Circle of support

Rich and DeAnne Hart founded the Opera Circle to support student opera at UCSC. (Photo: r.r. jones)

Rich and DeAnne Hart know their opera. They've subscribed to the San Francisco Opera for more than 35 years and have attended performances all over the world.

"As involved as we are," said Rich, "we didn't discover the UCSC student opera program until about five years ago."

When they did, they were impressed with the quality of the performances.

"We heard singing from 20 year olds that measured up to the seasoned stars we hear on the major opera stages."

The Harts have been spreading the word ever since, and in 2005 they founded the Opera Circle, a community support, or "Friends" group, dedicated to raising community awareness of UCSC's opera program and also raising funds to support it.

Said DeAnne, "We want to make sure everyone in the immediate community and beyond knows how exciting these performances are."