Frank & Katrina Basile Opera
Center, Feb. 24.
Academy Award winning actress Celeste
Holm was the lifetime achievement honoree on Feb. 24, at the
Indianapolis Opera and Truly Moving Pictures gala but it turned out
she honored attendees with her grace, wit, charm and enduring talent.
At age 93 she remains alluring with sparkling eyes and a smile to
light up a roomful of people. The encore of a music-filled program
was her heartwarming rendition of “Getting to Know You,”
inviting the audience to join with her, since it was her joy to get
to know us.
The backstory of how and why New York
city-born, University of Chicago educated, and Broadway, Hollywood
and television star Holm came to Indianapolis revolves around Frank
Basile. Actually, two Frank Basiles. One, who lives in Indianapolis,
is married to Katrina and is a philanthropist. The other lives in New
York City, is married to Celeste Holm and is a bass-baritone who
appears in grand opera and concert stages worldwide. This Basile
graduated from the Indiana University [Jacobs] School of Music, so it
was a homecoming with the intention of “helping opera grow in
Indianapolis.” A mix-up of emails led the two Basiles to meet
in New York City, and the rest is our good luck.
The event included a program of
operatic arias and songs from Italy and the American musical theatre
by Basile, with accompanist David Lewis; and two duets by
Indianapolis Opera Ensemble members, soprano Jacqueline Brecheen and
mezzo Kristin Gornstein, and tenor Daniel Anderson and baritone
Thomas Gunther, with accompanist Dana Sadava.
Also honored was Kate Appel, who was
presented the 2011 Indy Woman of the Arts award by Bonnie Reilly, the
awards 2005 recipient.