News & Events Up to May 2015

Fort Lauderdale Art Salons

Leona Mitchell, Metropolitan Opera Star UP CLOSE & PERSONAL

Venetian Arts Society presents UP CLOSE & PERSONAL at Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale with Metropolitan Opera Star Leona Mitchell on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:30 pm at NSU’s Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. The intimate and interactive Salon Concert will be followed by a VIP champagne reception with Mme. Mitchell in the main lobby of MOA. Ms. Mitchell will return the next morning for “A Conversation with the Artist,” a non-traditional master class/interview/Q&A from 10:00 a.m. to 12 Noon in MOA’s Horvitz Auditorium.

Leona Mitchell “…is known as one of the greatest African-American sopranos of this age,” according to Opera News. She has graced the stages of the major opera houses of the world. “Ms. Mitchell is a Grammy Award winning soprano who sang 18 consecutive seasons as a leading lyrico spinto soprano at the Metropolitan Opera of New York,” enthused William Riddle. “She has sung for most of the greatest opera houses: Paris, Covent Garden-London, Rome, Australia, Buenos Aires, San Francisco, Chicago, and Caracalla, amongst many others. And quite frankly, we are THRILLED that she will be performing during the Bob Adelman Exhibition: Art of the Civil Rights Movement.”

Miss Mitchell has sung for four US Presidents and many international dignitaries: Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, and Bishop Tutu. On July 5, 1986 she performed “Un bel di” from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly on the New York Philharmonic’s tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, which was televised on ABC Television.

Venetian Arts Society is a member based organization offering monthly Art Salons featuring as many of the cultural arts as possible happening simultaneously. Our 21st century version of the “Art Salon” is a unique and innovative performance-educational-social concept that features all of the performing, visual, and cultural arts interacting simultaneously for a complete artistic experience where each compliments the other.

With origins dating from 16th century Italy, the “salon” continued to flourish in Europe throughout Europe, especially in France in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. These Salons, usually in private residences of the wealthy, were a place where artists and arts-enthusiasts would meet to enjoy all the visual, performing, and literary arts, as well as philosophy, science, and politics. In a time long before TV, radio, and even electricity, this was the way to entertain, educate, socialize, and learn about current events. These Salons often showcased the great minds, artists, and performers of the day such as Voltaire, Mozart, Monet, Paganini, Picasso, and Chopin, Heifetz, and Hemingway.

UP CLOSE & PERSONAL at Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is our unique and innovative 21st century version of the Grand Art Salon Concert Social. The goal is to offer everyone in our community, whether a novice of a connoisseur, the rare and extraordinary opportunity to observe and interact with major international vocal artists “Up Close & Personal.”

The purpose is to satisfy all the senses, enrich the emotional and spiritual being, and to go “…above and beyond life’s trivialities.”

Sponsors include Mercedes-Benz of Fort Lauderdale, The Riverside Hotel, Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show, Action Marketing, Carroll’s Jewelry, Midland Medical Center, Light Bulbs Unlimited. Media Sponsors are the Sun-Sentinel, City & Shore Magazine, and Classical South Florida 89.7 FM.

Reservations are required as open seating is limited. Tickets are $60.00 general admission and $85.00 for the Salon Package which includes the interactive concert, a champagne reception with the artist and the Master Class. To purchase tickets, go to or call Willie Riddle at (954) 709-7447 or email

Note: Concert only: Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., Museum of Art/ Fort Lauderdale. Cost: $40.00 General Admission, $60.00 VIP (includes Concert, Post Concert Reception and Master Class. “Conversation with the Artist” Master Class with students of Frost School of Music University of Miami: Friday, February 21, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. – Noon; Horvitz Auditorium, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale. Cost: $20.00.

In 1973, Leona Mitchell debuted to great acclaim as Micaela in Bizet’s Carmen with the San Francisco Opera, debuting on December 15, 1975 in the same role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She received international attention as Bess in the first stereo recording of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess with Lorin Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra. It was also in this role that she earned her Grammy Award for the Best Opera Recording. She has contributed too many historic recordings of operas, had numerous television appearances, and served as honorary chair of Black History month of the Oklahoma legislature. In 1998 Leona Mitchell performed the role of Liu to rave reviews in an historic production of Puccini’s Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera under the direction of James Levine. She has also appeared with the major symphony orchestras of the world including London, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

Leona Mitchell has been seen and heard on numerous television broadcasts since her unforgettable debut, most notably in the PBS “Live from Lincoln Center” and “Live from the Met” series.leona Mitchell 4


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This entry was posted on August 2, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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