A Figaro here, an “Unbeldi” there. Romantics filled the sold-out Peristyle Saturday night for Toledo Opera's annual Valentine's performance, this one “Opera Goes to the Movies.” Opera buffs and novices were mesmerized by mainly romantic arias and instrumental music that have been performed in familiar movies.
VOIGT / BLADE Enlarge
Opera director Renay Conlin and husband-conductor, Thomas Conlin, mentioned the sights, sounds, beauty, and emotion of opera and the need for it in today's world.
Bravos, cheers, and a few whistles were heard often as the Toledo Symphony Orchestra and guest artists, sopranos Oksana Krovytska and Patricia Andress, mezzo-soprano Carolyn Gronlund, tenor Scott Piper, and baritone Matthew Walley, performed a variety of works from Mozart to Puccini.
After a standing ovation for all, an encore, a spectacular rendition of “America the Beautiful,” brought tears to eyes as they bid goodnight.
Nearly 250 guests — including a few opera singer wanna-bes, such as Byron Quandt, who belted out a few bars — boarded buses back to the Toledo Club for the “Lady in Red” dinner presented by the Toledo Opera Guild.
The group had started there with a pre-concert cocktail hour that included solos by Ann Sanford, association president.
VOIGT / BLADE Enlarge
As Hep Cat Revival played tunes, including ‘‘Mustang Sally,” Mr. Piper, declared, “Toledo rocks.”
Mr. Walley was surrounded by his family clan, including his 92-year-old grandmother.
Among the revelers of all adult ages were Nina Nigrovic and her fiance Adam Rettig, Terry and Jeannie Lesniewicz, Mary and Howard Madigan, Joe and Mary Ann Colturi, Karen and Greg Elder, Barbara and Richard Baker, Ellen and Brent Welder, and chairmen Sandra Seiple, and Diane Churdar and guild president Loraine Boersma.
Valentine's Day was celebrated all weekend. Country clubs and restaurants offered special elegant dinner packages for sweethearts. Visitors at “It's Friday” at the Toledo Museum of Art dined in the caf , listened to love songs from World War II, and followed a docent tour “Love is in the Air.” Several folks ended their evening in The Cloister, where Pat Lewandowski played and sang tunes.
VOIGT / BLADE Enlarge
The International Institute's annual Valentine Dinner by Candlelight was Friday at the institute. Showing their love and gratitude for the institute during their immigration, two local chefs donated the meal. They are Chris Bates, a native of British Guyana who is former executive chef at Navy Bistro, and George Kamilaris, a native of Greece, who is owner of Georgio's International Caf .
Romantic ballads sung by Mason Consolidated High School music major Craig Cousino concluded the evening. Marcia Helman and Sherry Kerstetter, co-owners of Lickity Split and Penguin Palace, were coordinators of the event, whichsold out with 64 diners who each paid $50 to net $3,000 for the organization.
Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra presented the 13th Annual Valentine's Day Pops Dinner Concert Saturday at Owen Community College. Guests cruised silent auction tables, then sat for a grand dinner at tables decorated in red and pink to match the carnations the ladies received at the door. The concert followed as guests sipped wine. Accompanied by the orchestra were ballroom dancers and singers, who performed tunes including “Can't Help Lovin That Man of Mine” and “My Funny Valentine.” Among the group of 140 were Perrysburg Mayor Jody Holbrook and his wife, Elaine.
A fresh lemon-yellow wall highlights the works of Picasso, Dali, Chagall, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Jasper Johns, and other modern artists works with a “pow!” It's the entrance to Splendid Pages: The Molly and Walter Bareiss Collection of Modern Illustrated Books exhibition on display at Toledo Museum of Art. A palette of feel-good colors leads spectators as they travel in and out of cozy spaces to view the collection of more than 1,400 volumes that the Bareisses generously donated to the museum in 1984. The museum opened the exhibition on Friday as a valentine to the Bareisses for being such sweethearts. It runs through May 11.
LISA DUTTON / BLADE Enlarge
The night before the opening, a select group of guests welcomed Mr. Bareiss, with a dinner in the Cloister followed by a view of the show. Curator Marilyn Symmes of New York, who was here when the collection came to Toledo, said, “I helped unpack it in 1984, now we have all come to pay our tribute to this fabulous collection and museum. It's one of the most important collections in this country ... these are the major artists of the 20th century.”
Jock Reynolds, director of Yale University Art Gallery where another Bareiss collection was donated, agreed. Since it was the late Barbara “Bobbie” Sutherland, college roommate of Molly Bareiss, who suggested the Bareisses donate their collection to the Toledo museum, several members of the Sutherland clan were present, including JoAnn Kirchmaier. Carol Channing, also a roommate of Mrs. Bareiss, sent a message of congratulations in her absence.
Valentine's Day night, a collectors' panel discussion was held in the Little Theatre with Mr. Bareiss of Munich and Connecticut, Mark Schwartz of Birmingham, Mich., and Molly and John Chiles of Toledo.
Dr. and Mrs. Chiles said, “Once you are taken by something it's irresistible unless its unaffordable.” On the other hand Mr. Schwartz feels the top criteria in buying is, “I have to be absolutely moved by the image.”
Toledo Public Schools graduates and teachers gave back to the district in the form of artistic creation during the recent Young at Art reception and art auction to support the Toledo Public Schools Foundation. Young at Art was the first exhibition of more than 200 works by Toledo K-12 students at the Toledo Museum of Art Community Gallery.
The auction netted $10,000 in the home of Sandrea Goerlich Alexander. “Hopefully, the young artists of today become the architects, illustrators, landscape designers, interior designers, and other art-oriented professionals of tomorrow …” stated architect Dan Tabor, a TPS alumnus. Works included those of Allan Brown, Kathy Genzman, Robert Martin, Shawn Messenger, Chris Lewis Brown, Terry Lesniewicz, Shane Smith, Julie Wilson, and Scot MacPherson, and others.
Seen while shopping were superintendent Dr. Eugene Sanders, Jerry and Marlene Mills, Jack Hemple, Mark and Sandy Luetke, Gloria Wasko, Mary Jo and Gene Hardy, Tom and Sue Beaty, Ellen and Jamie Black, Gary McBride, Stephanie White, Skip and Dick Gross, Lillian Spaulding, and Cindy Kline.
FRASER / BLADE Enlarge
The Toledo Museum Store Westgate presents a “Meet the Artist” reception twice a month to introduce artists whose work is in the store. Glass artist Meredith Wenzel is the latest honored guest. Ms. Wenzel, born and reared in Northwest Ohio, has been with the museum stores since 1977. Her show will be on exhibit until Thursday, when painter Dan Stewart will be featured.
March is just around the corner. If you are having a party, put Barbara Hendel on your invitation list.
If you want to be included in the March date book, information is due in hard copy by Friday.
Please send all information to Barbara Hendel via The Blade, P.O. 921, 541 N. Superior St., Toledo, Ohio, 43697-0921, or fax at 419-724-6105.