Thursday, May 24, 2018
Stage

St. Pete Opera plans 'Barber of Seville' and 'Turandot'

Ready for intriguing clowns? Beheadings? Hilariously helpful barbers?

The St. Petersburg Opera has it all in its ninth season of mainstage productions scheduled for the Palladium Theater, announced Thursday. The opera is a professional company casting singers from around the world and musicians from the Florida Orchestra and beyond.

The 2014-15 lineup opens with Pagliacci (Oct. 17, 19, 21), the Ruggero Leoncavallo opera that reminds us clowns are people, too. The opera will be presented in conjunction with a Neapolitan festival, a re-creation of an Italian village fair with folk songs and Italian arias.

At Seasonal Sparkle, the opera's holiday fest (Dec. 21-22), the chorus and orchestra will join soloists in selections including Fantasia on Christmas Carols by Ralph Vaughan Williams, St. Paul's Suite by Gustav Holst and Des Knaben Wunderhorn by Gustav Mahler.

Everyone can root for Rosina in Gioachino Rossini's beloved opera buffa (comic!), The Barber of Seville (Jan. 30, Feb. 1 and 3). She's all set to marry her old coot guardian when she meets a rich count disguised as a poor student trying to win her love.

Ever have a date who just doesn't get what you're trying to say? You'll relate to Giacomo Puccini's tale of Turandot (June 5, 7, 9, 2015), the princess who beheads men who can't answer her three riddles. When a mysterious prince gets it right and wins her hand in marriage, he gives her a chance to leave if she can figure out who he really is. St. Petersburg native Alexandra LoBianco returns home to tackle the role of the princess.

The season closes with Stephen Sondheim's Putting it Together (June 26, 28, 30, 2015), set at a high-society party populated with couples in rocky relationships. It's a complement to St. Petersburg Opera's past Sondheim productions including Into the Woods, A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd.

Every month from October through May 2015, the opera will present Evenings and Mornings with the Maestro at the Music Gallery in Clearwater and the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. The programs blend songs with education, with maestro Mark Sforzini.

For more information: (727) 823-2040 or stpeteopera.org.

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