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Saturday, May 26, 2018
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Burgess: Rotary sponsors concert to benefit opera singer's trip

It started as a casual telephone conversation between two women and evolved in just a few weeks time into a concert on Freedom Plaza's stage to benefit a third woman, a promising young singer named Lorena Lopez.

One of those conversing women happened to be Sally Nichols, marketing director of Freedom Plaza and also a member of the Rotary Club of Southbay After Hours. In making a routine marketing inquiry she spoke with Melody Feist, a Tampa Bay area voice teacher, and the conversation turned to the plight of one of the teacher's former students. The girl was graduating from the University of South Florida, had been granted a golden opportunity for further study but lacked funds to take advantage of it.

Now, any student of Greek mythology will recognize that the Fates, those who supposedly control man's destiny, are three women: Clotho, who spins the thread of life; Laechesis, who measures out its length; and Atropos, who finally cuts it.

While this current situation certainly didn't involve anything so drastic as life itself, it did bring together three women who could influence the direction that one life might take.

Lopez, soprano and aspiring opera singer, has been accepted into the American Institute of Musical Studies summer program in Graz, Austria. Many singers who have studied there have become celebrated performers on the world's concert and opera stages. Lopez's goal is to become one of that illustrious company.

Nichols immediately realized that a benefit concert sponsored by the Rotary and taking place on the Freedom Plaza stage might generate the funds necessary to make a difference in the life of this talented young lady.

The Fates have successfully conspired.

Please join us in welcoming Lopez in concert to the stage of Freedom Plaza at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 and available by calling (813) 634-1824 or at the door at 6:30 p.m. the night of the event.

Peggy Burgess is an associate of Freedom Plaza and columnist for The Sun.

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