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The Hermitage Artist Retreat invites you to bring your beach chairs and refreshments to their Manasota Key beach campus, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood, on Friday, February 3rd at 5:00 pm to enjoy the words of noted novelist Jonathan Wilson, the stories of Paris Busker Nisha Coleman and the voice of acclaimed mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov Canales. While you are there, you will enjoy amazing culture as you relax in the beautiful beach surroundings, followed by the sunset at 6:15. The program is free and all are welcome. The Hermitage does ask for reservations in the unlikely chance that the program needs to move indoors where space is more limited. To place your reservation, email [email protected] or call reservations at 941-475-2098, ext. 8.

“This will be one of the best beach programs we’ve had,” said Patricia Caswell, Hermitage co-founder and program director. “Hear an international opera singer, a riveting story teller, and the freshly written words of a novelist. Sunset on the beach is the grand finale.”

The program will begin with Jonathan Wilson reading from his novel in progress Hotel Cinema set in 1933, during the British Mandate in Palestine and in 2013, in Tel Aviv and London. It’s a high-end political thriller, murder mystery and love story. Jonathan Wilson’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, The New York Times Magazine and Best American Short Stories, among other publications. His fiction has been translated into ten languages. Wilson is the author of eight previous books including the novels The Hiding Room, and A Palestine Affair a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, Barnes and Noble Discovery finalist and runner up for the National Jewish Book Award; two collections of short stories, two critical works on the fiction of Saul Bellow; and a biography, Marc Chagall. He is a Fletcher Professor of Rhetoric and Debate, Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University.

Next Writer, Storyteller and Montreal-based Musician Nisha Coleman will share stories of her artistic adventures. Her memoir BUSKER: Stories from the Streets of Paris recounts the years she spent busking in Paris as a violinist. Her solo show, Self-Exile, won Best English Production at the 2016 Montreal Fringe Festival. Her storytelling show Things Drugs Taught Me enjoyed a sold-out run. Nisha has performed at many storytelling events and has been featured on PBS. In collaboration with the Banff Centre for the Arts, Nisha created a multimedia interactive website based on the first chapter of her memoir:

Mezzo-soprano Carla Dirlikov Canales has been praised by Opera Magazine for possessing a voice that “grabs the heartstrings with its dramatic force and musicality.” And that is just what she did when she performed at the Hermitage’s annual Artful Lobster this past November. Known as a frequent interpreter of Carmen, she has sung the title role in 12 countries over 80 times over the last four years.  Canales is in demand at opera houses and concert venues around the world.  She has sung the roles of Maddalena in Rigoletto, Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino and Princess Eboli in Don Carlo.  She has performed at China’s National Center for the Performing Arts and Guangzhou Opera House, among other venues. Ms Canales made her European concert debut at Italy’s Spoleto Festival, and has been a part of the artist roster of the Glyndebourne Festival. Last year, she performed on the Hispanic Heritage Awards which is nationally televised in the United States through PBS, and was a guest artist for then Vice President Biden’s Hispanic Heritage Month Reception, and also for the National Endowment for the Art’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.  

Looks like another incredible beach program at the Hermitage,” remarked Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “Can’t imagine anyone looking for a way to kick off the weekend finding anything better to do. Amazing artists sharing their work in an incredible setting is what our programs are all about. Please come and be WOWed!”

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to interact with the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by Philanthropist Gerri Aaron, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Woman’s Exchange. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098, ext. 5, or visit the website at

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