The Springfield Regional Opera Guild presents their fundraising luncheon "Singin' in the Rain" Thursday April 6 at 11:30am in the Ballroom at Hickory Hills Country Club, 3909 E. Cherry. This event has been hosted at Hickory Hills for more than a decade, according to SRO Guild President Carolyn Hoffman. “And we have a big turnout, and it’s elegant—the ladies are usually pretty dressed up. There are a few men there, and they’re very welcome!” she adds.
In addition to a gourmet luncheon prepared by Hickory Hills Country Club's Chef Melinda, the event will include a silent auction of gift baskets prepared both by local businesses and by SRO Guild members. Of course, there will be entertainment in the form of live music, says Guild Vice-President (and Director of the local Conservatory of the Ozarks) Heather Leverich. “Sean Spyres, the Administrative and Educational Director for Springfield Regional Opera, is going to be singing along with Genevieve Fulks, who sings with SRO, and she’s also a teacher at the Conservatory of the Ozarks. They’ll be singing some songs together, so you can hear some beautiful opera singers performing. Shelley di Martini (another teacher at Conservatory of the Ozarks) will be playing piano.” “She’s a treat by herself,” says Carolyn Hoffman. Di Martini plays at the Tower Club and other venues around town. Heather Leverich has mentioned Di Martini’s keyboard prowess before on Arts News. “She can play, I think, two to four hours of memorized dinner music! You can ask her to play pretty much anything you’d like to hear and she’ll play it for you.” Adds Carolyn Hoffman, “If she’s heard it, she can play it.”
The SRO Guild current has about 40 members; they typically see around 20 of them at their regular meetings, which are scheduled for the first Thursday of the month. They meet at 11:30am at various area restaurants. “And they’re always really good restaurants!” says Heather Leverich with a laugh. The group also plans opera “field trips” to locations such as Kansas City or Tulsa. Leverich calls the Guild “a fun opportunity to make new friends who are interested in opera, and to raise money for the local opera.”
All proceeds from “Singin’ in the Rain,” aside from the cost of the luncheon and the pianist’s fee, will go to support Springfield Regional Opera. Cost is $40 per person; for more information call SRO at 863-1960 or visit the Springfield Regional Opera Guild page on Facebook, where you can also find the menu for “Singin’ in the Rain.”