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March 23, 2021

March is Membership Month at the Mondavi Center and we're sharing the stories of several of our members during the month.  Denise Verbeck has been a season ticket holder and donor for over ten years. She is a happy and active retired elementary school teacher and lover of the arts. 

Photo shows Denise Verbeck standing next to a large bouquet of flowers just outside the Bartholomew Room. When asked why she supports the Mondavi Center, Denise replied:

Over the years I have enjoyed attending performances with my late husband, as well as friends and family. Until Covid, I planned day trips and drove a 15-passenger van for the Mission Oaks Recreation Department, with many trips to the Mondavi Center. I have had the pleasure of introducing many new ticket holders, who pile mountains of praise on the Mondavi performances. One of the most memorable of those trips was introducing them to opera through Barbara Jackson’s “Rising Stars of Opera.” We were there, bearing birthday cards, for what would have been her 100th birthday. On display that night was a matador-style skin-tight costume that she had sewn.  We were in awe of Mrs. Jackson’s talent—and the background story to the fitting process!

I support Mondavi through ticket sales and donations because of the variety and high quality of performers. I appreciate the friendly staff assistance for ticket returns, adding tickets, seating, and my large and varied orders. I could not do my complicated annual orders without their personal help. I have been introduced to performances from around the globe: dancers, speakers, musicians, symphonic and philharmonic, jazz, plays, and so much more. The program guide for the year is so well written and visually appealing, and I appreciate Don Roth’s recommendations and annual “sneak peek” into the upcoming season. The Bartholomew Room and the Uncorked events are very special member perks. Serving food and drink along with alcohol in the lobby are added bonuses for a relaxing and special evening. The Mondavi Center is the total package for ease of ticket purchases and high-caliber shows.

We also asked Denise about the most memorable performances she's attended at the Mondavi Center:

I have seen many memorable performances. How about the only Ballet troupe that my late husband would watch?  The talented and funny Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo was a hit with these burly men on point! I do enjoy a good martini so when Pink Martini appeared my taste buds ignited and I was hooked! I have been to every one of their unique shows.  My group all wore pink leis last time. I have enjoyed the Studio Jazz series. The Vanderhoef Studio Theatre has the feel of a stylish and intimate nightclub. There I participated interactively with the National Theater of Scotland. Another unique opportunity was to be a part of the NPR Science Friday taping! What a nice behind-the-scenes opportunity. I was excited to purchase three tickets to see Hillary Clinton!  I have taken a couple of grandkids to the Children’s Stage where we enjoyed and learned from Sound Maze. There is so much variety. From Wynton Marsalis to Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell, from the Akram Khan and Alvin Ailey dance companies to Reduced Shakespeare and the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, there is something for everyone.  My friends and I plan to enjoy many more years of Mondavi Center’s fine entertainment.