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Opera Guild to host annual gala

Dr. Elizabeth Aversa is the president of the Opera Guild. CW | Amy Sullivan

Patrick Smith

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The Second Annual Opera Guild Gala will be held on Friday Oct. 2, at 7:00 p.m. in the Grand Gallery of the Alabama Museum of Natural History in Smith Hall.

Tickets are $100 and went on sale August 16. The Gala is held to raise money and support for the UA Opera Theatre.

“The Opera Guild is an independent organization that raises money to support the opera theatre and to help support the students who study opera,” said Dr. Elizabeth Aversa, professor emerita and former professor of library and information sciences at UA. “Last year we raised over $23,000 for the opera theatre and our goal this year is to add $5,000 more to that.”

The event will include a buffet dinner, catered by the Hotel Capstone, and live entertainment by students and alumni of the UA Opera Theatre, who will perform opera arias, duets, ensembles and other musical pieces under the direction of Paul Houghtaling, UA Opera Theatre director. There will also be a silent auction, with over 20 items to be bid on, including fine jewelry. All proceeds go to the UA Opera Theatre.

Aversa said that while also culture enriching, the local opera scene means economic development as well.

“Culture can enhance economic development as well as cultural development of the community and I think we help to do that,” Aversa said. “Just like people come to football games, people will come to view opera. They’ll eat at restaurants before the show. They might stay at a hotel if they’re 100 miles away because the performances are often at night. They’ll support this program in the University, so we think it’s good for everybody.”

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Opera Guild to host annual gala