Thursday, August 30, 2007

0708 Play Series podcast

Check out the latest podcast, voiced by yours truly, on the upcoming 0708 Jobsite Theater Play Series. While you're there you can also sign up to get these podcasts automatically, which we hope to make available every other week through the season.

Got an idea for a podcast? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Disclosure: I am also the Producing Artistic Director of Jobsite Theater. Blahblahcakes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Boheme for Beginners

Here at Opera Tampa we’ve been pretty giddy lately. Not just because we have been having lots of successful pre-season events and welcoming V.O.I.C.Experience to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, but because we have a great season ahead of us. Celebrating 150 years since Puccini’s birth, we have the great honor to be producing two of the most beloved and famous operas of Puccini’s repertoire: La Boheme and Tosca.

Opera Tampa has been saying since the season was announced that La Boheme is a great experience for people who have never been to an opera before. Tim Page of the Washington Post agrees and put it so beautifully and succinctly in Sunday’s paper that I wanted to share a snippet and the entire article:
If you don't respond to the frat-boy high jinks and intimate love music in the first act, the second act presents a bright, tuneful, crowded panorama of the city of Paris on a long ago Christmas Eve. If that still doesn't do it for you, Act 3 is among the most perfectly knit 25 minutes of music and drama ever accomplished. (Stephen Sondheim has called it his favorite act in Italian opera -- and the final quartet, with its citric pairing of sweet and sour lovers, quarreling and reconciling, might have come from his pen.) And then there is Act 4, which has inspired gentle Niagaras of private tears since the opera's premiere in 1896.
Doesn’t that sound fabulous? Here’s a funny La Boheme story that he shares later in the article:
It was near the end of La Bohème that what must have been the most unintentionally funny moment in the history of opera in Washington took place. One night in 1996, the English surtitles misfired in the last few minutes of a Kennedy Center performance, and Rodolfo responded to poor, dying Mimi's entreaties never to leave her, with the computer-generated message: "Your batteries are running low and your light has been dimmed."
We’ll make sure the batteries are charged on the laptop for the supertitles in Carol Morsani Hall!

You can’t miss it! Come on, Give. Opera. A. Chance.

-Kari G

A Tribute to Beverly Sills

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Opera will present A Tribute to Beverly Sills, a free public event dedicated to the memory of the great soprano, on September 16, 2007 at 5:00 p.m. at the Metropolitan Opera.

The program will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on Sirius, the 24-hour satellite radio channel, and streamed live via RealNetworks at

A renowned coloratura soprano and a popular media personality in America, Beverly Sills lent her fame, energy, and business acumen to promote the cause of opera and the performing arts following her celebrated singing career. The Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center is honored to have hosted Ms. Sills when TBPAC opened its doors to the public with a Grand Gala in Sept. of 1987.

-Kari G

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Eastman School of Music named “Hottest Music School”

Newsweek named the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY as the “Hottest Music School” in their August 20th issue. “Eastman is heaven for instrumentalists, but students also get to study at the University of Rochester, of which it is a part. It’s perfect for aspiring musicians who don’t want to sacrifice academics.”

TBPAC was honored to host the school’s Eastman Jazz Ensemble and director Bill Dobbins for a week-long residency last October at the Patel Conservatory. The EJE boasts such accomplished alumni as Chuck Mangione. This generous and talented group of musicians performed three free concerts for the community, a master class on jazz piano, plus an all-day workshop for over 250 high school musicians. Credit for arranging the residency goes to Patel Conservatory music instructor and Eastman School of Music alumnus James Crumbly.

James is not only an incredibly talented musician - who plays piano, composes, arranges and conducts music for productions at the Conservatory and elsewhere - but he is also a enthusiastic and versatile instructor who inspires his students to reach musically. Students in his Adult Group Voice class range from folks who haven’t warbled a tune since high school chorus to those honing songs for performance gigs. James also created the Jazz Ensemble class for musicians in grades 8-12 who want to focus on jazz improvisation and ensemble playing. He’s already sent six of his Jazz Ensemble students off to college to study music and forge their own musical paths.

So, if you’d like to join James in a music class, visit our website soon as classes start Aug. 27. And if you ever have the opportunity to see James perform, don’t let it pass you by!


James Crumbly, on piano, warms up Voice Ensemble students for their Summer Showcase.

-Carol Cohen, Education Marketing Coordinator

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

iMix for 0708 Club Jaeb

If you are an iTunes user, check out this link to the iMix that Michael Kilgore created as a sampler/teaser for our upcoming series.

More later on Club Jaeb, from Mr. Kilgore himself via a podcast!

Tickets to all those shows are on sale now!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hot shows at TBPAC: Macy Gray 8/16, Clay Aiken 8/17

Don't forget about both of these hot artists coming to TBPAC this week. Tickets for both shows are still available!

EU cracks down on producers twisting critics' words

This is a great story, probably more funny to those inside the industry, on how the EU plans on cracking down on producers who try to mislead folks into the theater by bending around the words of the critics. Check it out.

(Hat tip to Marty Clear on this one)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Drowsy Chaperone - highest rating on

While checking the NYTimes today online, I noticed that The Drowsy Chaperone has the highest user rating of all shows currently running right now in New York. We're lucky enough to be getting the first national tour of the show right here at TBPAC in the 0708 season.

Final Jobsite Theater play of 0607: Hurlyburly

Jobsite Theater, resident theater company at TBPAC, previews the final show of their 0607 season tonight - David Rabe's Hurlyburly.

Hurlyburly is a gritty comedy-drama about some bit players in the Hollywood scene circa 1984. From Jobsite's release:
Eddie's world exists at the very juncture where Hollywood meets the mountains, where the almost-rich and not-yet-famous live on cheap thrills and heady ambition while searching for true love and redemption. Here, Eddie and his three best friends engage in a wild life of witty repartee and snappy come-backs, of ex-wives and future lovers, of hard partying and late nights, of sex, lies and self-obsession.

Hurlyburly is a scathingly funny and touchingly human story about the quest for meaning in our modern times. Eddie and his friends continue their entertaining and manic pursuit of sensation – until a series of encounters with destiny, decadence and even death convinces Eddie to plunge beneath the surface and discover his soul.
In more than one way this play takes us back full circle to where Jobsite began the 0607 season with Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman. Like Pillowman, both plays are darkly comic and nearly three hours in length. They both, due to all manner of adult content, are intended for mature audiences only. Steve Garland and Ryan McCarthy, who respectively played Katurian and Ariel in Pillowman, also star in the lead roles in Hurlyburly.

Tonight's preview tickets are dirt cheap. If you're a student, senior or member of the military they are even cheaper. This is for a few reasons - we like getting an audience in before we have all of our season ticket holders and the critics to take the nerves out, and the preview audience helps us better gauge the plays overall and moment by moment effectiveness. Win-win, really.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The whole satellite radio thing

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know that there are two major providers of satellite radio... Sirius and XM. My husband sent me an article that came out in the New York Times late last night regarding the quarterly financial report from Sirius (yes, I realize this isn't a business blog... stay with me).

Though the company posted a $134.1 million dollar loss for their second quarter it's actually an improvement from their second quarter last year where they posted a loss of $237.8 million. (AKA, the loss is a good thing). During this second quarter, Sirius says they've actually increased their new member base and revenues by 50%. Of course, if the merger between Sirius and XM goes through, 2008 is sure to present an entirely different picture.

So this goes back to the discussion about how music listening is evolving. The average person has an wide range of ways to listen to music... commercial radio, satillite radio, MP3 player, CD, Internet radio, etc. About a year ago my husband and I became Sirius people. Now, if we aren't listening to Sirius we're listening to our iPod. Satellite radio and our iPod provide us with an insane amount of listening options. We've discovered new artists (like some of those in the TBPAC's Club Jaeb series) and new genres.

Though I'm not a stock holder, I hope satellite radio continues to grow. I love all my music listening options and can't wait to discover another new artist! So many listening options, so little time.