Community Spotlight: Celese Sanders

Community Spotlight: Celese SandersBy JAYME KINARD, News Review Correspondent

Celese Sanders is the director of a local opera guild that performs in Death Valley, a mother of three, a successful small-business owner and a board member of the Ridgecrest Charter School.

She has lived in Ridgecrest for the past 10 years and doesn’t see her family leaving anytime soon. Celese began participating in the performing arts at the age of four when she learned to play piano. As she got older, she realized that singing was truly her passion. But not just any genre – opera.

After a brief performing hiatus, Celese came across the Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley. She read that Marta Becket, the famed “Dancer in the Desert” bought the opera house in 1967 and performed there every weekend — whether she had an audience or not. It was then that Celese realized that her love of opera was similar to Marta’s love for dance; Celese just wanted to sing whether or not anyone was watching.

So Celese reached out to the Amargosa Opera House, and as fate would have it, the group had only one opening — for an opera singer. Celese put together a small troupe of performers to form the Desert Valley Opera Guild, whose season runs from October through April.

They will give a season preview to local audiences with a kick-off in September at the Historic USO Building. All other performances will be at the Amargosa Opera House.

Celese is also a member of CLOTA (Community Light Opera and Theatre Association) and will be appearing in the role of Rose during next month’s production of “Secret Garden.”

She is also the choreographer for Ridgecrest’s annual Fourth of July Children’s Program, which features 60 children telling the history of America through song and dance.

Celese’s three children also love to perform and can often be seen on the local stage — most recently during the Ridgecrest Musical Enrichment Society’s production of “Aladdin.”

In addition to juggling her roles as a wife, mother and performer, she opened “Accounting Integrity” almost two years ago. To celebrate two successful years in business, she will be hosting the Ridgecrest Chamber of Commerce’s “Business After Hours” reception in September.

Stay tuned for more information about these upcoming events!

Story First Published: 2017-06-23