Sex helps sell Puccini's 'La Rondine'

Sex sells in opera, and soprano Rochelle Bard is doing the selling, wrapped around a hunky, tattooed model in publicity photos for Opera Tampa's staging of La Rondine. And in this case, the marketing pitch makes a certain amount of sense, as Bard sings the role of Magda, a high-class courtesan in Paris who seeks true love in Puccini's tuneful marriage of Viennese operetta and Italian opera. The cast also includes tenor Gerard Powers as Ruggero, the callow young man who takes up with Magda in the south of France. Anton Coppola conducts, and director Joachim Schamberger puts his "virtual theater'' design of computerized video projections to use in the production. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa. $39.50-$89.50. (813) 229-7827 or toll-free 1-800-955-1045; strazcenter.org.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

Sex helps sell Puccini's 'La Rondine' 04/21/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 8:52pm]

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