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Escape to Tuscany 
18 Seaboard Chef's Menu Dinner for Ten
Ongava Luxury Private Game Reserve
Rigoletto Walk-On Role

Escape to Tuscany 


Spend a week in the natural beauty of Tuscany, Italy at Villa Sassella.  Situated in Compignano, a small hamlet with much history, high on the wooded slopes of Monte Quiesa, midway between the ancient walled town of Lucca and the modern seaside city of Viareggio. There are remarkable views over the coastal plains out to the Mediterranean and of the Lago di Massaciucoli.  Villa Sassella was restored in the early 1970's having been derelict since the 1940's. It is said the house dates back to the 14th Century and was originally part of the neighbouring church's estate. Creation of The Gardens and restoration of hte surrounding land begain in the Spring of 1995.  

Despite it's origins as a humble farmhouse, many modern facilities were added during restoration, yet the house still remains it's rustic charm and connection to its wild surroundings. There is plenty of space for guests, accommodating up to 12 people through 6 bedrooms. There are five full bathrooms, a guest toilet and a poolside shower. 

18 Seaboard Chef’s Menu Dinner for Ten


Enjoy dinner for 10 at 18 Seaboard, “where southern hospitality celebrates seasonal ingredients.” You and your guests will delight in a four course chef’s menu complete with wine pairings at one of Raleigh’s finest restaurants, 2015 winner of Open Table’s Diners’ Choice Award. As Chef-Proprietor of 18 Seaboard, Jason Smith celebrates straightforward American cuisine with a modestly contemporary edge. By marrying all that he’s learned from his mentors with his enthusiasm for cooking, it’s certain that he’ll leave his mark on North Carolina dining just as those excellent chefs left their indelible mark on him. Winner of multiple Metro Magazine Bravo awards as well as other local media rankings for "best chef", "restaurant", "power lunch" and "best service", 18 Seaboard has become the favorite place for your special occasion.

Ongava Luxury Private Wildlife Preserve

Five-day, four-night, all-inclusive stay for four in first-class luxury at Ongava Wildlife Preserve in Namibia, Africa.
Have you always harbored an Out of Africa fantasy? Dreamed of tracking wild rhino or watching zebras congregate to drink in the wild as you sip a cocktail? The timelessly chic Ongava Game Reserve turns that dream into a magnificent, memorable reality. Adjacent to the wild beauty of Etosha National Park in Namibia, Ongava Lodge is a place where you can observe all manner of wild beasts flocking to the nearby watering holes—all while basking in the “creature” comforts of private baths, luxury suites and cooling units. Daily game drives offer an up-close look at elusive predators, as well as abundant exotic birds. Guided hikes offer sightings of elephants, big cats and zebras. The Ongava Research Centre is devoted to stewardship and preservation of this magnificent region of our planet. 

Make Ongava the keystone to your African dream trip! Consider adding Capetown, the Skeleton Coast or Victoria Falls to this once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Julian Harrison at Premier Tours, specializing in African Tours, will help you design a dynamite trip.

Rigoletto Walk-On Role

Ever wondered what it’s like to be on stage, in a costume, under the lights, hearing the orchestra and voices from the best place in the house? Here’s your chance to do exactly that! Appear onstage in a walk-on role as a “supernumerary” (an on-stage, non-singing role) in the upcoming performance of Verdi's Rigoletto. The court jester Rigoletto insults and humiliates all those around him for the amusement of his boss, the Duke of Mantua. But eventually those words come back to haunt him, setting him and his innocent, love-struck daughter Gilda on a course for disaster. You will immediately recognize the parade of hit tunes from Gilda’s “Caro nome” to the Duke’s “La donna è mobile” and to the thrilling final quartet. At the heart of the story though is Rigoletto himself, a tragic title character worthy of Shakespeare, a case study that proves that nothing good ever comes from hate and a never-ending thirst for revenge.

Starring Jacqueline Echols, Mark Walters, Joseph Dennis, Soloman Howard and YOU! In addition to the performances, the experience also includes participation in rehearsals, costume fittings and backstage activities, an inside experience being part of an NC Opera production! Don’t just support opera, be in it!