Generous donor gives Naples Opera House $1 million in funding

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Drew Hill
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News

The Naples Opera House is in the middle of a huge renovation project they hope will draw more acts to Southwest Florida. One recent donation will greatly assist them in doing so.

Inside Opera Naples, costumes have been sitting and collecting dust for a while. The theatre has been without patrons for months, due to COVID-19.

“We lost our last production of the season,” said Chairwoman Wendy Needham. “We did actually pay some of the performers even though they couldn’t be here and donations have been difficult in this environment.”

Luckily, a generous donor left money in his will to help them buy their theater in East Naples. Needham says the money could not have come at a better time.

“We will have 50 new seats bringing us up to 300 seats, new lobby, new ticket booth, new production booth, which is really important,” she said.

Because of grant money, the project must be finished by June of 2021. However, everyone is hoping to get the project finished by next season so that guests can enjoy the new lobby.

Kathleen Azzariti says she cannot imagine what it will be when she finally gets to sing opera again.

“I know other groups that have sung with masks and used shields and spaced us all apart,” Azzariti said.

But once it’s safe, she’s positive even the new seats will be full.

“‘We will assess our risks but I think we will be happy to come out and participate and give our gift to the community,” Azzariti added.

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