Buon Compleano Renata! Prima Donna Assoluta…to the heart of the matter!

Buon Compleano Renata! Prima Donna Assoluta…to the heart of the matter!

The mention of Renata Scotto immediately brings to mind artistry of a personal expression achieved by very few performers in any area of the performing arts. She is one of those artists who continues to take on challenges and score triumphs in an ever-expanding repertory, which spanned more than 100 roles. In 2011 she was honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild in their Met Legends series and received the prestigious Opera News Award in 2007. As a tribute to her extraordinary career, we have planned a two-day celebration, beginning on her birthday, Friday, February 24, 2017, presenting a preview of some of the material we have gathered thus far for an upcoming film documentary we hope to finish in 2017. The celebration will continue the next afternoon, Saturday, February 25, 2017,  with A Conversation with La Scotto and James Judd, Music Director Israel Symphony Orchestra. For the past two years VAS has been gathering photos, interviews, and video for a unique film documenting the monumental career of Renata Scotto and her effect on the course of the history of opera of the 20th, and now 21st, centuries. All aspects of this two-day celebration, as well as private interviews with Madama Scotto, will be videotaped and used in completing this unique film documentary. The goal for this session is to encompass vocal technique, music education/history/styles, drama and stage movement, health and physical issues, scheduling, and any other issues that arise in the day to day life of a professional singing actor. The Art Salon “conversational” atmosphere is a relaxed, yet focused, setting that will take the pressure off the students, artists, and audience...
VAS Celebrates 6 Years With The Most Eclectic Salon Yet!

VAS Celebrates 6 Years With The Most Eclectic Salon Yet!

VAS is stepping even further out of the box to present the most “electrifying” Salon to date for our 6th Anniversary Salon! Please join us as we celebrate at the new Savor Cinema (formerly Cinema Paradiso) with Colombian piano virtuoso, IVANN, in a multi-media performance art presentation fusing great Classic masterpieces and contemporary electronic styles. Adding to the magic, Ivann incorporates a spectacular light and video accompaniment, the artwork of Igal Fedida, and Danzzara…art in movement! Originally from Medellin, Colombia, Ivann has been the featured guest artist on the stages of Teatro Colon, Teatro Mayor de Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Teatro Nacional La Castellana, the Libelula Dorada, Colsubsidio, and Jorge Eliecer Gaitán theatres. A classically trained pianist and composer, Ivann has mesmerized audiences with his unique Performance Art style that explores the past with today’s enlightened mind and the future with all the soul and intelligence history has given us. A graduate of the Medellin Conservatory of Arts in Colombia, Ivann’s passion for piano began when he was 9-years old. As he developed his piano technique and artistry to the professional level for a career as a successful concert pianist, he also began to explore composing his own original works. Today, Ivann strives to create his own unique manner of artistic expression by combining his virtuoso piano ability, his gifts for improvisation and composition, as well as his vast knowledge of the technology of the 21st century. Within the last few years, Ivan has produced three enormously popular CD’s, Live, Fragmentos and Contemplacion del mar. As the winner of the Carolina Orama Scholarship for Colombian artists, he was able...
Rhapsody España… Celebrating Spain’s culture

Rhapsody España… Celebrating Spain’s culture

This month we bring Vivid, evocative, passionate… Spain’s geographical position and history mean that its culture has absorbed musical traditions from Arab, Gypsy, Jewish, African and Greek populations. This fiery influence has inspired the music of countries around the globe, yet still maintains the multi-faceted colors of and inspired by España. Nilda Maria Comas has been commissioned for numerous major monuments in bronze and marble throughout Europe and the U.S. and her work is featured in exhibitions, museums and galleries throughout the world. Nilda maintains studios in Pietra Santa, Italy and Fort Lauderdale, Fl. In the Masterpiece Spotlight… In honor of the bicentennial,  the Government of Argentina commissioned Nilda Comas to sculpt a 12′ tall bronze Equestrian Monument of General Jose de San Martin as a gift to the city of Miami. This evening Nilda is displaying the model (limited edition) of this new work of art. Capturing the moment…Jonathan Aizenstat.  Jonathan is an extraordinarily  talented young painter, sculptor, and author from Peru. At the age of 4 Jonathan was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis and he and his parents moved to South Florida for easier access to the best medical care. Under NIlda’s guidance, Jonathan is thriving as an artist and is constantly astounding with his creativity and inspiration. Maria Antunez, soprano In the past few seasons Maria Antunez, originally form Uruguay, has appeared in important stages such as the Kennedy Center in Washington, Los Angeles Opera, the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Teatro Nacional in Santo Domingo, Teatro Solis in Montevideo and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Maria lives with her husband, tenor Martin Nusspaumer and their daughter Amelia in Miami. Martin Nusspaumer,...
VAS Salons:  Reaching new heights…!

VAS Salons: Reaching new heights…!

At 6 years of age, the Venetian Arts Society (VAS) has experienced some miraculous growth and changes. Today, we are preparing for yet another metamorphosis! The extraordinary growth VAS has experienced, especially in the last year, demands some changes.  We are very grateful to our highly discriminating members and supporters for your appreciation of the sophisticated  presentations VAS offers. We are highly aware of our responsibility to maintain these high standard and even to “out do” ourselves with new and innovative event concepts and world class master artists ! The last 2 Salons, UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with Tony DeSare and our tribute to the legendary Renata Scotto, La SeRenata: Voices in the Gallery with Magda Nieves, were extraordinary events. Within the last two months we have been presented with some wonderful opportunities that not only ensure the continuity of VAS at the level our community has come to expect, but also warrants a “pause” for careful evaluation. We are sincerely grateful for the generous support of our sponsors, members, and the community at large and we are confident that these will be a win-win for all involved. In the style and spirit of the  Venetian Arts Society signature experience, we will enthusiastically continue to present our premier salons in various settings, with their pre-concert Wine Social, the Salon Concert, and the Champagne Reception with the artists following the concert. Our next event is Rhapsody in The Sky, The Art of Living, showcasing the latest work of my firm, Inspired Interiors, at the penthouse home of Dr. George and Jana Hanbury. This premier event is planned for June (details on the events section of our...
La SeRenata: A Dream-Like Tribute to an Opera Legend

La SeRenata: A Dream-Like Tribute to an Opera Legend

On any given day there is a palpable sense of magic when one enters Gallery of Amazing Things, but on Friday, March 23, 2016 that sensation seemed to rise in dramatic steps throughout the evening to an, almost, overwhelming level. Beginning in the Eostone Gallery of 50 million year old fossils, our 150 or guests moved on through galleries of the world’s largest porcelain and ceramic collection. This cavernous 50,000 square foot space coupled with the glorious sounds of Andre Kostelanetz and the New York Philharmonic playing Opera without Words created an awe-inspiring setting for our Grand Salon honoring the illustrious career of  Renata Scotto, one of the 20th century’s greatest operatic singing actresses. It was simply a dream-like feeling as we encountered one great work of art after another, sipping a glass of wine and greeting old and new friends along the way. We paused in the stunning exhibition of master glass artisans of the world (Lalique to Chihuly) as Madama Scotto graciously greeted our guests as if we were long lost friends. Now comes the time to move back to the main arena gallery for the Salon Concert. The curtains open and we walk into the fantasy world of brilliant Lladro chandeliers, giant porcelain urns, and large screen projections of La Scotto, with the grand piano standing majestically at center stage. As a prelude to the Salon Concert, we presented video clip from a 1967 L’Elisir d’amor (Donizetti) in Florence, Italy with Scotto and the great tenor, Carlo Bergonzi, and a 1984 concert performance of Lady MacBeth’s sleepwalking scene from a Met Gala performance with the great...
An Amazing Night Of Opera…Introducing Puerto Rican soprano, Magda Nieves honoring Legendary Renata Scotto

An Amazing Night Of Opera…Introducing Puerto Rican soprano, Magda Nieves honoring Legendary Renata Scotto

By Kevin Lane Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Gallo Herbert Architects and philanthropist Barbara Copanos, the Venetian Arts Society will be able to present two world class opera stars for a unique and dazzling evening for VAS members and guests. Planned for Friday, March 25th, “Voices In The Gallery” will feature International Opera Soprano Magda Nieves in a non-traditional multi-media production of arias and songs within the dramatic atmosphere of the main gallery of the Gallery of Amazing Things. The evening is in celebration of the illustrious career of the great operatic singing/actress Renata Scotto and we are thrilled to announce that La Scotto, our guest of honor that evening, will be presented with the Venetian Arts Society first ICON Award for her long and distinguished career and her lifetime of inspiring and mentoring artists. Guests will begin the evening at 7:00 p.m. with a Wine Social in the Gallery, followed by a Grand Art Salon Tribute Concert at 8:00 p.m. Everyone will then be invited to enjoy a Post Salon Concert Champagne Salute. Recognized for her sense of style, musicality and as a remarkable singer-actress, Scotto is considered one of the preeminent singers of her generation, specializing in the bel canto repertoire with excursions into the verismo and Verdi repertoires. Since retiring from the stage as a singer in 2002, she has turned successfully to directing opera as well as teaching in Italy and America. Fans of Opera and Ms. Scotto will enjoy Scotto: More Than a Diva, the 1984 Doubleday biography she co-authored with Actavio Roca with a forward by Placido Domingo. Our events are open to the public. If you’re looking to enjoy...
Nilda Comas to Unveil Her Latest Sculpture for VAS Salonistas

Nilda Comas to Unveil Her Latest Sculpture for VAS Salonistas

The Venetian Arts Society is starting the year with a world-class art exhibition at the Historic Fort Lauderdale Women’s Club! Renowned master sculptor and VAS member Nilda Comas is a brilliant artist who maintains one of the busiest schedules of any working artist in the world today. Her work has been featured in solo and group exhibitions, museums and galleries in the U.S. and abroad. She has received numerous grants and awards from the world’s most prestigious organization and her works have been exhibited at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens, Palm Beach; the National Sculpture Society, New York; Accademia di Belli Arte Carrara, Italy; Chiostro di Sant’Agostino, Italy; and Westminister Gallery, London. Nilda will be unveiling her latest piece, and also presenting the work of a select group of her students at the LEGACY ART STUDIO, founded and directed by Nilda, which is a private institution dedicated to the study of drawing, painting and sculpture in the classical tradition without excluding the insight and advances of the modern art movement. It was founded in 2004 to be strongly rooted in academic training while also encouraging artistic advancement through creative exploration. VAS is extremely proud and honored to have such a distinguished artist on our Board of Directors, serving as the Art Curator of VAS. We hope to see you there! Purchase tickets...
Thank You For The Wonderful Reviews to Diva to Diva: Zeani’s Tribute Concert

Thank You For The Wonderful Reviews to Diva to Diva: Zeani’s Tribute Concert

After a truly special evening we’d like to share the wonderful review Clifford Cunningham published in his column in Sun News Miami last Saturday, 24 October 2015.  Thank you so much for such positive review and helping spread the word about our organization! …And thank you Better Homes & Gardens for your valuable support as Title Sponsor! Zeani’s 90th Birthday Tribute Concert By Dr. Clifford Cunningham An operatic tribute to Virginia Zeani on her 90th birthday was a vocal spectacular despite the absence of Ms. Zeani who was not feeling well enough to attend. The Salon Concert was offered by the Venetian Arts Society at the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, under the sponsorship of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. In addition to the pianistic talents of Sergio Puig, it featured the commanding vocal presence of two South Florida opera singers. Elizabeth Caballero who, like Puig, was born in Cuba, began with a spine-tingling rendition of Ernani involami from Verdi’s Ernani. Caballero said the aria is about a baritone “who gets the short end of the stick” as the lady of the opera loves the tenor. The exquisite lyrical tension in her voice rivalled that of Maria Callas, who is closely identified with this aria. “That’s the way to begin a concert, no?” Caballero said teasingly after a thunderous applause. She followed with a spirited rendition of Ballatella from Pagliacci. The young soprano Betsy Diaz next transfixed the audience by the pathos in her dramatic rendering of L’altra notte in fondo al mare from Mefistofele. Margareta in the opera is lamenting here from a prison cell where she stands accused of poisoning her...
Diva to Diva: Why This Salon Concert is So Special

Diva to Diva: Why This Salon Concert is So Special

It is not every day that an artist of the caliber of Elizabeth Caballero offers an intimate and interactive concert to Fort Lauderdale Opera Lovers, and if that weren’t enough, on the day an Opera Legend like Virginia Zeani turns 90! Cuban/American opera star, Elizabeth Caballero has made a name for herself in the international Opera Scene, and returns home to South Florida to VAS first Up Close and Personal at NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, in time to celebrate the 90th birthday of legendary opera Prima Donna, Virginia Zeani. The Art Salon Concert  is taking place Thursday, October 22, 2015, and as usual, the evening will begin with an elegant wine and hors d’oeuvres social in the Breezeway of the Museum at 7:00 pm followed by the Salon Concert in the Horvitz Auditorium at 8:00 pm. Afterwards, guests will have the opportunity to meet Ms. Caballero and Mme. Zeani … up close and personal in the main lobby of Museum of Art and join us in a champagne toast to the brilliant artistry and career of La Zeani! “This will be the first time that I will be performing in South Florida since May 2014!,” Ms. Caballero said.  “Lots of my Miami and Cuban/American friends and fans keep asking me when I will perform there again.  So, to be honored to sing at this 90th birthday celebration with Ms. Zeani in the audience is a dream come true for me.”  Born in Havana, Cuba, Ms. Caballero immigrated to the United States via the Mariel Boatlift and grew up in Miami.  She studied piano as a child and later studied voice at Miami-Dade Community...
A Chic and Artsy Cafe Society Debut

A Chic and Artsy Cafe Society Debut

Leesa Richards and Samantha Natalie brought CAFE SOCIETY to life last September 24th at Mojo Restaurant and Launge, and VAS will never be the same! Anthony DeMaio and Domenick Falcione, owners and artists, wined and dined us in high style and these two ladies fed our souls. The perfect chic and artsy atmosphere…impeccable food and service… and world class performances…who could ask for anything more! We want to thank Domenick and Anthony for aligning with our vision and helping make it a reality. This was the perfect place to debut this series, not only because of the rave reviews it’s menu has received from restaurant critics, but also the inviting and elegant space and the owner’s fantastic works of art decorating the walls. We are delighted that Café Society was so well received by our members and guests, as yet another of the innovative 21st century concepts of experiencing the arts in, socializing, and challenging our intellect…all simultaneously and in a more complete fashion! Taking once again from history, we reach this time into late-19th century and draw from a culture characterized by continual socializing in bistros, coffee shops, and night clubs. These were sometimes extravagantly frivolous and sometimes intensely intellectual in nature, but always high spirited and exhilarating! The socialites who regularly frequented these fashionable night spots became known as Café Society. In 1938, a brilliant cultural visionary named Barney Josephson opened a restaurant/night club at 1 Sheridan Square in New York City’s Greenwich Village that he called Café Society. It was to be an American version of the political cabarets he had seen in Europe earlier, as well as the first...