band, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, and American Spiritual Ensemble. He has premiered a number of new songs by America composers/arrangers. Edward Washington was formerly the Music and Education director of the "Negro Spiritual" Scholarship Foundation based in Orlando, Florida and directed their ensemble "Master Singers". He still is a proud ambassador for the foundation. He is excited to perform once again for the Opera Club of the Villages.
Miguel Salas - Born in Caracas, Venezuela, he began his musical studies at the age of nine. He placed first in the II Children's Voice Festival of Chacao (Caracas - Venezuela). Miguel then moved to the city of Maracay where he joined the music school "Federico Villena" studying music theory, musical dictation, harmony, academic piano, classical guitar, music aesthetics, music history, counterpoint and classical singing with teachers Hermes Gomez and Lola Linares. While there, he performed as a soloist in various productions in the Maracay Opera House. In 2006, he received a scholarship from the Government of Aragua state to study Italian and Opera in Florence, Italy. Following his studies, he worked with the National System of Youth Orchestras as a choir director and vocal coach. He performed with Simon Bolivar Symphony Chorus for two years with which he participated in the America Cantata Festival in 2013 and the 2014 Salzburg Festival as well as numerous concerts in Caracas. In 2009 and 2012, he was invited by the Organization of American States (OAS) to work with youth at risk in the Caribbean islands as choir director and vocal coach. He has also worked as a pianist and arranger and continues to perform with the Central Florida Lyric Opera, Mad Cow Theater, and The Local Vocals.
Heather Ard has had a successful career as a performer and is happy to nurture that desire in other musicians. Heather has performed in professional productions throughout the country, some of her favorite rolls include Maria in The Sound of Music, Belle in Beauty and the Beast, The Narrator in Joseph and the Techni-color Dreamcoat, and Julie in Showboat. Throughout her career in entertainment, Heather has worn many hats: singer, performer, stage manager, choreographer, and director. Around The Villages, Heather can be seen singing at St. Timothy Catholic Church and various other venues in the area. Her involvement with The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center began as the Properties Manager for the opening team in 2015 and she has been a part of the family ever since. Heather is currently the House Manager for the Sharon as well as the Events Coordinator. Heather's title has changed throughout her career however her goal remains the same: "to utilize my passion for entertainment to bring joy to others." She is honored to perform in "Three Tenor's Plus One" in support of the Harold Schwartz Music Scholarship.
Bill Doherty, a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Juilliard, Maestro Bill has conducted and accompanied extensively in opera for over 20 years. He served as accompanist to MET Divas, Deborah Voigt, Molly Fillmore and Susan Neves. He is the founder and General Director of Central Florida Lyric Opera, and the Director of Music at St. Timothy's Church. In 2014, Maestro Doherty conducted members of CFLO and the St. Timothy choir in the world premiere of his Misa di Requiem at St. Ignazio Basilica in Rome, Italy, and at the Vatican. During the pandemic, Maestro Bill has produced monthly free live streaming performances, "Talent Explosion" featuring members of his Central Florida Lyric Opera company and celebrated artists. Presently collaborating with local artists, Bill will accompany soprano, Heather Ard, in a cabaret show, Still Singing at the Sharon and Raise the Curtain, his New Year's show at the Savannah Center. Maestro Bill is the producer, and accompanist for "Three Tenors Plus One," the Music Scholarship fundraiser for The Opera Club of The Villages.