TopNOOL is extremely sad to announce the passing of a truly significant leader in Cleveland opera scene, Andrea Anelli. She passed peacefully from a long-term cancer in her Chardon home the morning of 1/1/22.
Only after the founder of Cleveland Opera by co-founder David Bamberger and Dorota Sobieska and Jacek Sobieski with Opera Circle now, The Cleveland Opera, has there been other significant “Starter from scratch” personage of opera in NE Ohio like Andrea Anelli. Note: Northern Ohio Opera League “NOOL” 2007 has a board and presents concert opera type events to support all opera companies in NE Oh and therefore is not a “Starter from Scratch - founder type company.
Soprano Andrea Anelli was the founder and co-director of three different opera companies: Opera Per Tutti (2006), rebranded as Cleveland Opera Theater (2014), and ContempOpera/Cleveland (2016).
Each opera company had a different goal and audience to satisfy. And satisfy Andrea did with each company.
She not only created, auditioned, selected music, costumes, sets, directed, produced, found venues to perform in, and raised funds she sang in most of the productions. I am tired thinking of all she did. Succeeding in each endeavor makes her a Cleveland legend.
Most today say her Cleveland Opera Theater is today’s highest level and most diverse in NE Ohio. She took them from a "founder-driven" to a "board-driven" entity for growth. "I never dreamed it could become what it did," Anelli said. "It so far exceeded my expectations. It's been quite a journey."
Andrea Anelli was the general director for Opera Per Tutti, a company she founded in 2006 to keep the art of opera alive and accessible in Northeast Ohio, offering talented, local singers the opportunity to perform. “There are a lot of fine singers in Cleveland who want to stay here without going out of town,” said Anelli, a lyric soprano. “You know what the saying is, ‘I want to be able to bloom where I am planted.’ Anelli has been credited with making opera affordable and accessible to all interested in Cleveland. She has been featured in Cleveland Business Connects Magazine and is a past recipient of the Cleveland Italian American Heritage Award.
In 2016, she moved on and formed ContempOpera of contemporary works to give “voice to composers of our time” that resonated with a wider audience. Performances may include pieces that cross over into musical theater and pop music.
Opera Per Tutti has made several appearances and received high praise for performances in the Cleveland Cultural Gardens. At the rededication of the Italian Cultural Garden on July 21, 2008. Joyce Mariani, executive director of the Italian Gardens Foundation, said it was a historic event because it was the first Opera in the Italian Garden in 68 years. Opera in the Italian Gardens now hosts up to 1500 people each year.
So, to honor Andrea NOOL suggests you listen to an opera song or attend the Met in HD at your local theater. Maybe, I will see you 1/5/22 when my wife and friend go to the Valley View Theater to see the Met in HD Cinderella encore at 1:00.
Respectively written by Greg Polyak NOOL 2nd VP, Sec, Website Master and FB page Master, & photographer.
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