Make us your home page
Instagram

Happy Birthday, maestro Anton Coppola. A look back at 100 years.

Maestro Anton Coppola will celebrate his 100th birthday by conducting a concert of his own compositions at the Straz on Saturday.

JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times (2011)

Maestro Anton Coppola will celebrate his 100th birthday by conducting a concert of his own compositions at the Straz on Saturday.

We're going to need a bigger cake. An operatically-sized cake, you could say.

That's because Opera Tampa will be sending birthday wishes to the rafters for Anton Coppola, the legendary conductor from the famous family of Coppolas, who turned 100 on Tuesday.

Performing arts critic Andrew Meacham interviewed Coppola before his return appearance at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Saturday, where the maestro will be conducting some of his original works and some old favorites. 5.

Coppola has quite the life to look back on, a resume that includes his long tenure as the first maestro of Opera Tampa. Coppola was Opera Tampa's founding artistic director for 17 years before retiring at 95 in 2012, making way for current artistic director Daniel Lipton. But he's still working. Technically, he's opera's oldest working conductor and composer.

Much can happen in 100 years. Here are just some of the notable moments from 1917, the year Coppola was born, in Tampa Bay and beyond.

• The Tampa Public Library opened with a collection of 3,800 donated books.

• Construction began on a new Italian Club in Tampa, after the first structure was destroyed in a fire.

• Deja vu alert — the Cuban Club, which also burned in a fire, was rebuilt in 1917.

• The World War I draft lottery began.

• Jeannette Rankin became the first female member of U.S. House of Representatives.

• No Coppola wines! The 18th Amendment was passed by Congress in December 1917 (that's Prohibition, folks). By the summer, St. Petersburg's last saloons had closed. In a 2017 essay for Perspective in the Tampa Bay Times, historian Gary Mormino wrote, "The state of Florida became officially dry Jan. 1, 1919. In Tampa, a reporter lamented the day after, 'Nothing is left but stomach bitters.' "

• The 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was born. But, born in May, he was a whole two months junior to the maestro.

Happy Birthday, maestro Anton Coppola. A look back at 100 years. 03/22/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Despite Pride success, Grand Central business owners upset over losing parade

    Events

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Grand Central District was packed with people Sunday, there to enjoy the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    Patrons eat lunch and cool off inside of the Community Cafe during the St. Pete Pride Street Festival along Central Ave. in St. Petersburg. LUIS SANTANA   |   Times

  2. Glen Campbell's wife Kim discusses challenges, guilt caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, others face

    Life Times

    If there's one thing Kim Campbell would change about caregiving for Alzheimer's patients, it's the attitude so many of us have toward transferring a loved one from home to a long-term care facility. According to Campbell, it's often the most kind, loving decision you can make. It's not a sign of failure, but one of …

    Kim Campbell, wife of country music legend Glen Campbell, is acknowledged by those attending the free event where she shared the story of her personal journey with Alzheimer???‚??„?s disease and the struggles she faced caring for her husband on Friday (5/26/17) at the Suncoast Hospice's Empath Health Service Center in Clearwater. Empath Choices for Care, a member of Empath Health, and Arden Courts Memory Care hosted the free event where Kim shared her story to help others understand the early stages, how the disease changes lives, the challenges families face and the role of caregiver.
  3. What happened when I took my dad to a Pitbull concert

    Music & Concerts

    TAMPA — "So, you know how you like Pitbull?" I asked my dad. "We can see him."

    Selfie of Divya Kumar and Anand Kumar at Pitbull/Enrique Iglesias concert.
  4. Tampa City Council votes to accept travel invitation from Cuban ambassador

    Blogs

    The invitation came to Tampa City Council chairwoman Yvonne Yolie Capin in a June 9 letter from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.

    The Tampa City Council voted 6-0, with Frank Reddick out of the room, to respond to a travel invitation from Cuban ambassador to the United States José Ramón Cabañas Rodriguez.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for June 25

    Events

    St. Pete Pride Festival: The daytime festival covers Central Avenue's Grand Central District with more than 350 vendors, multiple stages, live music, art and food. 9 a.m., Grand Central District, 2429 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Free. (727) 342-0084.

    Kristen Whalen poses for a photo before the start of the St. Pete Pride Parade in St. Petersburg last year. It's that time of year again, so check with us for your planning purposes. [LUIS SANTANA  |   Times (2016)]