FINGER LAKES OPERA CELEBRATES 10 YEARS
August 7 in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre
Company Continues Tomita Young Artist Program Expansion
ROCHESTER, NY - Finger Lakes Opera (FLO) has unveiled plans for its 10th Anniversary Season, which kick-starts this summer with six live programs to be presented throughout the Finger Lakes region, culminating with a celebratory anniversary concert. The programs run from July 17 through August 7, 2022. Tickets are available online at www.fingerlakesopera.org.
“FLO’s first performance in 2013 featured an illustrious cast of singers supported by the FLO orchestra,” said FLO’s Artistic Director and Founder Gerard Floriano. Since then, FLO has produced seven remarkable mainstage productions, two musical revues, expanded its young artist program, and presented an array of other events, including recitals, school programming, and community engagement. I’m so proud of how this company has grown, and I look forward to the next decade of music-making!”
FLO’s 2022 summer series of live performances include:
- Sundays Out Loud: July 17 and 24, 3:00 p.m., Hatch Recital Hall, Eastman School of Music – These intimate Sunday afternoon recitals feature the 2022 Tomita Young Artists performing some of their favorite songs.
- Summer Scenes: July 26, 7:00 p.m., Lincoln Hill Farms, Canandaigua – Set in the rustic elegance of Lincoln Hill Farms, this is your chance to hear emerging stars, the 2022 Tomita Young Artists, perform scenes from beloved operas under the stars. Drinks and appetizers are included in the ticket price.
- An Evening with Cree: July 30, 7:00 p.m., Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, Canandaigua – Sassy soprano Cree Carrico is joined by Music Director Aaron McAllister in what promises to be an unforgettable evening of song and story featuring the legends of musical theater, including Rodgers & Hammerstein, Bernstein, Sondheim, and more.
- Così fan tutte: August 5, 7:00 p.m., Vanden Brul Pavilion, Memorial Art Gallery – FLO presents its unique take on Mozart’s school of love: a one-act version of the composer’s beloved comedy performed by the 2022 Tomita Young Artists.
- FLO Anniversary Concert: August 7, 3:00 p.m., Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre – Raise your glass and break out your opera glasses to officially mark the start of FLO’s 10th-anniversary celebration. This program will feature Maestro Floriano leading the FLO orchestra, four internationally acclaimed mainstage stars (soprano Elena O’Connor, mezzo Deborah Nansteel, tenor Yi Li, and baritone Michael Preacely), and the 2022 Tomita Young Artists, in a multimedia event honoring FLO’s past, present, and future. Following the concert, patrons can meet the artists and toast FLO’s future at a Champagne Reception (additional ticket required).
Tickets ($20-$90) can be purchased by calling 585-450-3880 or visiting FLO’s website, www.fingerlakesopera.org. Those who order tickets to all six performances are eligible for a 15% discount.
This summer’s mainstage stars represent a mix of FLO’s past and future. Returning to Rochester are sopranos Cree Carrico (July 30thAn Evening with Cree) and Elena O’Connor (August 7th Anniversary Concert). Both O’Connor and Carrico were last seen in FLO’s 2018 production of Die Fledermaus. O’Connor grew up in Penfield and currently sings throughout Europe. Joining O’Connor for FLO’s August 7 Anniversary Concert will be Deborah Nansteel, who has performed with major opera companies, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, LA Opera, and more. Rounding out the star-studded quartet of singers will be tenor Yi Li, who was last seen in FLO’s 2017 production of La Traviata, and baritone Michael Preacely, who finished an international tour of Porgy and Bess this past summer.
“FLO’s resiliency in the last few years has allowed the company to prosper and grow in new and exciting ways,” said FLO’s Executive Director Elizabeth G. Long. “Expanding into new locations like the Fort Hill Performing Arts Center and Lincoln Hill Farms in Canandaigua, Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery, and the majestic halls in Eastman Theatre, allows us to bring music for everyone to everyone. Opera, after all, should show life. out loud.”
About the Tomita Young Artist Program: FLO’s Tomita Young Artist Program was established in 2018 and has grown exponentially over the last two years thanks to a large gift given by an anonymous donor. FLO now provides performance and travel stipends to young artists for both the summer and fall sessions. The first year FLO offered these stipends, applications increased 231%. This year alone, FLO received almost 450 applications from candidates all over the world. To support this growth, FLO has hired Stephanie Havey as program director. Havey is the winner of the Adelaide Bishop Award and the OPERA American Director-Designer Showcase. She has staged productions for numerous opera companies and has a wealth of experience working with young artists at programs including Curtis Institute of Music and the Manhattan School of Music.
The 2022 Tomita Young Artists are sopranos Danielle Beckvermit and Kayla Hill Oderah, mezzo-soprano Erika Danielle Vasallo, tenor Robert Hartfield, baritone Geoffrey Schmelzer, bass Jeremy Harr, and pianist Jenny Choo Kirby. In addition to performance opportunities, these remarkably talented artists will attend masterclasses and work with two guest vocal coaches: Jason Alexander Holmes, who currently serves as the Director of the Cincinnati Boys Choir, and Cris Frisco, New York-based coach and conductor who is the Director of the Handorf Company Artist Program at Opera Memphis. FLO also welcomes Emily Cuk, who was a Directing Fellow for Wolf Trap Opera’s 2019 season, as a guest stage director for this year’s 2022 Tomita Young Artist Program.
About Finger Lakes Opera: FLO produces fully staged operas of the highest caliber, engaging with a varied roster of professional artists, directors, and designers. Through the Tomita Young Artist Program, FLO offers training and performance opportunities to emerging artists from all over the world and across a variety of backgrounds. FLO seeks to cultivate and develop an understanding and appreciation of opera, bringing the art form to new and diverse audiences within the community and throughout the region. Founded in 2012 by current Artistic Director Gerard Floriano, FLO became an independent non-profit organization in 2017. Executive director Elizabeth G. Long was hired in 2019, marking the beginning of FLO's expansion and increased presence that continue today.
FLO is a proud member of Opera America and is pleased to announce that WXXI is the 2022 season media sponsor.