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by Mike Telin

OPT-Rondine-2Opera is fun! Even if in the end all parties do not live happily ever after. Still, when everything works during a performance, when it all comes together, one would be hard pressed to find a more entertaining way to spend three hours than at the opera.

On Friday, March 28 and Sunday, March 30 in Cleveland Public Theatre’s Gordon Square Theatre, Opera Per Tutti presented a magnificent production of Giacomo Puccini’s La Rondine. I attended Sunday’s performance and indeed, it all worked.

La Rondine (the Swallow) is one of Puccini’s lesser-known operas and in fact it is the composer’s sole experiment in writing operetta. Although it has never been produced as often as some of his more popular works, with this vocally splendid cast combined with brilliant staging by Scott Skiba and deft coordination between the pit and stage by conductor Domenico Boyagian, Opera Per Tutti certainly made a case for La Rondine to get more face time with audiences. Theatrically speaking, the plot is lively with a nice mix of comedy and drama without ever becoming tragic. But above all, Puccini’s score is gorgeous.

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by J.D. Goddard

OPTItGdnsDedicated as “a symbol of Italian culture” in 1930, the Italian Cultural Garden hosted the San Carlo Opera sixty-eight years ago in its lower level amphitheater. In 2008, this cultural offering was revived presenting the art form of opera that originated In Italy at the end of the 16th century. —Program notes

On a very warm but comfortable Sunday evening, Opera Per Tutti continued its revival of Italian opera in Cleveland’s Italian Cultural Garden with an al fresco performance consisting of twenty-two operatic arias, Neapolitan songs, duets and a quartet sung by a troupe of five professional singers: soprano Andrea Anelli, soprano Rebecca Freshwater, tenors Leodigario Del Rosario and Dan Doty, and baritone Benjamin Czarnota, with Jeannette Davis at the piano. Read the rest of this entry »

by Mike Telin

ANELLI-AndreaSince the premiere of Puccini’s Il trittico in 1918 at the Metropolitan Opera, the three one-act operas that comprise The Triptych have continued to be audience favorites. On Friday, Friday, April 19 at 7:30 and Sunday, April 21st at 3:00 pm, Cleveland Public Theatre’s Opera Company in Residence, Opera Per Tutti (OPT) will complete The Triptych cycle with productions of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi.

The time was right for us to take this on, “OPT founder and executive director Andrea Anelli told us by telephone. “We had a successful production of Il tabarro, and we wanted to finish The Triptych as well as to stage productions that involved a larger cast, and part of my goal is to provide other opportunities for area artists. Then of course there is my personal love of Puccini.”

Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi are co-productions with Cleveland Public Theatre (CPT) and Anelli says that being invited to become CPT’s resident opera company has made it possible for her company to produce larger-scale works. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mike Telin
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