From the Jacksonville Business Journal — J.S.

An opera company that plans to have its first production in the spring of 2009 hopes to raise $3 million to get started.

Opera Jacksonville is being started by retired opera singer Sonia Lewis, who is also the president of RCAM Artist Management Co. Lewis had a 20-year career as a mezzo-soprano.

Lewis said she has arranged for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra to perform with the opera company. The first production will be Verdi’s “Aida” and is scheduled for April or May of 2009.

“It has been abundantly clear, working with the symphony,” Lewis said, “that they recognize the synergies between our organizations and how by working together, we can not only enrich Jacksonville’s cultural offerings, but also help make the city’s economy more vibrant.”

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