Fledg­ling opera com­pany of­fers fully staged Tosca

The Hamilton Spectator - - A & E - LEONARD TURNEVICIUS

Sa­batino Vacca’s emer­gent South­ern On­tario Lyric Opera com­pany is tak­ing an­other step for­ward.

Last Septem­ber, they put on a semi-staged pro­duc­tion of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Travi­ata” at the Burling­ton Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre. On Satur­day, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the BPAC, 440 Lo­cust St., Burling­ton, they’ll be pre­sent­ing their first-ever fully staged pro­duc­tion, Gi­a­como Puc­cini’s “Tosca” un­der the stage di­rec­tion of Gabe Graziano.

“This is prob­a­bly my favourite opera,” said Vacca over the phone from his Cam­bridge home. “It’s a real treat to work on.”

Vacca, who’ll be in the BPAC pit con­duct­ing “Tosca,” is no stranger to this warhorse gush­ing with all-time great arias like “Re­con­dita ar­mo­nia,” “Vissi d’arte,” and “E luce­van le stelle” as it deals with po­lit­i­cal tur­moil, treach­ery, mur­der, and love in 1800 Rome. Vacca con­ducted “Tosca” in 2012 for Opera Bel­canto, and in 2009 and last fall for Opera York, a pro­fes­sional opera com­pany of which he is artis­tic di­rec­tor.

Singing the role of the Ro­man chief of po­lice Baron Scarpia for those OY pro­duc­tions was Ni­co­lae Raiciu, a Ro­ma­nian-born dra­matic bari­tone re­sid­ing in Canada since 1992. Vacca will have him reprise that role for SOLO’s “Tosca.”

Burling­ton-raised so­prano Jessica Lane, who sang the role of diva Flo­ria Tosca for OY last fall, will reprise the ti­tle role for SOLO.

Lane’s hus­band, Peter Bass, a bari­tone, will bow as the pris­oner An­gelotti and the gen­darme Scia­r­rone, while tenor Ro­mulo Delgado brings his Cavara­dossi to SOLO from OY. Spo­letto, a po­lice agent of Scarpia’s, will be sung by John Dar­rigo, a mem­ber of SOLO’s 45-voice cho­rus (35 adults, 10 kids).

The set de­sign is by the afore­men­tioned Mr. Graziano. As for cos­tumes, Vacca said there would be “noth­ing ex­trav­a­gant.”

“I hope they’re not com­ing to see a MET pro­duc­tion,” cau­tioned Vacca to pa­trons. “It’s a step up from ‘Travi­ata’ in that the (34piece) orches­tra is go­ing to be in the pit.”

That step up also ap­plies to SOLO’s cho­rus who’ll all be singing from mem­ory this time.

Tick­ets: $45 to $55, se­nior $35, 19 and un­der $20. Call 905-681-6000.

Ms. Lane and Mr. Bass won’t be the only cou­ple in ac­tion next week­end. In fact, two up­com­ing cham­ber con­certs have a hus­band-and-wife con­nec­tion. Satur­day, March 4 at 3 p.m., cel­list Rachel Mercer’s Five at the First Cham­ber Music Series presents vi­o­lin­ist Bethany Bergman and her hus­band, trum­peter Mike Fedyshyn — both reg­u­lars with the Hamil­ton Phil­har­monic Orches­tra — in concert with pi­anist An­gela Park and Mercer in First Uni­tar­ian, 170 Dun­durn St. S. Their “Sound the Trum­pet … and Vi­o­lin” bill in­cludes Hein­rich Biber’s “Sonata IV” for trum­pet, vi­o­lin and con­tinuo, Mozart’s “Duo” K. 423 for vi­o­lin and cello, Cana­dian com­poser Milton Barnes’s “Last Act,” a theatre piece for trum­pet and pi­ano, Amer­i­can com­poser Eric Ewazen’s “Trio “for trum­pet, vi­o­lin and pi­ano, as well as tan­gos by As­tor Pi­az­zolla. Tick­ets at door: $20, se­nior $15, stu­dent $5, un­der 12/un­waged free.

On Sun­day, March 5 at 2 p.m., Trio con Brio Copen­hagen con­sist­ing of cel­list Soo-Kyung Hong, her hus­band, pi­anist Jens Elvek­jaer, and sis­ter, vi­o­lin­ist Soo-Jin Hong re­turn to Hamil­ton af­ter an al­most seven-year ab­sence for a pro­gram con­sist­ing of Schu­bert’s “Pi­ano Trio” op. 99, Schu­mann’s “Pi­ano Trio” op. 110, and Swedish com­poser Sven-David Sand­strom’s “Fire Stykker for Klaver­trio” (“Four Pieces for Pi­ano Trio”) in the Joey & Toby Ta­nen­baum Pav­il­ion, Art Gallery of Hamil­ton, 123 King St. W.

Ac­cord­ing to Elvek­jaer, Sand­strom wrote the work as a gift to the trio af­ter they’d per­formed his “Triple Con­certo” in Stock­holm for his 70th birth­day cel­e­bra­tions. The TCBC pre­mièred the “Four Pieces” in Copen­hagen in 2015. They’ve since played it in Ger­many, and will per­form it this sea­son in Eng­land and North Amer­ica.

“The music is sort of Neo­clas­sicis­tic with hints of spicy har­monies and sud­den ro­man­tic tones,” wrote Elvek­jaer about the Sand­strom in an email to The Spec­ta­tor.

Tick­ets are $30, se­nior $27, stu­dent $10. Call 905-525-7429.

Lastly, we’ll squeeze in Mu­si­cata’s cham­ber jazz concert in con­junc­tion with Spec­trum Music of Toronto at The Church of St. John the Evan­ge­list, 320 Charl­ton Ave. W., on Sun­day, March 5 at 3 p.m. Their “Tales from the Un­con­scious” bill will fea­ture new works per­formed by Mu­si­cata un­der Roger Bergs, along with Juno Award win­ning sax­o­phon­ist Mike Mur­ley, jazz pi­anist Adrean Far­ru­gia, for­merly of Stoney Creek, and bassist An­drew Down­ing. A pre-concert talk with com­posers Jay Vasquez, Shan­non Gra­ham and oth­ers starts at 2:30 p.m. Tick­ets: $25, se­nior $20, chil­dren $5. Call 905-628-5238.

Leonard Turnevicius writes about clas­si­cal music for The Hamil­ton Spec­ta­tor. leonard­turnevi­cius@gmail.com

MICHAEL IVANIN FILE PHOTO

Sa­batino Vacca will be in the pit con­duct­ing “Tosca” at the Burling­ton Per­form­ing Arts Cen­tre March 4.

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