Pescadero Opera Society

Dear Phyllis and Bob,

Just a quick note to say thank you for your efforts over the years to bring the joys of opera to many people. We feel that your non-intimidating, socially friendly, not to say economical, means for people to experience this art form is highly valuable to the community.

Thank you,
Cynthia and Terry Ramseyer
December 15, 2018

P.S. Bob mentioned that you might have use for these…
[Donation of 40 steak knives. Thank you!]

Dearest People,

You missed an extraordinary opera hosted by Bob and Phyllis at Pescadero Opera. I love Puccini, but I’ve never really liked Madama Butterfly. It just never grabbed me the way La Boheme can. This version, however, was breathtaking because not only was the lead soprano an amazing actress, not only were the three lead singers possessed of wonderful voices, but the staging was all Japanese-based. Shoji screens were used to change scenes or suggest changes of mood, black-garbed stagehands were used as servants, moved screens, or used fans to signal important changes. Even the costumes were remarkable. Puppeteers from the Blind Summit Theatre ran puppets of the child and of a mourning Butterfly. Through their black veils one occasionally glimpsed the puppeteers faces, and they were as emotionally involved with their character as anyone on stage. It took three black-clad people to run each puppet. The poor person running the feet was always bent over to the ground. It was a cultural experience on several levels. And an emotional one – I was left in a puddle of tears. Now I love Madama Butterfly. And to think we were so uncertain about going to another “Butterfly.” We could have missed it

If you aren’t on Phyllis’s email list, now is the time to get on it. She has presented some exceptional operas. Bob does the cooking, and it is always a festive occasion. This is their 16th year of presenting operas. The community is so lucky to have this generous couple.

Judy B.
September 8, 2018

Plunge into the Ring! You’ll never be the same again! Phyllis’ infectious, fun, informative, six-week series is what turned me from a Ring hater into a total Ringhead! I’ve been through her course three times. I even dragged my husband along to a series, and now HE is a Ringhead too (in addition to being a Deadhead – really). Great fun!!!

June 23, 2018

The Pescadero Opera Society is a unique group of true opera devotees. I have enjoyed two visits to their well presented and clearly didactically introduced, professional DVD opera presentations.

The Pescadero Opera Society model is one that deserves recognition for its contribution to opera in our region. It is the grass roots of the love of our art-form.

Brian Ward
Board Member, Opera San José
January 13, 2018

Hi Phyllis,

I left the [“Ring”] class thinking about what I had learned and singing excerpts to myself while driving home. It didn’t stop with my arrival home. Shared my newly learned facts and knowledge with my housemate.

You are a consummate professional in all aspects. Your classes are totally prepared, fun, intelligent, interesting, love the artwork utilized and the musical examples from various opera companies, books, painting and other sources. I’ll sum it up — thought-provoking! I don’t believe you wasted a single second on educating us about Wagner’s Ring. The class is more fun and enlightening than anything I ever learned at the conservatory I went to at 18.

I emailed all my friends who love or are participants in music, and told them to come visit when your classes are in progress. San Mateo Senior Center is lucky to have you.

Sherry B.
June 5, 2016

Hi Phyllis, 

Thank you for a special experience at Pescadero Opera. We liked seeing the animals, the food and talking to new people, the wonderful opera presentation and meeting you. I know we will see you again.

Dee H.
March 13, 2016

Dear Phyllis and Bob,

Much gratitude for seven years of wonderful times educating me about opera, thought-provoking poetry, and just being the great people that you are! Again, many thanks and blessings in 2016.

Jane P.
December 12, 2015

Hi Phyllis, 

I so enjoyed the Ring series in Santa Cruz — thank you again for educating and helping us to understand the mysteries of Wagner! Looking forward to attending your Saturday event some time soon!

Suzanne D.
December 7, 2015

Dear Phyllis,

Thank you for a great day yesterday. We had almost as much fun as the actors and actresses! I found the goats absolutely captivating.







Susan H. (Dick too)
December 13, 2015

Dear Phyllis,

Thank you for a wonderful and entertaining exprience with your opera group in the fantastic BARN Theatre. The food was delicious and the company delightful. So happy to be there for the 8-year anniversary.

Susan S.
October 9, 2010

Dear Phyllis,

Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to experience “The Ring,” and open our hearts and minds to the divine music of Wagner — and with such a warm and welcoming place. The whole experience was magical!

 We can imagine the amount of preparation that went into the written and oral material, and video clips.

 It was so much appreciated by us and all your guests, particularly our friends.

Thank you again!
Love Edie and Bob
August 9, 2010

And thank you, Bob, for your cooking, cleanup and support of Phyllis!

Dear Phyll and Bob,

What a grand finale to our wonderful musical journey through “The Ring!” The dramatic Wagner music stays with me to enrich my life! Thank you, Phyllis, for all your thoughtful and informative presentation, your inspiring insights, your deep understanding of Wagner’s “The Ring!” You gave us much joy and insight as you shared all this with us!

 The German sauerbraten feast was elegant — and indeed a savory finale to our evening with “The Ring!” Thank you both for all you did to bring this “musical high” of “The Ring” into our lives! The glorious notes will indeed ring forever in our minds and ears!! We are indeed grateful to you both!!

 My deep appreciation and joyous thanks!

Love and Blessings, Toni
August 9, 2010

Dear Phyllis,

We want to thank you once more for the incredible Ring program you let us participate in over the past two months. What a labor of love! I think I speak for all our friends at the Barn when I say that you brought this pillar of Western art to life for us in such an immediate and heartfelt way that it will leave a lasting impression. I feel honored having been part of this. Moreover, I feel that the whole setting and the enthusiasm of presentation was completely true to Wagner’s own intention. After all, he nicknamed his Festspielhaus “the Barn,” by which name it is still lovingly called among the Bayreuth afficionados. Similarly, the months of study by the invited artists and music students taking place every year before the season opens in July: it’s commonly referred to as the “Bayreuth Workshop;” and a workshop-kind of setting and feeling exists out there in the coastal art enclave of Pescadero. What a treasure!

August 8, 2010

Dear Phyllis,

Thank you so much for hosting what many of us yesterday said was the best opera that we have ever seen! We loved your spectacular setting, and the acoustics, even in stereo, were wonderful, large and rich. That 1897 barn reverberated like a cathedral of opera! Truly an experience, and what a great turn out!

And, finally, I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be able to drive home with the setting sun. Thank you, again, and Bill, Bob and Andrea for a truly memorable experience.

George and Ellen W.