An affair of the art

Old Opera House’s annual Soirée is a showcase of area artists’ best

The Old Opera House has been a hub for the performing arts for more than a century now, but this weekend it will become a showcase of art of all kinds.

[cleeng_content id="965831778" description="Read it now!" price="0.49" t="article"]A gala reception Friday evening kicks off the theater’s annual two-day Summertime Arts Soirée where local artists’ oil paintings, watercolors, photographs, wildlife portraits, woodworks, glass pieces and more will be displayed throughout 204 N. George St.

Starting at 6 p.m., the event will offer ticket-holders not only the chance to see local art but also to hear live music and enjoy a selection of wine and hors d’oeuvres.

In its seventh year, the Soirée continues on Saturday with an art show and sale. Happening at the theater from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Day Two is free and open to anyone.

Steven Brewer, the theater’s artistic director, said the Soirée began at the suggestion of a member of the Old Opera House’s board of directors who had attended a similar event elsewhere.

“What made it so appealing to us was that it fit so well into our overall mission,” explained Brewer, citing the theater’s operating statement to “excite and involve the community in all aspects of the performing and visual arts.”

In recent years, the Old Opera House has become a year-round venue for local artists’ works. The Jean Heiler Art Gallery in the theater’s lower level is home to art shows as each new play or musical debuts.

“Our goal for several years has been to become a local center for the arts, both the performing and visual arts,” Brewer said. “The Soirée is one of our efforts to promote local visual artists and their work while providing an opportunity for all local residents to enjoy the work of these artists.”

Artists to be featured this weekend include photographers Judy Olsen, Mary Jo Bennett and Earl Mills; wildlife photographer S.J. Brown; watercolor artist Andrea Burke; glass artist Denise O’Brien; painters Patricia Perry and Roxy Brooks; and woodworker Scott Tatina.

Music will be another highlight at the Friday night gala. The folk-rock duo of Betty Jo and Scott Rockwell of Shepherdstown are set to perform original songs as well as acoustic cover favorites.

Tickets for the gala, sponsored by Martin Distributing Co., cost $37.50 and may be reserved by calling the OOH box office at 304-725-4420.


Want to go?

What: Old Opera House’s seventh-annual Summertime Arts Soirée

When: Friday night gala (ticket required) begins at 6 p.m.; the Saturday art show and sale

happens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (free admission)

Where: Old Opera House at 204 N. George St. in Charles Town

How much: Tickets for Friday’s event cost $37.50. To reserve yours or get more information, call the OOH box office at 304-725-4420.


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