Opera Tampa to Present World Premiere of Anton Coppola's 'Sacco and Vanzetti' March 2001

18 May, 2000, 01:00 ET from Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center

    TAMPA, Fla., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- At a press conference this morning,
 Judith Lisi, president of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center ("The Center")
 and executive producer of Opera Tampa, announced that the opera company will
 present the world premiere of "Sacco and Vanzetti," a full-scale opera
 composed and written by Anton Coppola.
     "We are delighted that Anton Coppola has selected the Tampa Bay Performing
 Arts Center as a production partner for this exciting project," remarked Lisi.
 "We have enjoyed a long and successful association with Anton, and look
 forward to continuing this by making history with the world premiere of Sacco
 and Vanzetti."  Lisi continued, "Producing a new work is a challenge for the
 most established opera companies, so we, as a young organization, are
 particularly pleased to be in this position."
     Completed by Coppola in 1999, Sacco and Vanzetti is a full-scale opera,
 comprised of a prologue and 14 scenes in two acts, with both interior and
 exterior settings.  The production will utilize a cast of 20 (including
 multiple roles and supernumeraries) and a chorus of 25.  Running time is
 approximately three hours.
     Scored in a traditional musical style, the opera will utilize a full
 orchestra of 58 musicians as well as a 5-piece Italian "banda," or small band.
 The Center has engaged The Florida Orchestra for "Sacco and Vanzetti."  The
 Orchestra has performed for most of The Center's previous opera productions.
 The musical score for "Sacco and Vanzetti" presents both lyrical and angular
 musical styles.  The lyrical passages -- in general, those sections written
 for the Italian characters -- are evocative of popular Italian music of the
 1920s, as well as more modern, angular passages that are used for minor
 characters and narrative sections of the opera.
     Noted director Matthew Lata will stage "Sacco and Vanzetti," and John
 Farrell will design the original sets for the production.  "Sacco and
 Vanzetti" will be fully staged, with sets commissioned for the production.
 Adding to the excitement of this project is the appointment of legendary film
 director Francis Ford Coppola, the Maestro's nephew, as artistic supervisor.
 Written in both English and Italian, the opera's libretto reflects the
 different ethnic backgrounds, with each character singing in his or her native
 language.  English supertitles will be projected above the stage for the
 entire opera.
     "Sacco and Vanzetti" recounts the story of two Italian immigrants who were
 tried, convicted and ultimately executed for a murder that, it is still widely
 believed, they did not commit.  The case became the "cause celebre" for
 prominent figures of the time, including George Bernard Shaw, Edna St. Vincent
 Millay, Katherine Ann Porter, Maxwell Anderson and Felix Frankfurter, who
 believed that Sacco and Vanzetti were the innocent victims of a strongly
 biased and red-baiting judicial system.  The famous case with its socio-
 political implications has been considered "the murder trial of the century,"
 reaching far into the corners of the world.  To this end, the composer has
 interwoven a tender and compassionate story of love and sacrifice.
     The production will be mounted in Carol Morsani Hall, The Tampa Bay
 Performing Arts Center's largest theater, and a traditional concert hall/
 opera house, which seats 2,427 in opera configuration.  The hall has a 60'
 wide x 40' high proscenium, a 60' x 55' stage, and 100' grid height, which
 allows ample room for staging grand opera productions.
     Opera Tampa, formerly The Center Opera Company of Tampa Bay, was
 established in 1995.  Since its inception, the company, under the artistic
 direction of Judith Lisi, has presented six highly full-scale grand opera
 productions.  Despite its relatively brief history, Opera Tampa has rapidly
 become a force in the local and regional opera scene, garnering critical
 acclaim and widespread community support.
     "Sacco and Vanzetti" is scheduled to make its world premiere on Friday,
 March 16, 2001, at 8:00 p.m.  Subsequent performances are Saturday, March 17,
 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 18, at 2:00 p.m.
 
 

SOURCE Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
    TAMPA, Fla., May 18 /PRNewswire/ -- At a press conference this morning,
 Judith Lisi, president of the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center ("The Center")
 and executive producer of Opera Tampa, announced that the opera company will
 present the world premiere of "Sacco and Vanzetti," a full-scale opera
 composed and written by Anton Coppola.
     "We are delighted that Anton Coppola has selected the Tampa Bay Performing
 Arts Center as a production partner for this exciting project," remarked Lisi.
 "We have enjoyed a long and successful association with Anton, and look
 forward to continuing this by making history with the world premiere of Sacco
 and Vanzetti."  Lisi continued, "Producing a new work is a challenge for the
 most established opera companies, so we, as a young organization, are
 particularly pleased to be in this position."
     Completed by Coppola in 1999, Sacco and Vanzetti is a full-scale opera,
 comprised of a prologue and 14 scenes in two acts, with both interior and
 exterior settings.  The production will utilize a cast of 20 (including
 multiple roles and supernumeraries) and a chorus of 25.  Running time is
 approximately three hours.
     Scored in a traditional musical style, the opera will utilize a full
 orchestra of 58 musicians as well as a 5-piece Italian "banda," or small band.
 The Center has engaged The Florida Orchestra for "Sacco and Vanzetti."  The
 Orchestra has performed for most of The Center's previous opera productions.
 The musical score for "Sacco and Vanzetti" presents both lyrical and angular
 musical styles.  The lyrical passages -- in general, those sections written
 for the Italian characters -- are evocative of popular Italian music of the
 1920s, as well as more modern, angular passages that are used for minor
 characters and narrative sections of the opera.
     Noted director Matthew Lata will stage "Sacco and Vanzetti," and John
 Farrell will design the original sets for the production.  "Sacco and
 Vanzetti" will be fully staged, with sets commissioned for the production.
 Adding to the excitement of this project is the appointment of legendary film
 director Francis Ford Coppola, the Maestro's nephew, as artistic supervisor.
 Written in both English and Italian, the opera's libretto reflects the
 different ethnic backgrounds, with each character singing in his or her native
 language.  English supertitles will be projected above the stage for the
 entire opera.
     "Sacco and Vanzetti" recounts the story of two Italian immigrants who were
 tried, convicted and ultimately executed for a murder that, it is still widely
 believed, they did not commit.  The case became the "cause celebre" for
 prominent figures of the time, including George Bernard Shaw, Edna St. Vincent
 Millay, Katherine Ann Porter, Maxwell Anderson and Felix Frankfurter, who
 believed that Sacco and Vanzetti were the innocent victims of a strongly
 biased and red-baiting judicial system.  The famous case with its socio-
 political implications has been considered "the murder trial of the century,"
 reaching far into the corners of the world.  To this end, the composer has
 interwoven a tender and compassionate story of love and sacrifice.
     The production will be mounted in Carol Morsani Hall, The Tampa Bay
 Performing Arts Center's largest theater, and a traditional concert hall/
 opera house, which seats 2,427 in opera configuration.  The hall has a 60'
 wide x 40' high proscenium, a 60' x 55' stage, and 100' grid height, which
 allows ample room for staging grand opera productions.
     Opera Tampa, formerly The Center Opera Company of Tampa Bay, was
 established in 1995.  Since its inception, the company, under the artistic
 direction of Judith Lisi, has presented six highly full-scale grand opera
 productions.  Despite its relatively brief history, Opera Tampa has rapidly
 become a force in the local and regional opera scene, garnering critical
 acclaim and widespread community support.
     "Sacco and Vanzetti" is scheduled to make its world premiere on Friday,
 March 16, 2001, at 8:00 p.m.  Subsequent performances are Saturday, March 17,
 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 18, at 2:00 p.m.
 
 SOURCE  Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center