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 →

Local Profiles: Sculpting Out a Future

Jim and Joan Jennewein helped shape the Straz Center in more ways than one. In the spring of 1981, a young visionary architect named Jim Jennewein walked across a scraggly five-acre parking lot alongside the Hillsborough River. In his mind, he built a future performing arts center for the people of Tampa Bay. The plans,... Continue Reading →

Big Hair Care

Just in time for Tosca, Opera Tampa’s Emmy®-winning hair designer divulges trade secrets about one of the great characters in opera—the wig. Dawn Rivard’s impressive résumé of hairstyling and wigbuilding gigs spans from the ‘90s television series Animorphs to this year’s breakaway series The Handmaid’s Tale. She’s worked on the major motion reboots of Total... Continue Reading →

Causing All This Conversation

Tosca slays, creating some great legends Early critics sometimes panned Puccini’s Tosca, tossing it on a slagheap of criticism that included dismissing it as a “shabby little shocker” that was, in a word, vulgar. But what are you going to do? Haters gonna hate. Audiences love this opera, and it contains three meaty main roles... Continue Reading →

Il Magnifico

Maestro Anton Coppola celebrates his 100th birthday. We are throwing one heck of a party. 1917 was a big year. The first woman was elected to Congress and the U.S. Navy appointed its first female petty officer that year as well. President Wilson declared war on Germany and Congress agreed, thus entering the United States... Continue Reading →

“Opera is Emotion”

An intimate interview with Opera Tampa artistic director and conductor Daniel Lipton We are hot and heavy in the thick of opera season at The Straz, with Romeo & Juliet and Cinderella (La Cenerentola) behind us and the grand dame Tosca in rehearsals for April performances. We are fortunate to be able to boast that... Continue Reading →

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