Building Family & Community through Cincinnati Opera
Jim and Ruthann Sammarco have been loyal friends of Cincinnati Opera for more than four decades. Over the years, they have volunteered their time and talent, held leadership roles with the Opera Board and Guild, and encouraged the next generation of opera lovers.
Asked about their long-term unwavering commitment, Jim and Ruthann shared their joy of opera and appreciation for the "Opera Family."
"Through the Opera we have connected to the Cincinnati community and met many friends that we call family. The Opera is an organization that exudes warmth. Patty Beggs has created an environment that makes people feel appreciated as members of the "Opera Family." That inspires participation and support.
Jim's involvement in opera began when he was a boy soprano and traveled extensively, performing in concerts and operas. He was chosen by Gian Carlo Menotti to debut in Amahl and the Night Visitors with the New York City Opera, first as an understudy, then as a star. Despite this early artistic success, Jim chose another career path. As an orthopedic surgeon he has been on call for years with Cincinnati Opera to help treat visiting cast members who develop injuries.
Ruthann attended her first opera in the summer of 1981 and since then has been impressed with the beauty of it all — music, singing, costumes, staging, and the excitement of opening nights! As Past President of the Opera Guild, Ruthann has shaped the growth of this great body of volunteers.
Being part of Cincinnati Opera has always been a family affair for the Sammarcos. After years of attending performances with their parents, all five of the Sammarco children enjoy opera today.
When talking about what the Opera means to them, Jim and Ruthann discussed their high regard for the artistic direction and management leadership that Cincinnati Opera has enjoyed over the years, from Jim de Blasis and Nic Muni, to Evans Mirageas and Patty Beggs.
"This organization has impacted and enriched our lives immensely. For this reason, and many more, we chose to contribute to Cincinnati Opera's New Century Campaign by making a planned gift and becoming members of the Society of Angels."