Each new production of The Threepenny Opera is worth seeing. This one is no exception.
THE THREEPENNY OPERA. Opera by Kurt Weill, libretto by Bertolt Brecht. Directed by David M. Jenkins. Cast: Jennifer Casler: Bob the Saw / Ensemble; Colleen Cherry: Streetsinger / Betty; Spence Gabriel: Crookfinger Jake / Ensemble; Amy E. Gray: Jenny Diver; Jonathan Harrison: J. J. Peachum; Chelsea Hooker: Rev. Kimball / Coaxer / Ensemble; Chris Jackson: Macheath, “Mack the Knife”; Fo’i Meleah: Celia Peachum; Spencer Meyers: Streetsinger / Readymoney Matt; Giselle Muise: Polly Peachum; Maggie Mularz: Lucy Brown / Ensemble; Derrick Phillips: Tiger Brown; Alex Rivera: Smith / Walt / Ensemble; Olivia Sargent: Dolly / Ensemble; Katrina Stevenson: Molly / Ensemble; Ryan Sturm: Filch.
Waste no pity on Offenbach because he has only one opera in the repertoire (and for dying before he could see it). This one’s a doozy.
TALES OF HOFFMAN. Opera by Jacques Offenbach, libretto by Jules Barbier. Cast: John Kaneklides (Hoffmann), Kathleen Shelton (The Muse / Nicklausse), Kelly Curtin (Olympia), Lara Lynn McGill (Antonia), Tara Curtis (Antonia’s Mother), Susan Hellman Spatafora (Guilietta). Stage Director: Karl W. Hesser; Dance choreographyer: Daryl Gray; Costume designer: Glenn Breed; Conductor and executive director: Mark Sforzini. Produced by St. Petersburg Opera.
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 Verdi’s operas. Any company that performs it must not only be faithful to its strikingly original music, but also tackle its adventurous staging. I’m happy to say the St. Petersburg Opera delivered the goods on both. And boy did it ever. Continue reading “Tales of Hoffman Taller Than Ever”
TOSCA. Opera by Giacomo Puccini, librettists: Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. Cast: Lisa Houben (Tosca); Cesar Sanchez (Cavaradossi); Mark Walters (Scarpia); Kevin Thompson (Angelotti); Peter Strummer (Sacristan). Lighting design: Jimmy Lawlor; Stage Director: Jeffrey Buchman; Chorus Master: Robin Stamper, Conductor: Daniel Lipton. Produced by Opera Tampa.
You don’t find all exciting musical compositions on major labels like Universal and Sony. But you can find them elsewhere.
You don’t find all exciting musical compositions on major labels like Universal and Sony. But if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can find rare gems in compilation CDs put out by some of the minor labels. Continue reading “Hidden Musical Treasures”
The St. Petersburg Opera presented an Il Trovatore that met all the requirements of a classic Verdi opera production.
IL TROVATORE. Opera by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Salvatore Cammarano. Cast: Michael Morrow (Manrico); Alexandra Batsios (Leonora); Claudia Chapa (Azucena); Christopher Clayton (Count di Luna). Stage Director: Karl W. Hesser; Costume designer: Glenn Breed; Conductor and executive director: Mark Sforzini. Produced by St. Petersburg Opera.