Artist of the day: Anton Coppola
Yes, Tampa Bay has its own Coppola. Did you know that?
For 16 years, Anton Coppola has conducted every Opera Tampa production. It's a remarkable feat, considering he's 93 years old (he'll turn 94 on March 21), which is well past the normal retirement age even for conductors, who tend to be pretty durable.
Coppola is (deep breath) the brother of Carmine Coppola, the Oscar-winning composer; the uncle of filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola and actor Talia Shire; and the great-uncle to filmmaker Sofia Coppola and actors Nicolas Cage and Jason Schwartzman.
His many career achievements include conducting Luciano Pavarotti in La Boheme in 1969 and directing the orchestra for the Godfather III score. In April, he'll be back in Tampa to prepare Verdi's La Traviata for performances April 29 and May 1.
But first, Coppola will conduct the Opera Tampa concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa. Opera legends Placido Domingo and Sherrill Milnes will be on hand. Tickets are $19.50-$89.50. Tickets to an Opera Tampa gala, including a postconcert dinner on the stage of Ferguson Hall, are $275. Click here for details.
Recently, tbt*'s John Fleming chatted with Coppola about aging and his lengthy career. But don't expect him to call it a day anytime soon. Retirement, Coppola said, is a word that "doesn’t exist in my vocabulary. I feel no diminution of my creative powers, or my interpretive powers.