Feature Story

‘An Afternoon of Opera and Broadway’ Fundraiser Set for April 19

March 20, 2015 – by Ohio Wesleyan University

John and Nancy Shuffle will perform during a fundraising concert April 19 at Ohio Wesleyan. (Photo courtesy of John and Nancy Shuffle)

John and Nancy Shuffle will perform during a fundraising concert April 19 at Ohio Wesleyan. (Photo courtesy of John and Nancy Shuffle)

This concert promises to heat things up – literally. On April 19, Ohio Wesleyan University will host “An Afternoon of Opera and Broadway” featuring accomplished vocalists John and Nancy Shuffle and acclaimed pianist Charles Manning.

Funds raised at the ticketed event will help to purchase bakery equipment for a school in Peru that serves developmentally disabled children. The bakery will make the school sustainable and provide occupational opportunities for the students.

For the last 14 years, Ohio Wesleyan’s Patricio Plazolles, program officer of The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, has been developing small enterprises in shantytowns to help Peru’s neediest. He also has provided help at orphanages and a center for older adults, and aided in the construction of elementary school classrooms. Ohio Wesleyan juniors Reilly Reynolds and Sarah Richmond, along with staff member Rosalind Scott, have joined with Plazolles to help provide alternative economic development in the South American country.

“It is our goal that the students will be learning to work in this bakery in order to provide themselves with a living wage,” said Plazolles, a native of Peru. “That this will give them financial independence.”

The event will begin at 3 p.m. in Gray Chapel inside OWU’s University Hall, 61. S. Sandusky St., Delaware. Tickets for the two-hour performance are $10 for students and $20 for adults, and may be purchased at the door or reserved by emailing Plazolles at perufundraiser2015@gmail.com. Tickets also are available at the office of the Central Ohio Symphony, 24 E. Winter St., Delaware. All checks should be payable to the “OWU Peru Program” and, if mailed, sent to 61 S. Sandusky St., Delaware.

John and Nancy Shuffle will open the performance with arias from Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Borodin, Bizet, Lehar, and Strauss. Following a brief intermission, they will entertain the crowd with 20th century theater composers Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Kern, Lloyd-Webber, Bernstein, and Porter, among others.

The Shuffles bring a wealth of performing experience to their theatrical stage and concert appearances, having performed more than 170 roles in their combined careers. They have garnered numerous awards on both the national and regional levels and, to date, have produced eight solo and duet recordings. The Shuffles will have CDs for sale at the April 19 concert, with half of the proceeds benefiting the fundraising effort.

John Shuffle, a bass/baritone, has made concert and stage appearances in more than 30 U.S. states as well as Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, England, and Israel. His performing repertoire has encompassed opera, oratorio, Broadway cabaret, and inspirational venues, including credits with orchestras, theater companies, and numerous artist series. His starring role in the musical “Kismet” was hailed as a “Critics Pick” by the Chicago music press.

Nancy Williams Shuffle, a soprano, has performed in more than 70 musical theater productions and sung in artist series engagements in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida, California, New York, and Indiana, in addition to international appearances in Australia, Finland, England, and Israel. Critics have praised her “outstanding vocal and acting talents.” Learn more about the Shuffles at www.johnandnancyshuffle.com.

Piano accompanist Charles Manning has appeared with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, the Missouri Symphony, the Indiana Wind Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphonic Band, the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, the Butler University Symphony Orchestra, and the St. Luke’s Orchestra. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

Plazolles already has received support from the Woltemade Center and from Delaware’s St. Mary Catholic Church to support his efforts to help the children’s school. For more information about contributing to the initiative, contact him at perufundraiser2015@gmail.com or visit www.gofundme.com/pcfkd4.