Friends of the Opera

Friends of the Opera (FOTO) began in 1974 as a support group for Opera Grand Rapids. As an independent non-profit organization with more than 175 members, FOTO works to promote the love of opera in West Michigan.

FOTO members help house visiting artists, host cast parties and educational events. To become a FOTO member, please complete and return the Membership Form. For details about joining, email FOTO President John T. Jones.

FOTO Mission

To provide access to opera, to facilitate opera education, and to encourage support of opera within the communities in which we serve.


Pre-Performance Talks

Join Friends of the Opera for an informative discussion about the opera on the orchestra floor one hour before curtain.

October 13 & 14, 2017  |  6:30 PM         Rigoletto
DeVos Performance Hall

Presenter Glen Peterson

May 4 & 5, 2018  |  6:30 PM               The Marriage of Figaro
DeVos Performance Hall

Presenter Gilbert R. Davis


Cast Parties

October 14, 2017  |  Immediately following Rigoletto
Betty Van Andel Opera Center

Additional 2017-2018 Cast Parties to be announced.


FOTO Board

FOTO Officers
John T. Jones, President
Roland Prevost, Past President
Peggy Barber, Vice President
Philip Mitchell, Treasurer
Nicholas J. VanderLaan, Secretary

FOTO Board Members
Suellen Bandyk
Tom Bandyk
Kate Baxter
Dr. John T. Frey
Clarice Geels
Jan Heerspink
Kyle Irwin
Nancy Knauss
June Marshall
Terri Mulligan
Guenter Tusch
Dave VanderArk
Lorrie VanderArk
Dorothy Velasco

FOTO Members

Lifetime Members
William Bjork
Celebration Cinema
Carlos Guayana
Jacquelyn DeRegnaucourt
Dr. John T. Frey
Clarice Geels
Stephen Hoyle
Dr. Gary and Patricia Hartman-Hurt
Dr. John Iacobucci
Margaret P. Idema
Sidney J. Jr. & Cate Jansma
Marcia Kapolka
Marilyn Titche

Honorary
Muriel Burger
Harriet Christensen
Joan F. Gillett
Lois Loetz
Robert Lyall
June L. Marshall
Stella Royce
Foley Schuler
John Schuster-Craig
Richard Stien

Opera Grand Rapids Staff
Anne Berquist
Kate Folkert
Angela Freier
Maestro James Meena
Ashley Roberts
Sarah Watson

Benefactors
Suellen Bandyk
Tom Bandyk
Peggy Barber
Gil Davis
Nancy Douglas
Carol Erickson
Wallace Erickson
Nancy Knauss
Michael D. Loughman
Marilyn Macklin
John McGarry
Guenter Tusch
Dave VanderArk
Lorrie VanderArk

Family
Jim & Judy Botts
John & Janet Boyles
Jim & Cathy Brady
Lisa DeFarrari & Dan DeWitt
John & Joanne Emmons
Bill & Cecile Fehsenfeld
John Hunting
Win & Kyle Iwrin
John T Jones & Nicholas J. VanderLaan
Bill & Nella Kennedy
Wallson & Rebecca Knack
Joe Kozakiewicz
Susan & Jerry Kruyf
John & Mary Loeks
Arend & Nancy Lubbers
Terri & Larry Mulligan
Dennis &  Joni Murphy
Alwyn & Christine Rougier-Chapman
Ellie Sarafis
Jean Silbar & Dan Voorhees
Dave & Lynn Setsma
Cheryl & John Tully
Peter Turner
Karl & Jean VanderLaan

Individuals
Kate Baxter
Judy Borders
Lois DeBoer
Christopher Edgar
Jean Enright
Robert G. Evett
Charles Gallmeyer
Marilyn Heiss
Joshilyn Hoisington
Shellie Jeffries
Shaula Johnston
Brigit M. Klohs
Michael Kopinski
Tony Kroes
Joan Lupton
Susan Ford Marschall
Ken Matheson
Philip Mitchell
Julie Otterbein
Madelyn Reges
Juanita Sharpe
Wendy Stock
Lee Strodman
BetseyTinkham
Arlene Warners
Karen Williams
Gloria Yff
Ellen Zahed