Donor Spotlight

Maria Manetti Shrem was born and raised in Florence, Italy, where she lived until she relocated to San Francisco at 32. At 15, Maria fell in love with opera while listening to Renata Tebaldi in La Bohème. In the 1960s, Maria founded a successful company internationalizing "Made in Italy" fashion. "When I first moved to California, starting my life over by following my heart," she says, "I went to the opera even if could only afford the standing-room tickets. Opera gave me so much inspiration at that time. I waited outside the stage door entrance to the San Francisco Opera to meet the singers. Over the years, I developed relationships with opera luminaries such as Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, and Renée Fleming." Thanks to her new fashion company, Manetti Farrow Inc., which contributed to the internationalization of Gucci and Fendi into the American market, she became a consistent philanthropist. Her support has reached thousands of people across education, the arts, music, and medicine in the U.S., Italy, the U.K., and Africa. Photo credits to J. Henry Fair.

Classical California KDFC is proud to partner with Maria on a $50,000 challenge match to close our 2024 fiscal year. Please join us in celebrating Maria Manetti Shrem for her generous support of the arts worldwide, making our lives more harmonious, and uplifting our souls.

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