SOUDERTON » There’s nothing surprising or unusual about having music at a restaurant named after Enrico Caruso.
Getting a full opera with your meal, though, is a bit different.
“We’ve had opera music,” said Caruso Brick Oven Trattoria coowner Giuseppe “Joe” Chiaro, “but never opera staged.”
That’s about to change, though, when “Pagliacci” is performed 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21 at the restaurant on Main Street in Souderton.
“We’re the only opera company that does staged opera in a restaurant,” said Raffaele Tudisco, founder of the Northeast Philadelphia-based Amici Opera Company. “We’re in costume and fully staged.”
“It’s kind of fun the way they do it,” Chiaro said. “The restaurant is their stage.”
“It makes it much more intimate in the restaurant because people feel like they’re so close to you,” Tudisco said.
Written by Ruggero Leoncavallo in 1892, “Pagliacci,” (which means clowns), is based on murders following perceived romantic entanglements involving a village girl with whom two men are infatuated, according to show information.
“I think it’s going to do very well there,” Tudisco said. “It’s not an overly long opera. It’s popular.”
Tudisco, a baritone, portrays Tonio in the show, as well as being stage director.
“I’ve been singing on the stage since I was 15,” he said. “I’m going on my 243rd role in September.”
The rest of the cast is tenor Dante Fiore as Canio, soprano Eve Edwards as Nedda, baritone Chaka Allen as Silvio and tenor Don Greenberg as Beppe. Tim Crawford is the musical director.
Amici does 80 to 90 performances each year, Tudisco said.
“We do about 35 or 40 different operas every single year from September to August and they’re all staged in costume,” he said.
Not all are in restaurants, though.
One of the non-restaurant venues is the monthly performances at Dock Woods in Towamencin Township, Tudisco said.
There are dinner opera performances every two months in South Philadelphia, but Caruso’s will be the first restaurant show in the local area, he said.
Both Chiaro and Tudisco said they expect “Pagliacci” to be the
first of what will become a series of dinner operas at Caruso’s, with the performances happening about once every two months.
Tickets for dinner and the staged opera at Caruso’s are $49.95 plus tax and gratuity. Prepaid reservations or information are available by calling 215-799-1312.
An antipasto board served family style will be the meal’s first course, followed by a second course choice of wood fire maccheroni, chicken cacciatore or wood fire Atlantic salmon, and Sicilian cannoli with coffee or hot tea for the third course.
The dinner opera will take place in the restaurant’s main floor dining room, Chiaro said. The downstairs dining room will be open for regular dining.
Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci” will be performed 6 p.m.
The opera “Pagliacci” will be performed Sept. 21 at Brick Oven Trattoria in Souderton.