A night of charity that caters to all.
UNICO Rehoboth Beach held Opera at the Beach on Saturday, Oct. 22 at St. Edmond Church in Rehoboth Beach, Del. According to District Governor Maria Teresa Morrison, this is the third consecutive year the organization has held Opera at the Beach, although the organization did attempt it years ago.
“We decided it was a fun educational way to cater to the people and it has been very successful,” Morrison says.
Andrea Arena and Dante Fiore were both featured during this year’s event. Arena, mezzo soprano, ‘has been recognized for her has been recognized for her extraordinary talents through her ability to bring polished classical style and rich soulful emotion to the operatic stage. A native Delawarean, and a graduate of the University of Delaware, she was voted “Delaware’s Top Diva” in Delaware Today’s “Best of Delaware!”’
Fiore, tenor, made his operatic debut in 1993. His voice has been described as ‘strong,’ ‘magnificent’ and ‘with marvelous heart and great bravura’ with a stage presence noted as ‘riveting.’ Dante has performed 30 different roles in opera including leading roles in a World and US premiere.
Morrison says the idea for the event came about because many members, and even non-members in the area, seemed to enjoy opera. Throughout the years, Morrison has noticed locals traveling to Philadelphia and Wilmington for the opera.
“They are very well attended, people enjoy them and we thought it was the perfect time to capitalize on this cultural event,” Morrison says.
According to Morrison, the annual event typically attracts an older crowd, although this year, organizers recognized many interested teenagers.
“It gave me an incentive to concentrate more on attracting the younger generation next year,” Morrison says.
Each year, the opera donates the funds raised towards a cause. Three years ago, UNICO Rehoboth was able to donate $1,000 to cancer research. Two years ago, the organization donated $1,000 to Wounded Warriors. This year, $3,000 was donated to the victims of the devastating earthquake in Amatrice, Italy.
“We try to chose a charity each year, something different, or if a former charity is in need we have no problem donating to the cause again,” Morrison says. “We had many people who couldn’t attend but wanted to donate to charity so $2,000 came from the opera and $1,000 came from personal donations.”
Following the opera, UNICO Rehoboth holds a reception. This years reception featured Jay Caputo, a well-known chef in Rehoboth Beach. Each year the event features a different Italian chef in an effort to incorporate as many people from the area as possible.