(L-R) Pictured is Gary Ikona, owner of Leslieville Cheese Market & Fine Foods in Flesherton presenting a cheque in the amount of $1,000 to Anne Marie Hammer, CGHSF Fundraising Committee member and Jennifer Edwards, Foundation Coordinator for Centre Grey Health Services Foundation. The funds were raised by donations made at Gary’s charity Opera in the Barn event that was held on September 18th, 2010 that featured a filmed presentation of La Traviata with the catering done on site by The Flying Chestnut.
ITALIAN OPERA COMES TO THE BARN! On Saturday, September 18th a sold out performance took place at the Symphony in the Barn, just northeast of Durham. This magical event was initiated and managed by Gary Ikona from the new Leslieville Cheese Market in Flesherton.
Gary’s passion for good food and opera had him create an opportunity to introduce many to a unique experience…
On Saturday, September 18th a sold out performance took place at the Symphony in the Barn, just northeast of Durham. This magical event was initiated and managed by Gary Ikona from the new Leslieville Cheese Market in Flesherton.
Gary’s passion for good food and opera had him create an opportunity to introduce many to a unique experience. He selected a top quality filmed production from the Salzburg festival of “la Traviata”, a three act opera. Shortly after 7pm, guests were seated at long tables dressed with white linen, mason jar flickering candles and fresh seasonal flowers on the amphitheatre risers. The large screen came alive when Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon opened with their pure and stunning vocals accompanied by the full symphony orchestra conducted by Carlo Rizzi. Within minutes the first platter of 11 courses was efficiently served by Sean Adler’s catering team from the Flying Chestnut Kitchen in Eugenia. Beet hearts over homemade puff pastry then pan-seared West Grey beef cube skewers started us off. Next fried Lake Huron perch was cleverly wrapped in parchment paper with homemade tartar sauce followed by a duo of fettuccine with carabonara & basil sauce and smoked tomato sauce with penne. Fresh greens had us pausing for more flavours which came with Peeler Cider braised mussels and homemade bread, then sesame seed salmon medallions with braised greens, succulent prosciutto wrapped chicken breast and apple & brie stuffed pork loin. The intensely rich flavours, aromas and stunning music truly piqued all of our senses.
The tragic love story of a young woman that was torn by her lover and the wishes of her lover’s father unfolded which culminated in her joyous last moment before her early and unfortunate death. After the final curtain call it was then time for Sean’s berry and pear bread pudding smothered in rich, warm maple caramel sauce which could only be topped with the final course of Leslieville cheeses served with various accompaniments. Absolutely delectable!
Gary invited all of the guests to be generous in making a donation to the Centre Grey Health Services Foundation’s (CGHSF) equipment fund. The Foundation is currently raising funds to purchase two digital Electrocardiogram (ECG) Machines for Centre Grey Hospital in Markdale. And generous they were – $1,000 dollars was raised for CGHSF at the event!
With the immediate reactions from the audience Gary was indeed encouraged and shared that he is ready to do it all over again this Spring. So, stay tuned for Mr. Ikona’s next offering at the Barn, where “the magic continues…”
Submitted by: Anne Marie Hammer, Fundraising Committee Member Centre Grey Health Services Foundation September 23rd, 2010