TCO’s ‘Hoffmann’ is a tapestry of delights

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

Tri-Cities Opera concludes its season this weekend with a lush and haunting interpretation of Jacques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. When I attended the final dress rehearsal on Wednesday (April 27), there were a few rough spots and some stop-and-go, but, overall, it is another excellent production with a fine cast and a stunning orchestra led by John Mario Di Costanzo. Read the rest of this entry »

Gardners return to TCO to open 2011-2012 season

At a press conference yesterday (April 19), Tri-Cities Opera officially announced its 2011-2012 season: Puccini’s Madame Butterfly (Oct. 21 and 23, 2011), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (Feb. 10 and 12, 2012)  and Mozart’s The Magic Flute (April 27 and 29).  The season opener will feature the TCO  return of Jill and Jake Gardner; she will sing the title role, and he will both stage the production and sing the role of Sharpless. All performances will be at The Forum in Binghamton under the baton of TCO Music and Associate Artistic Director John Mario DiCostanzo. Read the rest of this entry »

EPAC ‘Superstar’ captures retro spirit

Editor’s note: BAMirror featured a previous review of Jesus Christ Superstar at EPAC, based on the dress rehearsal. Schriber wanted to write about the show as it progressed through its run, explaining, “Because I was at the end of the run, I could speak to more specifics without giving away the show.” Read the rest of this entry »

Were you art-full this past week?

Unless you count the Sinbad stunt show at Universal Orlando, I’ve been a quart low on the arts this past week (and a week behind in posting contributions to BAMirror). Be sure to check out our reviews of “Assassins” and “Master Class” below, and please add your own contributions. What did YOU see/hear/watch/participate in this past week? (Remember: You no longer have to register to add comments to BAMirror.)

‘Master Class’ is masterful theater

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

I admit I had some trepidation when I heard that a community theater group was attempting Master Class, Terrance McNally’s ode to his muse, Maria Callas. Any uncertainty was dissipated by a riveting presentation given in Owego by the Ti-Ahwaga Community Players.
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‘Assassins’ kills at the Firehouse Stage

Reviewed by Sarah Roche

I attended S.R.O. Productions III’s  April 9 opening night performance of “Assassins.” It was my first time at the Firehouse Stage of the Goodwill Theatre  in Johnson City. The venue goes above and beyond to make patrons comfortable with a police officer assisting in parking and well-cushioned chairs. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet BAMirror’s newest reviewer

Hello, my name is Sarah Kuras. I am studying at Binghamton University, and I hope that, by contributing to this blog, I can help you readers become aware of different events here at the university and also of events out in the community through a student’s eyes. While I onlywill speak for myself as an individual, I hope that my posts are informative and useful to the rest of the arts community.
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EPAC’s ‘Superstar’ is great theater

Reviewed by Nicholas Linnehan

Between Broadway Theatre League’s The Color Purple and the Endicott Performing Arts Center’s Jesus Christ Superstar, its been a very spiritual week of theater for me. EPAC’s version of Jesus Christ Superstar is moving and tender. The message of this timeless story is delivered profoundly, as the cast is clearly connected to the “bigger message” that this musical clearly spreads.
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‘Color Purple’ is nearly a spiritual experience

Reviewed by Nicholas Linnehan

I must admit that I was skeptical about seeing The Color Purple last night (April 6) at The Forum in Binghamton. How could you possibly improve on Alice Walker’s timeless tale of redemption, love and the triumph of the human spirit in the face of unimaginable adversity (not to mention the classic movie portrayal with Oprah and Whoopi Goldberg)? Well, much to my surprise, they did the impossible. They found a way to convey the power of Walker’s characters in unbelievable ways. Not only was this great theater, but it was a spiritual experience, one I will not soon forget. I always knew that theater could move you, but it is rare to find such a production. I was never quite sure if I was in a theater or a church, a credit to the very talented cast.
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Share your memories of soprano Mary Jo Anthony

By Barb Van Atta

It is with sincere regret that BAMirror reports the passing of well-know local soprano Mary Jo Anthony. Anthony died Sunday, April 3, of a massive heart attack, according to her close friend David Bower.
In the 1960s and ’70s, Anthony was a leading soprano with Tri-Cities Opera. She later performed with both Opera Cabaret of Endicott and her own company, Tri-Cities Troubadours.
Anthony, 70, of Endicott, was predeceased by her husband and fellow TCO performer, Leo O’Leary. She leaves no survivors.
Burial is set for 10 a.m. Monday at Vestal Hills Memorial Cemetery (lot 589, space 4, east row); those attending should meet in the office parking lot a bit before 10 a.m. No formal service is planned, but anyone attending will be welcome to speak, Bower said, adding, “I think she would like to be remembered for having helped so many people in their lives. Anybody with a problem could always call her for guidance, be it with music or the everyday rigors of life.” There is a possibility of a memorial event at a later time. If you are interested in participating, call Bower at  239-6463 or email him at
Friends, fellow performers and her decades of audience members are encouraged to share their memories of Anthony through this blog. Remember: You no longer need to register for WordPress to leave a comment.

Russian ballet charms at BU

Reviewed by Sarah Roche

Last night (April 6), the Russian Classical Ballet Theatre performed two ballets at the Osterhout Concert Theater of Binghamton University’s Anderson Center. The opening work, “Chopiniana,” portrayed a young man’s romantic dream. The curtain rose to a picturesque scene of ballerinas dressed in snow-white dresses against a blue-green background. Yuri Ostrovsky danced the role of Romantic Youth. He partnered with three ballerinas, one of whom performed the numerous lifts with ease, another who was very graceful and executed beautiful leaps, and one who seemed a bit more of a novice. Chopin’s light piano music created an ethereal atmosphere that allowed me to be swept away by the vision of the troupe of ballerinas moving in unison, swaying and bending, then freezing in poses. This ballet highlighted traditional ballet technique and a large amount of the ballerinas’ time is spent en pointe. It was the first time I had seen this ballet performed live, and I thought it was a great opportunity to see such skilled performers. Read the rest of this entry »

Syracuse Symphony to file for bankruptcy

Here’s an update (and not a happy one) to last week’s Syracuse “Post-Standard” report (see below) about the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra:

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What did you do in the arts this past week?

Were you at the Philharmonic like our reviewer (see below)? Or hitting the galleries during the First Friday Art Walk? Did you catch a play, a reading, a really hot bar band? How were the arts part of your week?
Please join in our blog conversation. Remember: You no longer need to register with WordPress to comment.

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Soovin Kim goes the distance with BPO

 Reviewed by David L. Schriber

American violinist Soovin Kim was featured soloist as the Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra performed Antonín Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A-minor, op. 53 on Saturday, April 2, at Binghamton University’s Anderson Center. It was a convincing demonstration of endurance in a composition uncharacteristically demanding of both bowing and fingering for long periods of time throughout its 32 minutes. One might expect it to be difficult toward the end of such a high-energy piece to play with a light and lilting touch, but that’s just what Kim delivered. Throughout the entire concerto, soloist and orchestra were well integrated, the solo violin seeming to rise smoothly out of the ensemble, the orchestra deferring to the virtuoso’s cadenza passages, then just as smoothly ramping up again. The performance was met with an enthusiastic standing ovation from the full house. Read the rest of this entry »

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Binghamton Philharmonic to honor Syracuse Symphony tickets for remainder of 2010-2011 season

The Binghamton Philharmonic will honor Syracuse Symphony Orchestra concert tickets at its remaining two concerts this season. (The Syracuse Symphony suspended operations this week.) Each unused Syracuse Symphony ticket may be exchanged for one Binghamton Philharmonic ticket (subject to availability) at no charge.The Binghamton Philharmonic performs its final classical series concert of the season this Saturday (April 2) at 8 p.m. in the Osterhout Concert Theater of the Anderson Center at Binghamton University. The final Binghamton Philharmonic pops concert is on 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at The Forum in downtown Binghamton. Syracuse Symphony Orchestra patrons should call the Binghamton Philharmonic box office at 607-723-3931 for information on exchanging their tickets. Full concert information may be found at

The Binghamton Philharmonic’s 2010-2011 season is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. General operating support is provided to the Binghamton Philharmonic by a grant from the United Cultural Fund, a program of the Broome County Arts Council.

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