106 Laney Rd, Rochester NY, 14620 USA
I am not quite sure exactly where or when my opera journey began...
I do remember hanging out in my Grandma's basement as a young child while she and her sister cooked copious amounts of Italian food as they listened to the Saturday Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts...
My personal journey into the arts was visual rather than musical, culminating in a Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art from Nazareth College. My adult career encompassed the businesses of both art and travel. Eventually, I became an entrepreneur as a mural and furniture painter.
Along the way, I remained an occasional Saturday Met Opera broadcast listener. I would wait to hear the "hit song" from the opera, but didn't know much about the libretto or the singers. What I also looked forward to each week was the opera quiz, which I found deeply riveting. The questions and answers began to open up a mysterious coded world with its own intriguing language to me. The quiz always left me wanting to know more. Over time, I was able to see the details that were important to opera fans: elements like "Mimi's Key", moments such as the Marschallin's servant boy fetching a lost handkerchief and the important fact of there being nine Valkyries, for example.
As a lifelong student of mythology, I developed an interest in Wagner's Ring of the Nibelung through reading a lovely book of Ring Librettos I purchased at a library sale. I began to profess my desire to see Die Walküre once in my life, a goal finally accomplished in 2008. The thrill of the performance stirred my artistic creativity into a new direction, designing jewelry telling the stories of the classic operas. I used my fledgling beading skills to make myself the first Opera Bracelets for the Ring Operas. (Learn more about the creation of Opera Bracelets here.)
During the creative process, I soon realized that these bracelets could be designed for any classic opera. Those little details I had learned about, such as "Mimi's Key", came to the foreground and nebulous designs became solid. I had an epiphany: starting a new business to create and sell products that would be meaningful to passionate opera fans, unique handmade jewelry that specifically celebrated their favorite operas.
The potential and opportunity to provide such a devoted audience with special mementos of the operas they cherish was so great that I closed my painting business to concentrate on the business of Opera Bracelets and the continuous development of new products.
Today, Opera Bracelets is my full time business that I run out of my Rochester, NY studio. My husband, Andrew, provides website, sales, marketing and consultative support. Our feline office assistants, Placido and Zubin, find lost beads and the older cat, Posh, keeps us all in line.
In the evenings, I love to garden and cook while listening to Sirius Met Opera Radio... much like Grandma and her sister, actually. Full circle... like a bracelet...