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Valentine's Concert

  • Home of John and Audrey Ruggieri 5083 Isleworth Country Club Dr Windermere, FL USA (map)


- A Valentine's Luncheon

Don't miss "Music and Words of Love" - Florida Opera Theatre's 4th annual Valentine's program at the home of John and Audrey Ruggieri, February 14th, 2016 with lunch at 1pm and musical program at 2pm (desserts to follow).  This year's concert features 4 fabulous opera singers with international resumes singing some of the most notoriously difficult arias in the repertoire, including the Queen of the Night aria, "Ah Mes Amis," and others.  The program will also feature famous love duets from Opera and Music Theatre. 

Read more about our singers and pianist below.



Janette Zillioli - Soprano

American soprano Janette Zilioli is rapidly establishing herself as an exceptional artist with a dynamic, engaging stage presence and an exciting shimmer and brilliance to her voice.  She has sung all over the world since her Carnegie Hall debut at the young age of 17.  She was most recently seen as Sharon Graham in Florida Opera Theatre's production of Terrence McNally's Master Class.  She was a Met Competition national semi-finalistin 2001 and is a former resident artist of Orlando Opera where she performed numerous roles including Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore, the High Priestess in Aida, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.


Melissa Garvey-Gerdes - Mezzo Soprano


Daniel Gerdes - Tenor


Originally from New York, Daniel Gerdes has a doctorate in voice from Florida State University.  He is just finishing a run of Cosi fan tutte as Ferrando with St Louis Winter Opera and has also performed with Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera and several others.  He made his international debut as Paride in Gluck’s Paride ed Elena with Opera Piccola Bremen in Germany.  He currently lives in South Florida with his loving wife, son, and daughter.


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 Jenson Headhot in color.jpg

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. 

Earlier Event: November 13
"Master Class"