Singer Welcomes Challenge of Opera Tampa Double-Header

Jean Carlos Rodriguez “Let’s play two!” was the catchphrase of Chicago Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks. Opera occasionally schedules double-headers as well. Opera Tampa is closing its season with two one-act operas: Puccini’s comedy Gianni Schicchi and Mascagni’s tragedy Cavalleria Rusticana. Jean Carlos Rodriguez performs in both operas and he’s wondering how much time he’ll have... Continue Reading →

How well do you know The Straz?

We know how much you love The Straz, but how much do you really KNOW about the Straz, other than it’s fabulous, of course? Well, we’re going to find out. Take this quiz, awarding yourself one point for every correct answer to determine if you are a well-informed Straz patron or if you are just... Continue Reading →

Spotlight on the great outdoors

The Straz Riverwalk Stage rises to provide a safe experience for theater-goers When The Straz, along with the world, went on its pandemic pause in March 2020, the staff went to work finding ways to continue to engage and entertain audiences. Initially, with people avoiding places where people gather, the electronic hearths of televisions, computers... Continue Reading →

A Whole New World: Crafting a Season

A small but mighty coterie of Straz staffers gathers the selections that make each year’s season announcement a much-anticipated event. At the start of every year, as sure as the Florida gardenias blossom, The Straz announces a new season. Every year that season blends old and new, funny and serious, musical and non-musical, spectacular and... Continue Reading →

Straz @ Home – Our Seventh Stage

Seven Wonders of the WorldSeven DwarfsSeven Deadly SinsSeven ContinentsSeven Days of CreationSeven Brides for Seven BrothersSeven SeasSeven Days a WeekSeven SistersSeven Swans a SwimmingSeven Hills of RomeSeven Words You Can’t Say on TelevisionSeven Colors of the Rainbow All sorts of things come in sevens – the good, the bad and the dwarfs. At The Straz,... Continue Reading →

Oh, Say Can You Sing

Dear “The Star-Spangled Banner,” why are you so hard to sing? WHY. Back in July of 2019, Caught in the Act posted a slightly different version of this in-depth story delving into the technical aspects of performing our national anthem. In the wake of last week’s presidential inauguration – which included a dynamite version of... Continue Reading →

The 2019 D’Angelo Young Artist Vocal Competition honors Opera Tampa’s dedication to nurturing new artists. On a more personal note, the competition represents Opera Tampa League Board Chair Gina d’Angelo’s commitment to continuing her parents’ love of music through philanthropic support. When Straz Center donor and Opera Tampa League chairperson Gina d’Angelo was in college,... Continue Reading →

Triple Threat

The Straz Center’s Manager of Special Events Nicole Stickeler dons a bum roll to change into her next role for Opera Tampa. In show business, you’re considered a triple threat if you can sing, dance and act. In the performing arts, you’re considered a triple threat if you can sing, act and raise money. The... Continue Reading →

How Did You Get That Shot?

Longtime Opera Tampa and Straz Center photographer Rob Bovarnick reveals the secrets behind capturing that Pearl Fishers photo. Cardboard box. Plastic bag. Three thousand white beads ... What sounds like either the making of a Mardi Gras costume or the making of a very bizarre murder comprised the basic backstage ingredients of one of the... Continue Reading →

Raw, Sexy, Emotional

Die Fledermaus soprano and Opera Tampa returnee Rochelle Bard explains life in opera. One of the great injustices to opera is the enduring stereotype involving a strident woman in a blonde braid wig and a Viking hat. It’s not a very sexy image, and let’s face it: opera is sexy. The canon teems with gorgeous... Continue Reading →

Out, Out Dang Spot

North Carolina soprano Jill Gardner’s musical ancestry and training led her to killing the role of Lady Macbeth. On Friday the 13th, Opera Tampa unloads quite the murderfest with their debut performance of Verdi’s Macbeth. The bloody story of a Scottish nobleman’s immoral rise to power, Macbeth was for Shakespeare, and here, for Verdi, really... Continue Reading →

When Things Get Wyrd, Shake(speare) It Off

Giuseppe Verdi’s version of “more cowbell” looks something like an entire chorus of witches in Macbeth versus the Bard’s three. In 1597, King James of Scotland wrote a work of what he considered to be definitive scholarship: Daemonologie, a paper on witchcraft. James, widely regarded by self and others to be an expert on the... Continue Reading →

Secret of the Resonating Chambers

Opera Tampa Singer Vanessa Rodriguez reveals the four parts of the body to “place” the voice. Plus, she shows how to hit those high notes with no microphone. “It’s the Tweety Bird end of the spectrum,” says Vanessa Rodriguez. We’d asked her to explain what she meant when she told us she was a coloratura... Continue Reading →

The Precocious Host Who’s the Most

Seth Black-Diamond and the new Straz web series, Milkshakes & Opera On January 12, Opera Tampa launched its first-ever web series geared towards kids. The idea? Take a well-loved local 11-year-old performer, give him a hosting gig and sit him across from equally well-loved opera conductors to gab about opera and drink milkshakes donated by... Continue Reading →

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