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Opera Coeur d'Alene hits 10 years

| April 21, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Bob Brown wants more people to know about Opera Coeur d'Alene.

He wants everyone to know it has been around 10 years.

He wants the community to realize how fortunate it is to have a professional opera company in this mid-sized North Idaho town.

And perhaps most of all, he wants them to come out on Sunday to the annual Opera Gala fundraiser at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.

"The Gala is one of those magical evenings we have in Coeur d'Alene," said Brown, event chairman.

He said it's where local dignitaries and office holders join business people, retired people and "other people who aren't sure how they feel about opera," for a magical night of music.

This year, Opera Coeur d'Alene is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

"Did our founders - Mark and Marlo Faulkner, Ann Manzo and others - believe what they started would still be going after 10 years," wrote Richard Cripe, president.

Sunday's celebration begins at 5 p.m.

"This is a completely new program which features the singers, with aliases, dealing with a murder that occurred several years ago," according to Brown.

The title of the live murder mystery is "A Taste for Wine, Murder and Opera." Singers include Rebecca Moniz, Steve Mortier and David Demand.

There will also be a drawing for prizes and a silent auction that includes art, dinners, opera tickets and a Resort package.

Brown said the shows Opera Coeur d'Alene is able to present are "amazing in a town of this size."

When it started a decade ago, its first production was a one-act opera. It now has seven operas under its belt, with "La Boheme" scheduled in September. Today, the nonprofit has about 250 members and 13 board members.

"We have done almost all the big operas and done them well," Brown said.

Todd Robinson, Opera Coeur d'Alene general director, hopes to raise more interest in opera and attract more people, which would raise the quality of productions.

"Opera is a grand art form that deserves to be preserved," he wrote.

Tickets for Sunday's gala are $85, which includes dinner. They are available through Thursday by calling 765-3723.

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