You say the economy has forced you to trim that line-item in your monthly budget for opera tickets? We've got a little tip to help you get the most bravo for your buck.
St. Petersburg Opera Company stages really fine operas at the Palladium Theater. The productions are a bit scaled back from the grand opera you might see at bigger halls — sets aren't as lavish, for example — but they offer a high-quality opera experience. The company casts excellent singers from across the country, and the musicianship of the FloriMezzo Orchestra is first rate.
This weekend, the company stages La Traviata, one of the greatest, most popular operas ever. The story involves a courtesan redeemed by true love, but it's really Verdi's stunning music that makes this work enduringly popular.
Abla Lynn Hamza sings the role of Violetta, and Gregory Schmidt is Alfredo. Mark Sforzini conducts. Direction is by A.J. Wester.
Ticket prices range from $20 to $61.50. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. (727) 822-3590 or stpeteopera.org.
Marty Clear, Times correspondent