Make us your home page
Instagram

Stella Zambalis is Tosca in St. Petersburg Opera production

Stella Zambalis calls Tosca her “very best role.”

Stella Zambalis calls Tosca her “very best role.”

Stella Zambalis is going to be busy in February. First, she is playing the title role in Tosca, the St. Petersburg Opera production of the Puccini staple that opens this weekend. Next she'll be playing PBS chef Julia Child in Lee Hoiby's comedy Bon Appétit for Opera Tampa. Then she'll be heading off to perform another Tosca with Winter Opera St. Louis.

"I have to say — and I have to be careful, because now there is going to be a lot of expectation — but Tosca is probably at this moment my very best role, and it's absolutely without question my favorite," Zambalis said last week. "I think I am so much Tosca. She is an opera singer, after all."

For Tosca to be Zambalis' favorite role is saying something, because the soprano has a glittering resume that includes many highlights over the past 30 years, such as originating the role of Cherubino in the 1991 premiere of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles at the Metropolitan Opera. She traveled the world to sing at many leading opera houses, such as Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and La Scala in Milan.

Zambalis now lives in Clearwater, where she spent much of her youth, graduating from Clearwater High School and St. Petersburg Junior College before going on to FSU and an opera career. She moved home to be with her aged mother, and has liked what she has seen when attending St. Petersburg Opera performances.

"In the three and a half years I've been here, I've seen this company grow in just that short time," she said. "The production values get higher and higher. I thought Samson and Delilah was amazing."

In recent years, Zambalis has performed in two Sarasota Opera productions. She was the Witch in Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel and Princess Eboli, a mezzo-soprano role, in Verdi's Don Carlos.

In the St. Petersburg Tosca, Zambalis is joined by David Gustafson as the painter Cavaradossi and Todd Donovan as the corrupt police chief Scarpia. Tosca's aria Vissi d'arte is a classic of bel canto singing. She also gets her revenge.

"I love killing Scarpia in the second act," Zambalis said. "You get to do what you can't do in real life. It's awesome."

Tosca

St. Petersburg Opera performs the Puccini opera 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.

Stella Zambalis is Tosca in St. Petersburg Opera production 01/30/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 10:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pain does not exist in the Karate 3 soundtrack ... does it?!?

    Blogs

    Should the Karate Kid series have stopped at the original? Probably, but if we didn't have Karate Kid 3 would will still have the lost song Listen To Her Heart by the Little River Band?

  2. Bar review: The Landing at Jannus in St. Petersburg

    Bars & Spirits

    I've spent many evenings in St. Pete's Jannus Live courtyard, enjoying one of the best open-air venues in the Tampa Bay area. It's where I saw my first concert in Florida: Toadies, on the Rubberneck tour sometime in the mid '90s.

    The drinks at the Landing at Jannus in St. Petersburg are about as cheap as you’ll find at any other regular downtown bar, a nice surprise.
  3. Local craft beer of the week: Two Henrys Belleview-Biltmore Blueberry Vanilla Wheat

    Bars & Spirits

    Two Henrys Brewing Company is a unique entity in the Tampa Bay brewing scene, due to both its status as the only brewery in Plant City, as well as its location on a 27-acre working farm, which also includes a winery.

    Photo by Justin Grant
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 26

    Events

    Train: One of the most engaging frontmen in rock, Pat Monahan, brings along O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield for their annual trip through Tampa. 7 p.m., MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N, Tampa. $21.50-$191. (813) 740-2446.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 12:  Singer Pat Monahan of Train performs as the band kicks off the Play That Song Tour in support of the album "A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat" at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 12, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 700034174
  5. Interview: Todd Rundgren comes to St. Petersburg looking to reach a new generation

    Music & Concerts

    They're teaching Todd Rundgren in college now.

    Todd Rundgren will perform at the Mahaffey Theater on May 27. Credit: Lynn Goldsmith