The Coastal Star

Pay it Forward: Met star to headline Palm Beach Opera’s gala

ABOVE: Joan and David Genser are co-chairing the Palm Beach Opera’s annual gala.  Photos provided

By Amy Woods

A star soprano from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City will headline the Palm Beach Opera’s annual gala and command its $1,000 ticket price.

Sondra Radvanovsky, who opened the Met’s season in the title role of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma, will perform a one-hour concert Feb. 15 during an intimate show at The Breakers.

“She is the diva at the Metropolitan Opera right now,” said Joan Genser, who with her husband, David Genser, is co-chairing “An Evening With Sondra Radvanovsky.” 

“We don’t know what she’s going to sing, but whatever it is, it’ll be good.”

The gala — the largest fundraiser of the year for the company — is expected to attract 300 guests for a formal evening of drinks and hors d’oeuvres, the concert and dinner and dancing afterward. 

“Our goal is to have a full house, and I think we’re just about there,” David Genser said. “It’s a very desirable ticket.”

Proceeds will support the three-show, six-performance season of the Palm Beach Opera, which kicked off in January with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, features Leonard Bernstein’s Candide this month and concludes in March with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

“Palm Beach Opera can boast being one of the very few opera companies in the world that operates in the black,” David Genser said. “Most opera companies operate in the red. We are incredibly well-managed.”

His goal includes attracting new people to the gala to expose them to the beloved and enchanting art form.

“We’ve been successful in doing that,” he said. “Opera appeals to so many more people today.”

Philanthropists Henry and Marsha Laufer of Manalapan are major sponsors of the gala.

Founded in 1961, the Palm Beach Opera stages its shows at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.

“There’s no question the Palm Beach Opera has made quite a mark on the community,” David Genser said. “It’s amazing.”

 Sondra Radvanovsky opened the New York City Metropolitan Opera’s season in the title role of Vincenzo Bellini’s Norma.

If You Go

What: ‘An Evening With Sondra Radvanovsky’

When: 6 p.m. Feb. 15

Where: The Breakers,
1 S. County Road, Palm Beach

Cost: $1,000

Information: Call 835-7550 or visit

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