Tag Archives: Florida Grand Opera
Florida Grand Opera brings back Tosca for nearly the 12th time with veteran villain Todd Thomas. Conductor Gregory Buchalter says this is the opera for people who haven’t been to an opera. “Even if you don’t know much about opera, it’s like going to a movie.”
Is anything as entertaining as watching a pack of scoundrels maneuvering to snatch from each other what isn’t theirs to begin with? Puccini certainly thought not, as does composer Michael Ching, as does Florida Grand Opera, presenting Puccini’s broad comedy Gianni Schicchi and Ching’s 1997 English-language sequel Buoso’s Ghost.
Quite a come back year: World premieres, epic musicals, moving two-character dramas, you name it. Here’s not so much a “best of the year” list – no such list can be reliable or complete – but a random recognition of outstanding performances, productions, trends and just moments that theaterlovers will carry with them into 2023.
It’s unlikely that Handel imagined his Baroque opera Agrippina, rooted in the Roman transfer of power from Claudius to Nero, quite like this: Set in Regency England, staged with laughter as a 1930s Black movie company films the event.
Florida Grand Opera’s Fellow Travelers has no overweight heroines or bearded villains. This 2016 intimate-scale opera is set during the McCarthy Era when gays were hunted down. But this affecting tragedy of a doomed love is fraught with as much passion as any tale of a star-crossed Nubian princess and an Egyptian general.
Time changes how we view classic works: In this edition of Rigoletto at Florida Grand Opera, the title “villain” who gets his comeuppance at the end of this revenge tragedy seems for more worthy of sympathy than being perceived as the twisted evil persona he normally engenders, as he did when FGO mounted this in 2012.
Blessed with a glorious score and soaring arias, you would think that André Previn’s take on A Streetcar Named Desire would be a triumph as Florida Grand Opera’s first major production in two years. But as well worth it may be seeing, the collision of high-toned opera and Tennessee Williams’ theatrical drama simply do not meld into a single artistic whole.
Trivia contests, master classes, solo performances, new play development online, lectures, podcast-like schmoozing interviews, requests for video audition, 24-hour theater projects, even soliciting subscriptions for specific dates. The ghost light may be lit across the South Florida theater scene, but nearly every troupe is aggressively keeping the genre’s profile inescapable.
Jules Massenet’s dramatic opera Werther is short on action, and its cast of characters limited. But it does have a reputation, however, of being the most French of French operas, and what has gained the 19th century work this reverence isn’t in its storytelling about the lovelorn poet and the woman he can’t have, but in the music.
Expectations: It’s crucial that regular patrons know that Frida is unlike almost any other work previously offered by Florida Grand Opera. The eclectic score, surreal staging, use of microphones and partial nudity shouldn’t deter anyone; just don’t go expecting Rigoletto.