An Aria to America Gala
Benefiting Young Patronesses of the Opera

Dan & Trish Bell, Bunny Bastian, Swanee Di Mare, Anthony Broad

Ronald Beal & Rene Beal, YPO President

It was a star-studded night at the Riviera Country Club, filled with celebration and recognition of American Composers and American Opera. “An Aria to America" served as the main fundraising event for the enriching community programs of The Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO). More than 200 of Miami’s philanthropic, music and Opera lovers turned out in red, white and blue to support YPO’s mission of educating and promoting the love of music and Opera at elementary schools throughout South Florida.

During the cocktail hour, guests mingled to the musical stylings of a trio inspired by classic American music. At the silent auction guests bid for an amazing assortment of items including luxury trips, hotel stays, tickets for sport and cultural events, a custom-fit Italian suit donated by Jose Acosta, jewelry displayed by Jae’s Jewelers, and art pieces, including one by J Steven Manolis titled “Happy Birthday America 2004.02” used to create the art in the invitations for the event.

YPO President Rene Beal and Gala Chairs Marianne Kircher and Paula Barrera Scheer honored and acknowledged the Gala Benefactors: Bunny Bastian, Trish and Dan Bell, Swanee and Paul DiMare, The Shepard Broad Foundation, Joanne Silva and Marianne & Peter Kircher.

Guests enjoyed a fabulous performance of classic themes from American Opera and Broadway, sung by entertainers from Couture Guides featuring local performers Megan Barrera, Gerard Ortega, Hector Mir, John Cabrali and two Miss America contestants to fit the theme: Julianna Strout (Miss Rhode Island 2010) and Sydnee Wagonner (Miss Alaska 2010)! The Drew T Band kept the elegant group dancing the night away.

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Joanne Silva and Marianne Kircher

Stephen Scheer & Paula Barrera Scheer

Barbara Waters, Nicole Unternaehrer, Don Waters, Debby Magenheimer and Beate Schmied

Chris Granger and Michele Reese

William & Barbara Reese

Gail and Cerise Sutton

Jillian, Bruce and Shelly Hornik

Mia Patch, John & Carolina Friedhoff

Morten Ebbeskov Jankovic, Sanela Ebbeskov Jankovic and Ashley & Robert Thornburg

Patricia & Dr. Ernesto Scerpella

Aaron Damus, Swanee Di Mare, Leatrice Damus

Gail & Dr. Avelino Pinon

Beate Schmied and Kristin Podack

Barbara Waters, Violeta Cepeda, Lisa Chaffin, Carla Ligia Erraez, Patricia Scerpella

Karen Mathieson and Gary Loft

George & Blanca Denis

David Treitel and Carla D'Andre

Todd Saunders and Amal Solh

Linda Zankl McEnany and Sandy Zankl

Peter & Marianne Kircher

Lori Thomas, Consuelo Tarazona, Lee Lenon, Janeen Lofton

Dr. Alfred, Leatrice and Aaron Damus

Kennin Straout, Morten Ebbeskov Jankovic, Sanela Ebbeskov Jankovic, Jose Acosta, Julianna Strout, Matthew Baron

Since its inception in 1956, over 1,000,000 Dade County elementary school children have witnessed the magical art of Opera with the YPO’s In School Opera Program. YPO also hosts a Girl Scout Workshop where Girl Scouts can earn an Opera Patch, a Teacher’s Workshop where Miami Dade County teachers can learn and enjoy the art firsthand, and an annual Voice Competition that gives away over $40,000 to young aspiring singers. For more information visit