Ilse B., age 100, said that attending an opera would be “the crowning jewel of [her] 100 years and [her] 100th birthday celebration.” Growing up in Germany, Ilse’s mother was an accomplished pianist and instilled the importance of music at a young age. She has loved music ever since, specifically opera. For her career, Ilse ended up combining two of her passions: language and music, teaching German to opera singers who needed a mastery of the language for a leading role.
To this day, Ilse enjoys the musical entertainment that comes to her community, the Heritage Palmeras, in Sun City, Arizona. She was always front row and center for the talented piano player, Lynne Haessler. One day, Lynne Haesller announced that she and her friend, an opera singer by the name of Jayne Cassleman, were going to perform at an opera. When her nominator asked if she would like to attend for her 100th birthday, her eyes welled with tears and she said she didn’t want to get her hopes up fearing it was impossible.
On March 7th 2014, Wish of a Lifetime and Brookdale made her wish possible. They arranged for a limousine to pick up Ilse and her two close friends and chauffeur them to Marshall-LeKae Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona where they watched Lynne Haessler and Jayne Cassleman perform. This beautiful celebration of Ilse’s 100 years was a powerfully touching evening.