Saturday, November 18, 2017
Stage

St. Petersburg Opera unveils new home

RECOMMENDED READING


Times staff

It's a historic week for St. Petersburg Opera. After years of scrambling for rehearsal space in rented clubs or even board members' homes, the company finally has a home of its own.

On Friday, the company will throw open the doors of Opera Central, firmly planting roots as part of the flourishing bay area opera scene, which also includes Opera Tampa and Sarasota Opera.

"We've taken a big step in investing in the neighborhood to create a cultural hub, but our main focus is, of course, creating great opera productions," said Nancy Preis, chief financial officer of the company and a board member.

The 8-year-old company, steadily growing in stature, takes over a 10,000-square-foot space at 2145 First Ave. S in the Grand Central and Warehouse Arts District, which houses offices, costume and set shops, a music library, rehearsal halls, event space and small performance halls. A free ribbon-cutting and open house will include tours, exhibits, entertainment by SPO performers and refreshments, starting at 2 p.m. Friday. St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster will attend.

The company bought the building in August 2012 for $425,000 and spent months renovating it. Built in 1953, the concrete block structure was vacant for several years.

To celebrate, and in conjunction with National Opera Week, the opera has several events there (all-event pass is $60. (727) 823-2040):

Symphonic Chat

A new series patterned after Evenings with the Maestro, but focused on the upcoming Tampa Bay Symphony programs, with maestro Mark Sforzini. The first program is "Lyricism in Brahms' Third Symphony and Haydn's Cello Concerto" will feature Fred Gratta, cello, and Brent Douglas, piano. 6 p.m. today. $12 advance, $15 door. (Sforzini leads the opera and the symphony.)

Late Night Cabaret

Come late for a cocktail and a New York-style cabaret, featuring Ron Earl, Melissa Misener and Jacqueline Graham, with Brent Douglas on piano. 11 p.m. Saturday. $15.

Resident Artists Scenes Program

An evening of opera scenes with chamber orchestra featuring Todd Donovan, Vanessa Rodriguez, Michelle Rego, Aleks Ritums, and more in scenes from Gianni Schicchi, Rigoletto and The Barber of Seville. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 1. $25.

Chamber Concert

World renowned pianists Rebecca Penneys and Grigorios Zamparis, clarinetist Brian Moorhead, bassoonists Mark Sforzini and Anthony Carlson, and sopranos Johanna Fincher and Vanessa Rodriguez join forces in music of Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Sforzini and more. 4 p.m. Nov. 2. $20.

Comments
What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

What’s on stage this week: Benji Brown, ‘No Man’s Land’ on screen, Florida Orchestra does Bruch

KIKI OR BUST: BENJI BROWNWherever Benji Brown goes, Kiki follows. The comic, known for his work on the Rickey Smiley Morning Show, created the fast-talking female character on the fly when he called a girl’s house in high school and her boyfriend pic...
Published: 11/15/17
American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

American Stage’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is just what the love doctor ordered

ST. PETERSBURG — A centuries-old template for the rom-com as we know it and one of Shakespeare’s most produced comedies, Much Ado About Nothing comes to us at a time when we can really use some love conquering all. Just what the love doctor ordered, ...
Published: 11/13/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Review: With a fine script, Stage West cast puts on a great show in ‘Baggage’

Okay, I’ll admit I went into the Forum at Stage West Community Playhouse in Spring Hill on opening night of the comedy Baggage expecting another June/moon/spoon romance-comedy. And sure enough, that’s just the way it started.A man and a woman grab ea...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/16/17
From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

From stickup to stand-up, bank robber's second act is comedy

TAMPA — He had dreamed about returning to comedy in odd moments, between meetings with the lawyer, the lonely trip to the correctional institute, picking up trash on state roads while a guard stood by with a rifle. This nightmare would make him...
Published: 11/10/17
Updated: 11/12/17
Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

Sammy Hagar talks Clearwater concert, tequila and Van Halen drama

The Red Rocker calls on time, and he is all kinds of fired up."Hey, Jay, Sammy Hagar here. Are you ready for me?"Is anyone ever truly ready for a phone call from Hagar, the flame-haired, motor-mouthed ex-Van Halen singer who once dubbed himself the C...
Published: 11/09/17
Updated: 11/12/17
What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

What’s on stage this week: ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ in Key West, Travis Wall Shaping Sound

AMERICAN STAGE: MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHINGTwo couples nearly come apart at the seams for different reasons, the premise for Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, opening at American Stage. This version is set in Key West in the 1940s, the end of World Wa...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/15/17
Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

Review: ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ at Stageworks

At the beginning of The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion acknowledges that the audience might not want to hear her story because we don’t think it could happen to us."It will happen to you," Didion says with a rueful smile, and of course she’s r...
Published: 11/06/17
Updated: 11/07/17
What's on stage this week: 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Florida Orchestra milestone concert, John Cleese

What's on stage this week: 'The Year of Magical Thinking,' Florida Orchestra milestone concert, John Cleese

STAGEWORKS: MINING GRIEF FOR HEALING The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion’s no-frills memoir of loss and recovery, opens at Stageworks Theatre this weekend. The essayist and screenwriter adapted the one-woman stage play herself. Didion w...
Published: 11/01/17
Updated: 11/08/17
Romantic comedy ‘Baggage’ opens Nov. 9 at Stage West

Romantic comedy ‘Baggage’ opens Nov. 9 at Stage West

The romantic comedy Baggage opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at Stage West Community Playhouse, 8390 Forest Oaks Blvd., Spring Hill. Shows will continue at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 19. Phyllis Novack and Bradley Naught...
Updated one month ago
Richey Suncoast cancels Black Box shows, adds 13 specials

Richey Suncoast cancels Black Box shows, adds 13 specials

NEW PORT RICHEY — The highly anticipated second season of Richey Suncoast Theatre’s Black Box Cabaret has been canceled. The series of shows was set to start Nov. 10 and conclude June 17 in the space formerly occupied by Jimmy Ferraro’s Studio Theate...
Updated one month ago