The Estero Arts and Culture Scene: Don’t Miss Out on the Coming Season!

The new season’s program of upcoming events is already available from both FGCU’s Bower School of Music and the Arts and Gulfshore Opera. You can access the respective programs by clicking here: and

by Allan Bowditch, Engage Estero’s Chief Communications Officer

Gulfshore Opera

This coming season, Gulfshore Opera’s feature presentations include “Elixir of Love,” Donizetti’s charming comedy about a wide-eyed country boy in love with the mayor’s daughter. What setting could be better than a small farming town in the old west? In this ingenious update, the naive Nemorino believes a love potion will win Adina’s heart. Blossoming from a shy cowboy to a plucky entrepreneur, he captures his sweetheart and the American dream over this delightful opera buffa!

The main opera presentation will feature “Turandot.” This final work by the beloved Italian composer Puccini is well-known to modern audiences thanks to opera’s most famous aria, “Nessun Dorma,” which has been rendered by everyone from Luciano Pavarotti to Aretha Franklin and Jackie Evanco.

Prince Calaf falls in love at first sight with the Ice Princess of Turandot in this fantasy fable setting filled with exotic splendor. She requires all her suitors to answer three riddles correctly; all who fail are beheaded. Many other events are on the calendar, and tickets can be booked towards the end of August.

Bower School of Music

The Bower School of Music and the Arts program for 2023-24 is extensive, varied, and excellent. You have missed a treat if you have yet to attend any of the Nisita series of events to which world-famous musicians are invited. The Nisita Concert Series are ticketed concerts by regional, national, and internationally known musicians in the U. Tobe Recital Hall in the Music Building. The U. Tobe Recital Hall is one of the best acoustically designed University concert halls in the USA. 

In addition, the student ensembles perform in venues both on campus and throughout Southwest Florida. Most concerts in the Student Ensemble Series are free and do not require reservations. It is no exaggeration to state that The Bower School’s students have extraordinary skills, and most are already hugely accomplished stars on a local, national, and even international basis.

The students thrive on the competitions they attend, often coming away with the top prize. They need your support and attendance at the concerts that are part of the 2023-24 program that allows them to play before a critical audience.

Here are just some of their impressive recent accomplishments:

  • Congratulations to the following piano students for winning both state-wide Florida State Music Teachers Association (FSMTA) Piano Competitions!
    • Gray Perry Solo Piano Competition for first- and second-year students:
    • First Prize – Cesar Perez (sophomore, Music)
    • Second Place – Juan Baquero (junior, Music)
  • Byrd Piano Ensemble Competition:
    • First Prize – Juan Baquero and Cesar Perez
  • First Friday News ~ Student News
  • Bianca Arello Resin (senior, Theatre) is currently serving an internship with Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas. She is working as a Stage Management intern on the resident show at the MGM Grand, K`A
  • Congratulations to Juan Baquero (junior, Music) and Jair Zacarias (’23, Music) for each passing the preliminary round of the 8th “José Jacinto Cuevas” International Piano Competition in Yucatan, Mexico. Juan and Jair will travel to Yucatan on November 23rd for ten days of live rounds, for which the competition will pay their expenses while there.
  • Congratulations to Jair Zacarias (’23, Music) and former student Priscila Navarro (’15, Music) for being selected as two of the eight semi-finalists in the XLVI INTERNATIONAL MUSICAL COMPETITION “Dr. LUIS SIGALL,” which will take place in Vina del Mar, Chile October 3 to 7.
  • Jair Zacarias (’23, Music) recently gave a concert in Lima, Peru, while former duo piano partner Arturo Fernandez (’23, Music) gave a masterclass at a conservatory in Trujillo, Peru.


This is just the tip of the iceberg, as so many others have succeeded in their musical and art studies here in Estero. Please give them your support.  

A recently announced exciting development is taking place at our Coconut Point Mall. The South West Florida Symphony Arts & Culture Center will have a new base in Coconut Point. The organization’s new artistic base of operations is at 23050 Via Villagio Ste. 101 in Estero.

The new space will allow the symphony to host rehearsals, recitals, chamber concerts, and events for more guests in a comfortable, exceptional acoustical setting.

You can look forward to celebrating the harmonious synergy of culture and creativity with the unveiling of this new center shortly. This larger, acoustically refined space sets the stage for optimal rehearsals and intimate “Tiny” Concerts, fostering the growth of classical music and the performing arts in our area. With over 60 years of enriching the community through arts and culture, the center promises to be a hub where music aficionados and artists unite to shape the future of symphonic excellence.

So, there is much to whet the appetite of those interested in supporting the arts an

Engage Estero is an all-volunteer, nonpolitical, nonprofit Community Engagement Association. We exist to inform citizens of significant community issues and encourage citizen engagement to impact the quality of life in greater Estero favorably.

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