Public invited to observe OPERA America workshop at TCO

Tri-Cities Opera has been chosen to host a singers’ workshop Tuesday (Nov. 13) sponsored by OPERA America. Selected singers from TCO’s resident artists program and Binghamton University’s Masters in Music program will have the opportunity to sing a “feedback” audition, and the public is invited to listen. Read the rest of this entry »

TCO production dedicated to singers who died this past summer

By Barb Van Atta

This weekend’s Tri-Cities Opera performances of Puccini’s La Bohème will be dedicated to three former members of the company who passed away in recent months: tenors Alan Crabb and Pasquale “Pat” Arcodia and soprano Rosalie (De Felice) Julian. Read the rest of this entry »

HOTA Celebration is Thursday

Just a quick reminder that the Broome County Arts Council’s 2011 Heart of the Arts Awards Celebration will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Sept. 29)  in the recital hall of The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton. Read the rest of this entry »

Roberson, TCO and S.T.A.R. leaders honored with HOTA awards

By Barb Van Atta

In a year that saw financial upheaval for even the nation’s most prestigious arts organizations, the Broome County Arts Council’s annual Heart of the Arts awards are going to people who have had the courage  to guide established groups in new directions and the vision to launch new opportunities for artists and arts lovers in our community.

Three HOTA awards are granted every year. The 2011 recipients, announced today (Sept. 21) at a press conference at the BCAC office, are: Terry McDonald, executive director of the Roberson Museum & Science Center in Binghamton; Reed Smith, general director of Tri-Cities Opera, and, jointly, the founders of S.T.A.R. (Southern Tier Actors Read), Judy McMahon and Heidi Weeks. (See following article about Lifetime Achievement honoree Lance G. Hill.) Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

Joint fundraiser to benefit TCO and The Forum

Barbara Fiala and Friends of the Forum

r-l Barbara Fiala, TCO Director Reed Smith, Forum Friends Ron Sall and Sue Kirkland, TCO Board Member Dr. Michael Bogdasarian

Tri-Cities Opera and the Friends of the Forum are teaming up Saturday, Feb. 5, for what is being billed as a “gala cocktail party fundraiser” to benefit the Friends’ efforts to finance improvements to the downtown Binghamton theater. Invitations already have been sent to TCO subscribers, but the event, built around an “operalogue” preview of TCO’s upcoming production of La Traviata, was announced to the general public today (Jan. 13) at a press conference on the Forum stage, hosted by Broome County Executive Barbara Fiala.

“I love this theater,” Fiala said of the onetime vaudeville house and movie theater now managed by the county as a performing arts center. “We want to preserve it and even make it better.”

The Friends of the Forum, comprised of government, business and cultural leaders, began in 2009. A previous fund-raising event, tied to the Broadway Theatre League’s presentation of Mamma Mia!, brought in $50,000, Fiala said. The opera collaboration is on a smaller scale; however, TCO General Director Reed Smith expressed hope that it would call attention to the “distinctive cultural experience” of attending a performance in The Forum. Read the rest of this entry »

TCO’s ‘Cosi’ is a must-see

Reviewed by Tony Villecco

 If there were any concerns about the effect of what General Director Reed Smith has described as the “significant changes” made this year by our local opera company, they clearly were dispelled last evening (Oct. 13) as I witnessed the final dress rehearsal for Mozart’s delightful “Cosi Fan Tutte” at The Forum. Tri-Cities Opera’s production officially opens Friday (Oct. 15).

Under John Mario Di Costanzo, the already-fine TCO orchestra never has sounded better. The playing was much tighter, cleaner and brighter than in some of the past productions I have seen. Di Costanzo’s attention to detail in every aspect of the score brought a crisper realization of Mozart’s brilliant writing for instruments and his understanding of the human voice. After a marvelous reading of the opera’s overture (the theme of which is repeated near the end of the opera), Di Costanzo, TCO’s new music and associate artistic director, was consistent throughout in guiding the musicians to realize a nearly perfect ensemble. Read the rest of this entry »

TCO names stage director for fall show

 Nelson Sheeley has been engaged as stage director for Tri-Cities Opera’s production of “Così fan tutte,” which will be presented Oct. 15 and 17 at The Forum in Binghamton.  Sheeley was most recently stage director at Lake George Opera. He also has  directed at the National Opera Compay, Opera Naples, Whitewater and Sorg Operas, Nevada Opera and the Orchestra of St. Lukes. He has worked in professional theater since 1970 as an actor, director and stage manager.

The announcement today (Aug. 27) was described in a TCO press release as an “unusual change in the production staff (that) occurred as a result of the unexpected late withdrawal by (former TCO Artistic Director) Peter Sicilian.”

“We were very sorry that Mr. Sicilian decided not to go forward with us as our stage director as we had planned,” said TCO General Director Reed W. Smith. “We’re delighted that we could retain Mr. Sheeley’s services. His experience is vast and will fit in nicely with our company and our Resident Artist Training Program.”

John Mario Di Costanzo has been engaged as music director for the entire 2010-2011 TCO season, which also includes “La Traviata” (with Guido LeBron) and “The Tales of Hoffman.”

Financial uncertainties prompt TCO restructuring

The Tri-Cities Opera Board of Directors and TCO General Director Reed Smith presented a major restructuring of the 61-year-old opera company at its annual board and guild meeting on June 22. The following is a press release issued by TCO: 

“The Board of Directors of Tri-Cities Opera have announced a variety of changes to better position the company financially while improving its service to local and regional audiences .As a result, the following changes have already taken place.

Months of research have examined opportunities to reduce expenses, off load costs and provide better efficiencies. Most recently TCO concluded a workshop looking at these issues with the President and CEO of OPERA America.

1) The development of new partnerships through Binghamton University’s School of Music.

2) Peyton Hibbitt, Co-founder and Artistic Director Emeritus, has been offered an adjunct faculty position as part of the MM-Opera program at Binghamton University.

3) Duane Skrabalak, Senior Artistic Director, has retired. Read the rest of this entry »

YNN reports impending changes at TCO

Did you catch this YNN item about Tri-Cities Opera earlier this month? (YNN is Your News Now, the Time Warner 24-hour news channel.)

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. — Changes could be coming to Binghamton’s Tri-Cities Opera.

The opera company has been a local fixture for more than 60 years and announced its lineup for next season just a couple weeks ago. But a source with close ties to Tri-Cities tells YNN the opera company is now dealing with fiscal difficulties. The source says a number of options are being considered. Some may involve personnel.

We contacted General Manager Reed Smith. He says the Opera’s board is looking at some changes, but declined to get into specifics. Smith said any announcements about decisions made would come in June. He added the Opera’s next season will go on as planned.

Tri-Cities Opera runs an artist training program and holds several full-scale productions each season.

Here’s a link:

http://centralny.ynn.com/content/all_news/504497/changes-could-be-on-the-way-for-tri-cities-opera/