Anything musical can, and will happen

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2008

What an exciting evening of entertainment awaits at the Cabaret at The Columns at 7 p.m. Saturday. Subtitled “A Guy! A Girl! and A Piano! … Anything can happen,” this promises to be a fabulous program with two of the most popular singers from the Natchez Festival of Music, Will Earl Spanheimer and Kimberley Bentley, singing Broadway hits and other favorites in an atmosphere of fun, laughter, and great music.

Donna Schaffer, who has worked with the festival on several occasions as the music director for the educational program, will accompany them; and there will be several special guest artists.

As a fundraiser for the Natchez Festival of Music, its working arm, the Natchez Opera Guild, is pleased to offer this special program at very reasonable prices in order to allow the community to enjoy hearing these beloved, outstanding artists in an intimate, relaxed setting. Before the performance and during intermissions, hors d’oeuvres will be served; and there will be a cash bar. Because space is limited, people are urged to obtain their tickets as early as possible by contacting Natchez Pilgrimage Tours online at, by phone at 601-446-6631 or 1-800-647-6742, or in person at the Natchez Visitor Center. Advance tickets for members of the Natchez Opera Guild are $15, for others $20. All tickets at the door, if available, are $25. Membership in the Natchez Opera Guild is available to all by contacting me at 601-446-8280, Maxine Brice at 601-442-1523, Sharon Baughman at 601-446-5169, Michael Tatum at 601-442-1889, or P. O. Box 1562, Natchez, MS 39121.

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A Guy! — Since starring in both “Oklahoma!” and “Così fan tutte” in the 2008 Festival, Will Earl has sung in “La Bohme” in the Puccini Festival in Lucca, Italy, has had several lessons and coachings with world famous baritone Sherrill Milnes, and is currently a young artist singing with the San Diego Opera.

A Girl! — Living in New York City, Kimberley has been acclaimed many times in singing competitions, including The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (Northeastern Region), the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards, and the Liederkranz Foundation Competition. Natchez audiences have enjoyed hearing her gorgeous soprano voice for the past two years in such performances as “My Fair Lady” and “Così fan tutte,” in which she starred as Fiordiligi.

A Piano! — Donna Schaffer, an accomplished pianist and active soprano, has served as music director for both the Shreveport Opera and the Natchez Festival of Music. She is currently Music Director for the Opera Fresco in Mendocino, Calif., and is in the process of moving to Natchez. Donna has received a bachelor of music degree from the University of Michigan and a master of music from the University of Connecticut.

Rena Jean Schmieg is a volunteer with the Natchez Opera Guild and the Natchez Festival of Music.