A Valentine's Luncheon

February 19th at 1pm

Don't miss "Music and Words of Love" - Opera Orlando's 5th annual Valentine's program at the home of John & Audrey Ruggieri, February 19th, 2017 with lunch at 1pm and musical program at 2pm (desserts to follow).  This year's concert features 4 opera singers with national and international careers including Metropolitan Opera Singer Adam Diegel.  Featured on the program will be Act III of La Boheme.  Singers will be joined by world class violinist Ayako Yonetani and Opera Orlando's music director Robin Jensen.


Tickets are $125 a piece and include lunch and dessert



Valet parking provided

Location: 5083 Isleworth Country Club Dr., Windermere, FL



RACHael Marino - Soprano

Soprano Rachael Marino has been noted for her dramatic versatility as well as her “beautifully soaring” voice. She has been hailed as “hilarious” and “expressive” while also praised for ascending “up to the top notes…in the show’s loveliest moment.” Most recently, she made her international debut in China with the ISING! International Young Artists Festival, where she was the first Westerner to portray Huniu in excerpts from Guo Wenjing’s Rickshaw Boy. Earlier in 2016, Rachael appeared as Musetta (La bohème) with the Miami Music Festival and as Second Lady (Die Zauberflöte) with the Orlando Philharmonic. Other recent roles include Prima Cercatrice (Suor Angelica), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), Magda (La Rondine), Nedda (I Pagliacci), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), and The Page (Rigoletto). Recent concert appearances include a benefit concert alongside Todd Thomas and Peter Volpe, the Opera Tampa Gala, and a solo recital presented by Florida Opera Theatre. She received her Master's degree from Boston University and Bachelor's degree from Florida State University.


Vanessa Rodriguez - Soprano

Soprano Vanessa Rodriguez was born and raised in Queens, NY and obtained a Bachelors of Science in Music Education at the University of South Florida. After being selected as one of Opera Tampa’s “New Artists”, in the Spring of 2012, Ms. Rodriguez was voted "Saint Petersburg Opera Idol” leading to several performance opportunities with St. Petersburg Opera. In October 2014, she performed the role of Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with the South Florida Lyric Opera Company and then played Despina in Florida Opera Theater's production of Cosi fan Tutte. Last summer, Ms. Rodriguez debuted in the musical theater genre as Maria in Four Guys Named Jose and Una Mujer Named Maria with the Spanish Lyric Theater in Ybor City. In November 2015, she debuted and with Winter Opera St. Louis as Elsie Maynard in Gilbert & Sullivan's Yeoman of the Guard and then returned to Florida Opera Theater to perform in Terrence McNally's Master Class in the same month. In March of 2016, she performed the title role: Ascension in her first full Zarzuela production: La del Monojo de Rosas by Pablo Sorozabal with the Spanish Lyric Theater.

Adam diegel - Tenor

Tenor Adam Diegel regularly earns international acclaim for his impassioned dramatic sensibilities, powerful voice, and for his classic leading man looks. From a performance as Cavaradossi in Tosca at Glimmerglass Opera, Opera News raved: “Adam Diegel’s impulsive, shaggily handsome Cavaradossi has a spacious, Italianate tenor…delivered a stirring ‘Recondita armonia’ and built ‘E lucevan le stelle’ masterfully from hushed intimacy to an unfettered cri de coeur.” This season, Diegel’s engagements include appearances in two of his signature roles: Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Opera Hong Kong and Palm Beach Opera; and Don José in Carmen at San Francisco Opera, PORTopera, and Opera San Antonio. Additionally, Diegel will sing the title role in Verdi’s Don Carlo with Lithuanian National Opera, Ruggiero in La rondine with Opera Santa Barbara, and return to The Metropolitan Opera to sing Ismaele in Nabucco.



Gabriel Preisser - Baritone

Critically acclaimed by the NY Times and Opera News, Gabriel Preisser originally hails from Apopka, FL.  He has over 30 leading roles under his belt from Harold Hill to Don Giovanni with companies such as Opera San Antonio, Opera Naples, and the Colorado Symphony.  He is known for having created the role of Lt Gordon, a role he has performed with Minnesota Opera, Opera Philadelphia and Cincinnati Opera, in the Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night which he has performed with Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, and Minnesota Opera - the latter was broadcast nationally on PBS in 2013.  Upcoming he debuts with Opera Tampa and Michigan Opera Theatre and returns to the roles of Figaro and Billy Bigelow elsewhere.  He currently lives in Winter Garden, FL with his loving wife and son.


Robin Jensen - Piano

Robin Jensen is the founding director of The Florida Opera Theatre Youth Programs. During her four year tenure, the Youth choruses have performed with the Orlando Philharmonic’s productions of “Home For The Holidays”, “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, “Barber of Seville”,“Mahler Symphony #3” and “Tosca”.  Robin also serves as the Instructor of Collaborative Piano/Vocal Arts and the Music Director for the opera workshop program at the University of Central Florida. She is Co-Director of the UCF/FOT Summer Opera Institute and has over 30 years experience as a conductor, music director, stage director and teacher with such companies as Minnesota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Orlando Opera. 


Ayako Yonetani - Violin

Violinist Ayako Yonetani was born in Kobe, Japan and received her Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees from the Juilliard School where she studied with Hyo Kang and the late Dorothy DeLay. Currently she is a full professor of violin and viola at the University of Central Florida and is also a member of Japan’s premier chamber ensemble, Kioi Hall Chamber Orchestra. Yonetani is scheduled to play a concerto with the UCF Symphony Orchestra, the Slovak Philharmonic of Kosice in Kosice, Slovakia and the Uzhhorod Symphony in Ukraine this 2016-2017 season. This past September, Yonetani donated her services as the featured instrumental soloist and concertmaster for “One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song,” the benefit concert in response to the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy.