I had hoped when I first heard that the Upper Ohio Valley Opera Guild was hosting the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet of Miami, Fla., that I could take as a guest my sister Cathy Canada, which is pronounced Can-yadda, given it is a Spanish surname. Not Canada the country, though she gets that all the time despite a tilda over the letter n.
Cathy studied Spanish at the University of Valencia during her college days, married a Spaniard, Juancho Canada, and is fluent in the language and appreciative of the country and all its rich culture.
Dancing by the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet of Miami, Fla.
She happened to be in Spain with her husband for one of their annual visits when the guild held this event Oct. 27 at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Weirton. As a matter of fact, Hurricane Sandy extended their stay as it wreaked havoc with everything, including flights.
At any rate, Better Half and I went to enjoy another outing the guild planned, one that blended the music and dance of the Hispanic Flamenco Ballet to the theme "A Night to Remember in Spain." With that was a tapas bar, the equivalent of Spanish hors d'oeuvres, so there was no reason to be taking this all in on an empty stomach, that's for sure.
Classical guitar music was another part of the evening enjoyed by the audience of about 120.
I like that the guild keeps things fresh at each of its events, always willing to try new things in its mission to bring quality, unique entertainment to the area - a mission the guild is well into honoring in its eighth year.
I especially liked the dancing and loved the girls' gowns. I swear their waistlines were about the size of my pinky finger. Yikes.
Better Half and I enjoyed the table company of Jan Glaub Rainbolt there with her cousin's wife, Jeri Schaefer; Deb Wheeler, with whom we had a small world experience as we were practically Steubenville neighbors;' Kathy Antinone, former guild president now board member; and Chuck and Edie Strean.
In line for the tapas, I had occasion to chat with some gals who are members of the Woman's Club of Weirton, including Molly Mossor, Diana Durst, Delores Azzarello, Karen Leyda and Barbara Raynolds. They shared with me that they have a fundraiser coming up, something a little different they are trying. It's a "holiday shopping and tea" planned for Dec. 1 at the Serbian American Cultural Center in Weirton, with doors opening at 12:30 p.m. for shopping and the tea at 2 p.m. Sounds interesting.
Joyce Ryan-Orlando, welcomed everyone to the guild's Spanish-theme evening. Other officers include Mary Jo Rinaldi, first vice president; Anita Jackson, second vice president; Josephine Irvine-Groves, secretary; and Barb Wilinski, treasurer.
For anyone interested in joining the guild, the annual membership fee is $20 although there also are three other categories that include: donor membership, $50; sponsor membership, $100; and patron membership, $250 or more. For information, contact Ryan-Orlando at (740) 264-0292.
The guild will switch gears this month as it prepares for its annual dinner meeting which will be held Nov. 19 at St. Florian Hall, Wintersville, beginning with a social time at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 6:15 p.m.
The event is open to members and guests to enjoy "A Night on the Town" with vocalist Joel Smith, a local resident who sings many of my Michael Buble favorites.
Cost is $25 per person with RSVP requested by Nov. 14 by contacting Ryan-Orlando; Rinaldi at (740) 632-3676; Jackson at (740) 284-5861; or Liz Morelli at (740) 264-1299.
As a reminder, remember to check out the online posting of this story at www.heraldstaronline.com under community for some video footage from the event.