This week we had 33 members in attendance; however, we had no visitors or visiting Rotarians to enjoy a wonderful lunch and a great program.  Don’t forget to invite friends and prospective members to our lunches, it will help spread the word of all the good that our club is doing.
We celebrated the membership anniversaries of two Rotarians: Bob Baker joined the club in the last millennium in 1987 and Joe Nash joined in 2012.    “End Polio Day” is October 24th this year.  President Patti asked for volunteers who would be willing to spend an hour at our local train station to talk to commuters about Rotary’s effort to wipe out polio throughout the world.   The Barrington Rotary Club is sponsoring a service trip to Guatemala next February 19th to the 27th.  If you have any interest go the their club’s website for more information.
Happy Buck$ this week came from Tony Kambich in honor of Sam Badger surviving his military unit’s reunion; Bob Baker for the good job Tom Nash did running the meeting the previous week in the absence of President Patti Van Cleave; John Stone for the Cub’s winning the NL Divisional Series against San Francisco; and Rich Lalley in gratitude for the fine start for Operation Warm.  Our club has already raised $5500 for new coats for kids.  The hope is to raise about $10,000 by Thanksgiving.
Mark Kotz did an excellent job in getting smiles and laughs for his Dig ‘n Grin.
Patti introduced two young gentlemen from the Lyric Opera to tell us more about this civic organization.  Our speakers were Joel Friend, the Group Sales Manager, and Sam Fain a Group Sales Associate.  They began with a detailed history of the Lyric that was first started in 1850.  The first opera house was destroyed in Chicago Fire.  This was at a time when New York was the center of opera in the United States.  The current Civic Opera house was opened in May of 1929.  Due to the financial crash that occurred later that year it laid dormant for quite a number of years.  Again from 1947 until 1953 it was completely dark. 
In 1953 the Lyric Opera was formally organized under the leadership of Carol Fox.  In 1954 Maria Callas made her first operatic performance in the U.S.  Every one of her performances was sold out.  Several additional performances were added and after the final performance, when security was reduced for Ms. Callas, she was served a summons in her dressing room for a breach of contract.  She never again performed in Chicago.  In 1981 Ardis Krainik took over the leadership of the Lyric Opera.  She was responsible for major renovations to the facility.  She is also known for firing Luciano Pavarotti due to his frequent no-shows.  Wes Baumann pointed out that the lead tenor in next January’s performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is Matthew Polenzani, a 1986 New Trier graduate.
Mr. Friend said that there are eight operas performed each season as well a classical American musical (My Fair Lady in 2017).   There are also special events such as performances by Plácido Domingo and Itzhak Perlman.  He said Rotarians are eligible for a 20% discount for all tickets to operas.  The special code is: ROTARY.  Both Friend and Fain indicated that one of their goals is to bring opera to a more diverse audience, including Chicago Public School students.