World Class Opera in the Finger Lakes

by Jake Banas, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection

What do Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera, and Canandaigua Academy all have in common? They will all have presented performances from this summer’s cast of the Finger Lakes Opera (FLO). Since 2013, FLO has been bringing world-class opera performances to the Finger Lakes Region, opening their previous season in Geneseo. Now, at the start of its fifth season, FLO has found a new home in Canandaigua, at the Canandaigua Academy Auditorium.

This summer, the company will be performing Giacomo Puccini’s “Tosca,” an opera in three acts, which at its core is a tale of conflicting romance, politics, and a powerful female character, Tosca herself! It is ranked among the top five most popular operas according to Operabase, and is filled with drama.

“Tosca” will be FLO’s main focus this summer, with plans to expand offerings during the next season. Performances will take place on Friday, August 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m.

The established opera company has built a sterling artistic reputation for putting on grand opera performances and lyric musical theater with high production values and outstanding singers. A change in location opens new opportunities, both for FLO and for local Finger Lakes residents. Its Artistic Director, Dr. Gerard Floriano, explained that the move to Canandaigua means a more central location closer to the heart of the Finger Lakes. In the grand scheme, it’s accessible to more people.

Previous fans of FLO, and those looking to have an opera experience for the first time, will feel right at home at the academy auditorium. The venue offers state-of-the-art lighting and theatrical equipment, as well as modern amenities to keep audience members comfortable. One of them is the projection of English subtitles above the stage as the opera is being sung in Italian. Previous audiences have found it useful and enjoyable, as it allows the opera to be experienced almost as it was written.

When asked what first-time attendees could expect this year, Dr. Floriano said, “It’s really a total experience in terms of sights, sounds, music, lighting and staging.”

For the opera company, “Tosca” promises to be challenging and thrilling. “It’s like an Olympic event for singing,” said Dr. Floriano. “Tosca is one of the top three greatest roles for a soprano to perform. The singers, incredible athletes is what they are, ply their trade on the stage before you. You can sense the drama in their voices and see it on their faces.”

Canandaigua Academy is located at 435 East Street. A variety of ticket options are available, as well as discounts students and for groups of 10 or more.
For more information, visit fingerlakesopera.org.