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Picnic while enjoying arias today at Retzlaff Vineyards

Summer evening of music and wine to benefit Livermore Valley Opera

Livermore Valley Opera singers will perform classic arias today at their 22nd annual operatic fundraiser at Retzlaff Vineyards in Livermore.

The opera setting will be casual with enthusiasts enjoying picnic suppers and sipping wine during the performances.

"The annual Opera in the Vineyard has become a popular community event," said Raquel Holt, LVO founder and this year's event co-chairperson. "Our supporters and many come each time, enjoy the high quality of the talented opera singers, the wonderful program and the lovely vineyard setting."

Guests bring their own picnic dinners but can purchase the organically made wines from Retzlaff Vineyards; no outside wines are permitted.

"It is always wonderful to see our supporters enjoy themselves in an informal, casual event as they listen to beautiful arias being performed by LVO's talented principal singers," Holt said. "From their picnic baskets, our guests take out a spread of delectable culinary delights to share, and to hear the clinking of wine glasses as they happily make a toast to each other is a delight to see."

The fundraiser will include a drawing and a silent auction, including spectacular desserts. A highlight is "Arias a la carte," when guests can purchase songs from a menu of arias for the singers to perform at their table.

Local opera buffs are familiar with the singers from their performances in recent Livermore Valley Opera productions:

* Soprano Marie Plette, Mimi in "La boheme"

* Tenor Christopher Bengochea, Don Jose in "Carmen"

* Baritone Krassen Karagiozov, Shaunard in "La boheme"

For more information on 5-8 p.m. event Sunday, sign on to the Website at 20

from 5-8 p.m., visit the LVO website.

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