As part of its 25th Anniversary celebration on Sun., Nov. 10, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House announced a change to its official name and logo. It also recognized a major donation which funded a rebuild of its 1918 Steinway grand piano.
The 25th Anniversary variety show, called Fredonia On Stage! – 25 Years Later, followed a similar format to the grand re-opening performance held almost 25 years ago to the day (Nov. 12, 1994); and while it gave a nod to the Opera House’s past 25 years, it emphasized the theatre’s current programming through the specific selection of performers and performances.
The current variety of programming is what prompted the name and logo revision, says Opera House Executive Director Rick Davis. “All of the performances that you have seen here today shows that the Opera House is more than just a theatre. It is more than just a movie house or a concert venue,” he noted from the stage. “The Opera House is truly a place for all the performing arts. And so in recognition of this and on the occasion on of our 25th anniversary, we are happy to announce that the Opera House Board of Directors has approved a revision to our longstanding name and logo. In tribute to our 25 years of history, but with the recognition of what we are today, we are now the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Performing Arts Center.”
Davis notes that the new logo will be used in all printed materials and marketing efforts beginning immediately.
Also as a part of the performance, Davis announced the anonymous donation of funding earlier this year which provided for the complete rebuild of the Opera House’s 1918 Steinway grand piano. “Many people call it a baby grand because it looks compact on the Opera House stage,” says Davis. “But it is a six-foot piano, which technically makes it a grand.”
The piano, which was gifted to the Opera House in 1999 by the family of retired State University of New York at Fredonia English Professor Calvin Smith, was showing its age in recent years. This past spring the after the pedal lyre fell off during a high school music recital, a longtime member of the Opera House stepped forward and offered to fund a rebuild of the instrument. “While the pedal lyre falling off was really a minor problem and one easily fixed, it prompted our member to decide to make this incredible offer,” says Davis, “one for which we are truly grateful.”
Davis told those in attendance that the piano left the theatre for the rebuild in late spring and returned only a few weeks ago. “When we welcomed it back, it was like saying ‘hello’ to an old, long-absent friend … albeit one who had been to the spa and came home with a face lift, a tummy tuck and a nose job! And,” he added “it sounds great,” an claim with which audiences could agree when Trevor Napoli played the instrument for the first time in public to close out the first half of Sunday’s show.
The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.