Please join The Opera Club of The Villages in their 26th annual fundraiser to fund The Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Foundation for young budding musicians in our community.
ABOUT THE OPERA CLUB OF THE VILLAGES: The Opera Club of the Villages was established in 1997 to present live performances to Villagers and establish a music scholarship program to honor the founder of the Villages, Harold Schwartz. Since its inception over $550,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to local students in Marion, Lake and Sumter counties who aspire to pursue a career in Music. More information is available on The Opera Club of The Villages website www.operaclubofthevillages.com
MAESTRO BILL DOHERTY Maestro Bill Doherty has been performing as a concert pianist since the age of four and continues to delight audiences all over the world with his virtuosity at the keyboard. His musical studies included intensive training in piano, conducting, musical composition and voice, studying with such well-known teachers as Albert Bowen (Tanglewood), Barbara Marchesani, Pasquale Caputo (Mohawk Valley Opera), Solomon Mikowski and Sonia Vargas (Manhattan School of Music), Abraham Kaplan (Juilliard School of Music), Carmen Savoca and Peyton Hibbitt (Tri-Cities Opera, NY), and Rita Shane (Metropolitan Opera, Vienna StaatsOper). As an operatic tenor, he sang with the Mohawk Valley Opera and the Tri-Cities Opera, and was later mentored by the legendary soprano Licia Albanese (Metropolitan Opera, La Scala).
He is Founder and General Director of the Central Florida Lyric Opera, Inc. and is the Director of Music at St. Timothy’s Catholic Church (The Villages, FL). He is also the host and producer of a weekly livestream musical talk show entitled “Talent Explosion”. His recent work with the International Opera Center of America, Central Florida Lyric Opera’s International Exchange Program, has been recognized and commended by both Florida Governor Charlie Crist and United States President George W. Bush. Mr. Doherty is the Director of Music at St. Timothy Catholic Church in the Villages, FL. Among his many honors and awards, Mr. Doherty is the recipient of the New York State Council on the Arts Humanities Award and his signature has been immortalized on the “Muro di Alassio” in Alassio, Italy.
FERNANDO VARELA The story behind Fernando Varela begins and ends with a voice. A voice tells the tale of a breathtaking tenor whose spirit and determination has defied the odds. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Fernando moved to Florida at the age of eight, and while he always loved music it was not until he was seventeen that he discovered the impressive talent he had within him. Fernando trained with some of opera’s renowned classical icons and tours worldwide with Grammy Award-Winning producer David Foster. Varela can also be seen featured on David Foster’s recently released all-new PBS Special. He has also performed amongst some legendary superstars including Lionel Richie, Sarah Brightman, Babyface, Gladys Knight, Peter Cetera, Neil Diamond, Benny Andersson, Seal, Jewel, The Beach Boys, Steven Tyler, Josh Groban, and Chaka Kahn. This year saw Fernando as a special guest performer at The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song honoring Gloria and Emilio Estefan, as well as celebrating Julio Iglesias on The Grammy Salute to Legends. Varela is signed with Universal Music Group and released his debut album “Vivere,” March 2017, accompanied by his debut PBS Special, “Coming Home.” Fernando is currently in the studio with producer Emilio Estefan working on his follow-up album. Fernando Varela sets the standard for what true musicianship is all about, combining a unique voice and an engaging passion which lights up the stage.
DEVIN EATMON Praised for his “mature and heroic sound,” 27 year old tenor Devin M. Eatmon is a graduate of the Florida State University where he earned a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in voice performance.
Some roles that Mr. Eatmon performed during his Bachelor’s degree included, Lorenzo in William Bolcom’s one act opera Lucrezia, 2016 and George Villiers, in the scholastic premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s The Prince of Players, 2017. It was during this production that Devin coached with Maestro Floyd and was complimented upon singing “two thrilling B flats!”
With a graduate teaching assistantship offer, Devin found himself once more at the Florida State University studying with his incredible voice teacher, David Okerlund. He was then cast to play the roles of, Rodolfo in Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème, 2018, Curley in Carlisle Floyd’s American classic, Of Mice and Men, 2019 and, Edgar Aubrey in Heinrich Marschner’s german romantic opera, Der Vampyr, 2019.
JOHN MCVEIGH Acclaimed for his “fresh-toned and touching portrayal” by Opera News and lauded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune for his “rich lyrical tenor, fabulous top notes, and striking good looks,” John McVeigh continues to garner attention for his countless world-class performances at the most revered houses throughout the United States and worldwide.
Last season, McVeigh returned to the Metropolitan Opera for both Le nozze di Figaro and Turandot. Previously, he performed Pang in Turandot with Palm Beach Opera, Don Basilio in The Marriage of Figaro with Opera Theater St. Louis, as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah with Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and DCINY, and as a soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with DCINY.
An accomplished “cross-over” artist, McVeigh shares his talents both in operatic and theatrical settings.
APRILE MILLO In 1986, Aprile Millo made her Carnegie Hall debut with Verdi’s I Lombardi alla prima crociata with tenor Carlo Bergonzi and Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York. In the intervening years, she has sung over 160 performances of 15 different roles at the Metropolitan Opera, including Leonora in Il Trovatore, Aida, Tosca, Amelia in Simon Boccanegra, and Amelia in Un ballo in maschera.
Millo’s debut recording in 1986 was “Presenting Aprile Millo” with the London Symphony and Giuseppe Patanè. She has recorded several Verdi operas with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera for Sony Classical, including Aida, Il Trovatore, Luisa Miller, and Don Carlo. In 1989, she opened the Metropolitan Opera season starring as Aida opposite Plácido Domingo. The performance was recorded live for telecast and DVD release, which won an Emmy. Her 1991 performance of Un ballo in maschera with Luciano Pavarotti was released on CD and DVD. Millo toured with the Metropolitan Opera to Japan in 1988 and 1993, returning in 1989, 1990 and 1991 for solo recitals.
Millo debuted with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1991 as Margherita in Boito’s Mefistofele. The following year she debuted with the Bavarian State Opera as Leonora in La forza del destino and with the San Francisco Opera as Maddalena de Coigny in Andrea Chénier. She appeared as Giselda for the Metropolitan Opera’s first-ever performance of Verdi’s I Lombardi, again with Pavarotti and Levine, in late 1993.