Sunday, February 18, 2018
Stage

St. Pete Opera's 'Ariadne auf Naxos' spotlights women

Richard Strauss was married to a soprano and wrote especially well for the female voice — Four Last Songs may be the pinnacle — and his opera Ariadne auf Naxos has three great roles for women of different voice types. In the St. Petersburg Opera production, which opens Friday, Hein Jung is the agile coloratura soprano who plays Zerbinetta, the cute coquette in a commedia dell'arte troupe with a showstopping 11-minute aria. Elizabeth Beers Kataria is the dramatic soprano in the title role. And mezzo-soprano Deborah Domanski sings an aria to music as a sacred art in the pants role of the Composer. Artistic director and conductor Mark Sforzini leads the 36-piece orchestra in Strauss' delectable score.

Ariadne auf Naxos is a madcap affair — a forerunner of the Marx Brothers' demolition of Il Trovatore in A Night at the Opera — that Sforzini and the company were urged to stage by a pair of supporters, Harvey Tavel and Norman R. Glick. The couple sponsored the production in memory of Tavel's brother, Ronald Tavel, an avant-garde writer associated with Andy Warhol and the Theatre of the Ridiculous.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theater, St. Petersburg. $21.50-$64.50. (727) 823-2040; stpeteopera.org.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

 
Comments
Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

Trumpeter is the highlight of a concert featuring ‘West Side Story’ themes

TAMPA — Leonard Bernstein would have turned 100 this year. The Florida Orchestra performed two of his works Friday, the second of which paired the dances from West Side Story with the overture to Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet.The orches...
Published: 02/17/18
Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

Five things that make Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Volta’ different and fun

TAMPA — Cirque du Soleil is back in town with a new show.The Montreal-based company always puts on an extravaganza, splashing around color with the abandon of a toddler playing with paint buckets and a storyline several layers deep, the artistic skel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
On stage this weekend: Trumpeter Haken Hardenberger, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

On stage this weekend: Trumpeter Haken Hardenberger, Complexions Contemporary Ballet

FLORIDA ORCHESTRA: ROMEO AND JULIET The Florida Orchestra has lined up a romantic evening. This weekend’s concert, Romeo and Juliet and West Side Story, pays tribute to Tchaikovsky and Leonard Bernstein. Bernstein’s prelude, Fugues and R...
Published: 02/14/18
‘Brownsville Song’ at Stageworks tells important story but falls short on believability

‘Brownsville Song’ at Stageworks tells important story but falls short on believability

TAMPA — In some ways, the latest offering at Stageworks Theatre comes loaded with promise.A young man with a lot of motivation, personality and wisdom dies in a random and violent way. In telling his story, we also get a glimpse of life in a Brooklyn...
Published: 02/12/18
Laura Benanti talks about her Melania impression, growing up ‘the odd person out’ and more

Laura Benanti talks about her Melania impression, growing up ‘the odd person out’ and more

Tony winner Laura Benanti (for best actress in a musical), who brings her cabaret act to the Straz Center this week, was a self-described ugly duckling. Growing up in New Jersey, she never tired of Sondheim soundtracks and struggled with a secret shy...
Published: 02/09/18
Even Jimmy Buffett does not live the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle anymore

Even Jimmy Buffett does not live the Jimmy Buffett lifestyle anymore

Jimmy Buffett awoke one morning last year in one of his many homes — he can’t remember which one, there are a lot of them — and a panic gripped him in his throat. His new Broadway musical, Escape to Margaritaville, was coming along nicely, but someth...
Published: 02/08/18
Updated: 02/09/18
Florida Orchestra mixes it up, collaborates with community in 2018-19 season

Florida Orchestra mixes it up, collaborates with community in 2018-19 season

ST. PETERSBURGThemes are useful sometimes. Right now, the Florida Orchestra is still enjoying the heart of its 50th anniversary season, which has been big and loud and celebratory.At other times, maybe it’s best to just put a fine program together an...
Published: 02/08/18
Andrea Bocelli, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and Cirque du Soleil are all in town for Valentine’s Day

Andrea Bocelli, ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and Cirque du Soleil are all in town for Valentine’s Day

VALENTINE’S DAY: ANDREA BOCELLISuperstar Andrea Bocelli and Broadway legend Kristin Chenoweth team up again, the conclusion of a three-city tour. This time it’s a crossover trio with soprano Nadine Sierra, a 2009 winner of the Metropolitan Opera Nati...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/09/18
The weekend is cool, but how about a Valentine's Day Wednesdate?

The weekend is cool, but how about a Valentine's Day Wednesdate?

Happy February, lovers. Valentine’s Day a week away. Have you made plans? Possibly not, since the holiday falls on an inconvenient Wednesday this year (especially inconvenient for those who observe Ash Wednesday, a day of denying yourself exce...
Published: 02/07/18
Cirque du Soleil raises big top with ‘Volta’, could open doors for neighbors

Cirque du Soleil raises big top with ‘Volta’, could open doors for neighbors

TAMPAIt took 60 people to raise the white tent last week in the parking lot of the Tampa Greyhound Track, the "big top" for Cirque du Soleil’s Volta.With Volta, now open and running through March 18, Cirque brings its first tented show to the Tampa B...
Published: 02/06/18
Updated: 02/14/18