Arsht Center. Feb 25th, 2010. 7:00 p.m.
Florida Grand Opera General Director and C.E.O. Robert M. Heuer will be honored on Thursday, February 25th, 2010, with a Tribute Concert in the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County’s Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, followed by a black-tie dinner on the Lynn Wolfson Stage in celebration of his 25th Anniversary as General Director of Florida Grand Opera.
Lynn Wolfson, arts philanthropist and Director Emeritus of Florida Grand Opera, is Honorary Chair of the Robert M. Heuer 25th Anniversary Tribute Concert and Dinner Committee and a major benefactor of the event; Jane A. Robinson, FGO Board Chairman, and Dr. Morton J. Robinson, a member of the Board of Directors, are Chairpersons.
Florida Grand Opera, founded in 1941, has been led by only three General Directors in its 69 year history of continuous programming: founding General Director Arturo di Filippi, Robert Herman, and Robert M. Heuer, who assumed the leadership role in 1985, following six years with the Company as Director of Production and, later, Assistant General Director. Under Mr. Heuer’s leadership, the Company, then known as Greater Miami Opera Association, merged with the Opera Guild, Inc., of Fort Lauderdale in 1994 to create Florida Grand Opera, which enabled the Company to present its mainstage productions in both Miami and Fort Lauderdale. In addition, in 2006 Miami performances moved from Dade County Auditorium, where they had been given since 1951, to the new Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House at Miami’s new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County.
During Mr. Heuer’s seasons as General Director and CEO, FGO has mounted over 90 mainstage productions, including 25 operas never previously seen in South Florida. Among these productions are Richard Strauss’ Salome and Ariadne auf Naxos; Britten’s The Turn of the Screw; Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea; Handel’s Julius Caesar; Janacek’s Kátya Kabanová; Marc Blitzstein’s Regina; Bellini’s La sonnambula; and the American premiere of Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero and the world premieres of Robert Ward’s Minutes till Midnight and David Carlson’s Anna Karenina.
Although Florida Grand Opera has the 11th largest budget for an American opera company, it has the 7th largest opera audience. During the 2008-09 season, Florida Grand Opera had ticket buyers from every Miami Dade and Broward County zip code, and from 39 other states, plus Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the American Virgin Islands. In addition, tickets were sold to buyers coming from 31 different foreign countries.
Mr. Heuer is currently on the Board of Directors of Opera America, the national service organization for opera, and has previously served as Vice-Chairman. Mr. Heuer has also served both as Chairman and panel member for the Opera/Music Theatre Challenge Grant Program and Opera/Music Theatre Grants Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts, and as a member of the State of Florida Music Grants Review Panel. In 1988, the Florida Commissioner of Education appointed him to the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, which is an affiliate of the National Education Program at the Kennedy Center. In 1990, the Republic of Austria awarded him the Grand Decoration of Honor in recognition of his commitment to producing the operas of Mozart. In 2001, he was recognized with the Narot Humanitarian Award presented by Temple Israel of Greater Miami, and in 2007, he was awarded the Arts Management Excellence Award by the Arts and Business Council for his outstanding achievement in the management of a local arts organization.
Mr. Heuer’s leadership was instrumental in the development of plans for Miami’s new Arsht Center, and in cultivating community-wide support for the project. Its opening in the fall of 2006 marked an historic moment for all of South Florida, and the Arsht Center is widely recognized as having dramatically reshaped the cultural landscape. Mr. Heuer has also made a notable difference in the lives of young singers through his ongoing commitment to Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Studio. Many of the artists whose studies and careers he has nurtured will return to sing in this once-in-a-lifetime gala concert. This is a celebration you will not want to miss!
Legendary singers Renata Scotto and Sherrill Milnes will serve together as Masters of Ceremony for the Tribute Concert, which begins at 7:00 p.m. The roster of artists scheduled to perform includes sopranos Lielle Berman, Elizabeth Caballero, Sarah Coburn, Helen Donath, Elizabeth Futral, and Eglise Gutiérrez, mezzo-sopranos Katharine Goeldner and Jennifer Rivera, tenors Frédéric Antoun, Antonio Barasorda, Andrew Bidlack, Fernando de la Mora, and David Pomeroy, baritones Kyle Pfortmiller, Aaron St. Clair Nicholson, Mark Walters, and Roderick Williams, and bass-baritone Daniel Mobbs. Conducting duties will be shared among Andrew Bisantz, Stewart Robertson, Gary Thor Wedow, and Steven White. Following the concert, event sponsors will join the artists on the Lynn Wolfson Stage for a celebratory dinner.
Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
1300 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132