Venetian Arts Society First Annual Gala Salon Anniversary

Honoring the Life & Career of Virginia Zeani, Legendary Opera Star
September 28, 2013, 6:30 p.m.

Venetian Arts Society presents its Gala Anniversary Salon on Saturday, September 28th at Cinema Paradiso in Ft. Lauderdale to open the 2013-2014 season. The Salon will be a tribute to Virginia Zeani, a truly Legendary International Star of Opera, and will begin at 6:30 pm with cocktails in the Cinema Paradiso Courtyard and move inside the theater for the film presentation and live interview at 7:30 pm.

“For those who love Opera, this will be a night to remember,” enthused William Riddle, Founder and Executive Director of the Venetian Arts Society.  “Mme. Zeani, born in 1925 in Solvastru, Romania, became one of Italy’s most celebrated and appreciated artists during the 1950s and a contemporary of such artists as Maria Callas and Joan Sutherland.  Mme. Zeani is legendary for performing the role of Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata a record 648 times and the 71 opera roles in her 35 year performing career!”

This film will feature highlights of Mme. Zeani’s illustrious career with rare videos, photographs, recordings, and a recorded interview with Mme. Zeani giving us personal insight into her artistry and life.  Mme. Zeani will be in attendance and joined on stage for a “Conversation” with close friends, Roger Beaumont; New Zealand historian, currently finishing a new book, “The Life & Times of Soprano, Virginia Zeani,” Mario Hamlet-Metz, internationally renowned opera historian, lecturer, and writer, and Wayne Kleinstiver, Chair of Vero Beach Opera Studies. The evening will conclude with a champagne reception in the Cinema Paradiso Courtyard after the ceremony, offering guests the rare and unique opportunity to meet one of the greatest opera singers of the 20th century, Virignia Zeani.

An exceptionally beautiful woman with dark, lustrous hair, Virginia Zeani initially specialized in lyric/coloratura roles.  Then, in the 1970s she moved to more dramatic parts, maintaining nearly all of her vocal allure while adding a dimension of larger-scaled authority. Celebrated most of all for her touching Violetta, she made her career primarily in Europe. Beginning in the early ’80s, however, she moved to the U.S. with her husband, Italo-Russian bass Nicola Rossi-Lemeni, to become a faculty member at Indiana University and continued to teach there following his death in 1991.

Seating is general admission and limited. General Admission is $ 45 and $ 30 for VAS Members. Seating is limited. To purchase tickets, go to or call Willie Riddle at 954.709.7447 or email [email protected].

Venetian Arts Society at Cinema Paradiso
503 SE 6th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

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