Gulfshore Life Woman of the Year recipient: Steffanie Pearce

Reporter: Taylor Petras Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Steffanie Pearce, credited with bringing opera to Southwest Florida, is being recognized as one of the Persons of the Year by Gulfshore Life.

Pearce leads a rehearsal without the need of a microphone at the Gulfshore Opera Headquarters in Estero.

“I was gifted from God with an exceptional instrument. There was never any question about what I was going to do with my life,” said Pearce.

Pearce has lent her voice all across the country, Europe and finally, Southwest Florida, as she founded the first opera company in the area in 2005.

People would be under the assumption that because an opera house is located in Southwest Florida, the quality would be diminished compared to a New York opera house.

Pearce wanted to prove them wrong, and for years, she produced, directed and coached local performers.

“To bring that sound of a trained voice to a general public that thinks they don’t like opera or is afraid to try opera,” said Pearce. “We hope that through getting to know us and our very friendly approach to serving the community, people become more interested and more engaged.”

She also wanted to give back to the community. Gulfshore Opera’s Harmony Choir partners with nonprofits to get at-risk children involved with musical performances.

“To be on stage and hear the power of those big voices and see the conductor and feel the orchestra and all that, it really makes them feel like they’re somebody,” said Pearce.

Pearce’s next goal is to bring a theater to Estero.

Pearce is just one recipient of the annual Men and Woman of the Year awards. You can read more about the recipients in this month’s issue of Gulfshore Life.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.