Opera Memphis has established the Marguerite Piazza Fund for Public Outreach – a new fund designed to share the art of opera with new audiences.
Piazza was an American soprano, entertainer and philanthropist. She joined the New York City Opera in 1944 and was the youngest member of the company.
In 1950, Piazza made her Broadway debut in “Happy as Larry” before joining the cast of “Your Show of Shows.” She made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1951, as Rosalinde von Eisenstein in “Die Fledermaus.”
Memphis became Piazza’s adopted hometown, where she was involved in numerous charities, particularly St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Piazza died here on Aug. 2.
The Marguerite Piazza Fund for Public Outreach was founded through a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor. The fund will support Opera Memphis’ community-engagement programs, reaching more than 25,000 people per year at public schools, social clubs, libraries and other community organizations.
“At a time when funding for arts education is so much at risk, the overwhelming generosity that led to the creation of this fund could not be more timely,” said Ned Canty, general director of Opera Memphis.
Donors interested in contributing to the Marguerite Piazza Fund for Public Outreach can contact Will Murray, director of development, at 202-4542.
Opera Memphis’ 2012-2013 season continues with Elixir of Love at Germantown Performing Arts Centre Feb. 2 and 5. Click here for details.