SPO News

Opera Meltdown

Nobody can illuminate and explain opera quite like Maestro Sforzini. Take a look inside his recent “Opera Therapy – The Final Meltdown” at the Museum of Fine Arts, and you’ll agree. There’s one more opportunity to experience this uniquely fun introduction to opera – this Thursday (March 21) at the Iberian Rooster.

Video: Artist Jenny Bleackley

MEET THE ARTIST: Say hello to watercolor artist Jenny Bleackley, whose solo exhibition ‘Halcyon Days’ is now at the Mirella Cimato Gallery at Opera Central. If you weren’t able to get to the Second Saturday ArtWalk  here’s a quick guide to the work, from Jenny herself.

Lloyd Goldstein & Joshua Paul: Creative Collaborators

Coming this Saturday (March 9), Creative Collaborations at Opera Central brings together a diverse and eclectic collection of music and musicians. Among the performers: Tampa’s Lloyd Goldstein, a composer, and arranger, and a restlessly creative double bassist. Lloyd played with the Florida Orchestra for 21 years before joining the Arts in Medicine program at Moffitt …

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Jenny Bleakley’s Halcyon Days at Mirella Cimato Gallery

New at the Mirella Cimato Gallery The exciting new exhibition at the Mirella Cimato Gallery, inside Opera Central, is HALCYON DAYS by esteemed watercolor artist Jenny Bleakley from Sussex, England – now a resident of St. Pete with a studio in the Arts XChange! Come and see works from her colorful Florida Flowers series and lots more! Second Saturday …

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Creative Collaborations: Chamber music and more

Based on a Russian folk tale, Igor Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) combines chamber music, narration, dance and theater to relate the time-tested parable of a man who sells his soul to the devil. Appropriately, this legendary work is the centerpiece of St. Pete Opera’s Creative Collaborations, Saturday, March 9 at Opera Central. Maestro Sforzini …

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Interview With Keith Arsenault

If you’ve seen theatre or opera in Tampa Bay, you’ve probably seen a production Keith Arsenault helped bring to life. A skilled lighting designer, set designer, theatre tech consultant and arts administrator, Keith is the resident lighting designer of the St Pete Opera, runs HCC Ybor’s beautiful Performing Arts Center, has worked as a voiceover …

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A sweet, satisfying introduction to opera for children

By Bill DeYoung Since his debut in Carlo Collodi’s 19th century children’s book, Pinocchio – the wooden puppet who can walk, talk and get into trouble – has appeared in countless adaptations, from fine art and theater to radio, cinema and television. Always, the lesson is the same: Tell the truth, and you will find …

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Sterling Ensemble Lifts Don Giovanni

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart broke barriers in opera, and not just by weaving those impossible harmonies with seemingly little effort. Together with librettist Lorenzo da Ponte, he also relished any chance to tweak the upper class, first in The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. The St. Petersburg Opera opened its season Friday with Don Giovanni …

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Maestro Sforzini dusting off his bassoon

Our own Maestro Sforzini will be dusting off his bassoon to play a recital this Saturday night with clarinetist Brian Moorhead.  Moorhead (41 years Principal Clarinet with the Florida Orchestra) commissioned Sforzini to compose a Double Concerto for Clarinet and Bassoon.  Additional commissioners include Belinda Dumont and Gayle Bertelstein.   Moorhead and Sforzini played 15 …

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Strong leads propel St. Petersburg Opera’s ‘The Magic Flute’

Reviewer Andrew Meacham wrote:  An unconscious prince in a magical forest gets rescued by three witchy women who serve a mysterious queen. He soon returns the favor, rescuing the queen’s daughter with whom he has fallen instantly in love. What’s not to love about this adult fairy tale immortalized by Mozart in The Magic Flute? …

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Meet me at the opera. You have your ticket, right?

Gounod’s romantic, French grand opera Faust presents us with glorious melodies and sumptuous orchestrations for this dark tale. Unhappy with life, Faust yearns for a return to his youth; makes a pact with the Devil and draws a host of characters into his bargain. Méphistophélès is only too happy to service Faust in his desire …

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SPO DVD is First Ever of Susannah!

St. Petersburg Opera Company is delighted to announce the first ever DVD recording of the Carlisle Floyd opera Susannah, with Maestro Mark Sforzini and starring Susan Hellman Spatafora, Stefanie Izzo and Aleksandra Ritums.  Filmed in 2014 at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg, Florida, the DVD includes bonus materials including an interview with composer Carlisle …

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Arsenault’s design brings out the full richness of Tales of Hoffman

Michael Eddy of Stage-Directions.com writes: Lighting Designer Keith Arsenault recently lit the St. Petersburg Opera Company’s production of the Jacques Offenbach classic, Tales of Hoffmann. Following a poet through three fanciful stories of unrequited love, this opera has held sway over audiences since it debuted in Paris 136 years ago. Its bright, lively music and a clever libretto are …

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Mom Would Love It!

Peter Bates at Stylus notes: Jacques Offenbach composed over 100 operas. But waste no pity on him because he has only one in the repertoire (and for dying before he could see it). Tales of Hoffman, based on three short stories by Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann, is immortal, right up there with (many of) Giuseppe …

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Maestro Interview by Creative Pinellas

From Creative Pinellas: Maestro Mark Sforzini dispels notions of opera being too stuffy or boring. The affable conductor, composer and director of the St. Petersburg Opera hosts amusingly informative events that de-snobify the genre. His Evenings and Mornings with the Maestro and the cheeky Opera Therapy series offer explanations, conversations and mini-performances that shed light …

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Meacham Calls “Elixir of Love” Actually Funny

Andrew Meacham’s Writes: Here’s a one-question poll. Suppose your favorite comedian was coming through town. But for the same ticket price, you could instead attend a “comic opera” written in the 19th century. Ask 20 people on the streets of St. Petersburg which show they would rather attend. It wouldn’t be close. But here’s why …

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Il Trovatore Sets the Table for the Season

Andrew Meacham writes Il Trovatore opens with foreboding and menace as a Spanish military officer lays the groundwork for revenge. Musically and in tone, the table is set: This will be dark. The opera by Giuseppe Verdi premiered in Rome in 1853, sandwiched between Rigoletto and La Traviata, and is considered one of the composer’s …

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IL TROVATORE – Director’s Notes

Il trovatore is the second of the great trio of mature, middle-period Verdi masterpieces which cemented Verdi’s reputation as the greatest Italian composer of his time. Preceded by Rigoletto and followed by La traviata, this opera demonstrated Verdi’s ability to find the perfect melody to express a character’s emotional state. In Il trovatore the characters …

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Under Maestro’s baton the orchestra is absolutely stunning

Broadway World‘s Peter Nason reviews: I am in the camp that believes that SOUTH PACIFIC is Rodgers and Hammerstein’s greatest work. Even though it won the Pulitzer Prize and is the only musical to garner the Tony Award for all four acting categories, the show still sometimes seems overshadowed by other R & H classics: …

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