OVI Board Meeting in Tampa Entertains and Excites

by Melody on March 9, 2008

OVI Board members meet in Tampa to warm up

Fern Grauer, Sherrill Milnes, Kiri Te Kanawa at Tampa Opera, February 2008What is satisfying, informative and entertaining (and warming)?

The answer: a February OVI Board meeting in sunny Tampa, Florida.

From landing at one of the country’s more pleasant airports on the outskirts of Tampa, to closing good-byes with plans to conduct business again during the fall color season in Seattle, Washington, the weekend was a typical, first-rate OVI Board meeting event.

In the picture is president Fern Grauer, talking with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, while Sherrill Milnes looks on.
Most Board members were able to clear their calendars, attend and enjoy. They conducted a little business and had a lot of fun during the weekend that board member Gene Cropsey arranged for us with TBPAC, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center and OperaTampa. They were royally welcomed and entertained with

A welcome gathering and dinner the evening before the actual Board Meeting

  • A backstage tour of the Performing Arts Center led by dynamic Kari Goetz, Audience Development Manager, OperaTampa
  • A board meeting and lunch in a special room with a view, their Inner Circle Club
  • Evening performance options including patio dining on the river, Carmin Burana, with the Florida Symphony, or the musical Hats
  • A personal, guided tour of Plant Hall at the University of Tampa campus by Jane Cropsey, a longtime docent and the welcoming wife of of Board member Gene Cropsey
  • A Cuban lunch at Columbia, the oldest restaurant in Florida, located in historic Ybor City, Tampa’s Latin Quarter
  • A reception and dinner at Maestro’s restaurant at the Center joined by
    • Judy Lisi, General Director of OperaTampa
    • Maria Zouves, Associate Director of Opera Tampa and Director of the OperaTampa Apprentice Program and –
    • her husband Sherrill Milnes, renowned baritone, who now serves as OperaTampa’s Artistic Advisor and –
    • members of the executive committee of OperaTampa League Board
    • (We were in such good company and amazingly none of us got blinded by any of the many flashing cameras)
  • A recital by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa complete with a “Meet and Greet” backstage reception following the performance where she graciously posed for pictures and signed autographs.

As usual, conversations in elevators, on walkways and at agenda breaks were network enhancing and a wonderful added bonus. For another dose of the same, add the next OVI Focus Meeting to your 2008 calendar for an October date in Seattle, Washington. This plans to be a true Trick or Treat event. The “trick” will be to repeat such an outstanding gathering arranged for us by Gene Cropsey AND the “treat” will be another interesting, educational and entertaining event, Seattle style: simply because such excellence is a part of what OVI is and what OVI does.

We want to invite all OVI Individual and Support Groups members to join us in Seattle, where the temptation will be a performance of Strauss’s Elektra.

More information will follow in the next Opera Volunteers International newsletter.

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