Maestro Sforzini Boldly Leads SPO into Future

St. Pete Opera is streaming encore presentations of operas from their recent seasons. Chill with a new opera every Monday. Free to all, viewers so far have enjoyed classics including The Magic Flute, and The Merry Widow as well as less familiar but just as wonderful Gianni Schicchi as well as special Facebook Live presentations by Maestro Mark Sforzini.

It’s all part of the Maestro’s steadfast leadership as he guides his enormous artistic non-profit organization into an uncertain future.

“We miss all of you! We have been struggling to plan our next steps in a time when even the immediate future is uncertain” writes Maestro, outlining his plans in a lengthy letter to his patrons.

“We are excited to present to you the results of our careful consideration of what Opera looks like in the midst of global pandemic. It’s not enough to keep our community safe by keeping the theaters dark. We will bring you Opera, we will learn what we must, do what we must, to keep the music going!

#OPERAandCHILL is an immediate fix for opera addicts, and Maestro’s Pre-Show Chats serve up Mark Sforzini’s thrilling insights on opera in a long format usually reserved for the Maestro Series talks, but with the new informality that has descended upon us all.

Even the annual fundraiser Bella Voce was a virtual show that both embraced the current realities. Not only did SPO have a successful auction and fundraiser, but they also put on a show.

Usually a hoity-toity black tie affair, the Bella Voce Vincero went full health-spacing and much more informal. Twenty one tenors sang Nessum Dorma from Turandot all in little Zoom boxes and all wonderfully victorious. A trio of singers wished us all “steady breezes and calm seas on this unprecedented journey in uncertain times. But we will arrive safely at our destination, victorious.”

And as an extra bonus, as if to make up for the all the hassle and discomfort and lack of dessert, Maestro serves up a special treat. World Hulahoop Champion Mark Sforzini dusted off his routine to show he still has all the moves. The video is still there if you want to see Maestro’s athleticism a la hoops a-flying.

One thing is for sure, Maestro and SPO are not taking all this sitting down. Read the letter and see the gala at StPeteOpera.Org