Opera Lecture Series

Florida Grand Opera is proud to partner with Books & Books, South Florida’s locally-owned, independent bookstores, to offer a lively and informative series of lectures pegged to FGO’s 2017–18 Season. The series features Justin Moss, FGO’s Director of Broward Operations and Outreach, widely known to South Florida audiences for his popular pre-performance lectures at FGO. Moss will be interviewed by Brian Kellow, New York Times best-selling author and Public Relations Manager of FGO.

The free inaugural event in the series takes place on Saturday, October 14, 2017, at 2:00pm, at Books & Books in Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Avenue, in the form of a detailed preview of FGO’s coming season, which opens November 11, 2017, with Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.

The season continues with “Farm-to-Table” mini-lectures and dinner at The Café at Books & Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Boulevard, each featuring a five-course menu, prepared by Books & Books’ renowned Chef Allen Susser, that is keyed to one of the season’s operas. The opera-inspired series will take place each Monday night (before the premiere of the opera’s run at the Arsht Center that weekend) at 6:00pm beginning with a short lecture inside the store, and followed with dinner at 6:30pm at the Cafe´’s outdoor communal table located on 13th Street. Priced at $25 per person, excluding tax and gratuity, or $39 including wine, each dinner promises fresh offerings reflecting local flavors:

  • Monday, November 6, 2017, Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor
  • Monday, January 22, 2018, Richard Strauss’s Salome
  • Monday, April 23, 2018, Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas

Seating for the opera edition dinners is limited, and reservations are highly recommended. To reserve a seat, please call the Café at (786) 405-1745 or e-mail cristina@booksandbooks.com. The Café at Books & Books at the Adrienne Arsht Center is located at 1300 Biscayne Boulevard in the Carnival Tower. Free parking is available in Lot C (entrance on NE 2nd Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets).

 A native of San Francisco, Justin Moss has held management posts with Virginia Opera, Baltimore Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera. He has also served as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. In 1993, he joined Florida Grand Opera, where he currently serves as the company’s Director of Broward Operations and Outreach. He is also widely known throughout South Florida as a witty and well-informed opera lecturer; his lectures prior to each performance at Florida Grand Opera are enormously popular events.
 Brian Kellow is the Public Relations Manager of Florida Grand Opera. He is the author of five books, including Can I Go Now?: The Life of Sue Mengers, Hollywood’s First Superagent, a New York Times Best Seller of 2015, and Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, a New York Times Notable Book of 2011. His articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Observer, Travel & Leisure, Opera, and other publications.
 Housed within the ground floor of the Arsht Center’s historic Carnival Tower, The Café at Books & Books is the brainchild of Mitchell Kaplan and his culinary partner, James Beard Award–winning Chef Allan Susser. Chef Allen’s personal culinary viewpoint has been established since 1986 when he opened Chef Allen’s, a groundbreaking Miami restaurant. The New York Times called Allen the “Ponce de Leon of New Florida cooking.” Food & Wine magazine named Chef Allen “One of the Best 10 Chefs in America”. In 2000, Allen launched Chef Allen’s Consulting, a boutique restaurant and hospitality consulting firm providing strategic initiative, culinary resources, and innovative direction for the industry. He is currently pioneering chocolate in St. Lucia, West Indies. His Emerald Estate Vintage Chocolate is authentically handcrafting small batches of cacao beans on the volcanic hillsides by the edge of the rain forest.

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