Note to Boca: The Festival Must Be Here To Stay

This weekend I went to two events at the Festival of the Arts Boca—”Oz with Orchestra” and “A Night at the Opera,” featuring the young stars of the Met.

Imagine going off to see the wizard with a live orchestra. It was chilly and and the concert “hall” was packed as all of us, no matter what age, relived the magic of three unlikely friends off on a quest for a heart, for courage, for a brain, for a lesson that there’s no place like home. It was like seeing the movie for the first time, the music filling the night, Oz glowing green at the end of the yellow brick road.

The next night can best be described as a gift, as Jennifer Holloway, Katie Van Kooten, Michael Todd Simpson and 11-year-old sensation Jacke Evancho took the stage one by one to sing various opera classics. Stars glittered in the backdrop, a cool breeze swept in from the ocean a mile away in the darkness and those voices rose perfectly, like fine instruments, sending chills up my spine, bringing me to tears at one point.

And of course, that’s the idea. It’s art. The work of genius Italian composers rendered into music, into the human voice trained to sing like an angel, sending that power up like an offering.

At the heart of the Festival of the Arts is this: the music of the night. Magic. Great art and great work and the kinds of performances and talent that make you remember how vital the arts are. No politics, no agenda, no trendy 15 minutes of fame. Art. Talent. The human spirit exalted.

I know all of this sounds hopelessly trite and corny but I don’t care. I just have to say it because I think the festival is one of the best things to ever to happen to Boca Raton, and we need to support it.

If you did not go this year, go next year. Give yourself that gift. Experience the grace that comes with exposure to great art—in your own backyard.

Let’s not let this one slip away.