What do Carnegie Hall, The Metropolitan Opera and (soon) Canandaigua Academy have in common? They’ve all seen performances from this summer’s cast of the Finger Lakes Opera Company. Since 2013, Finger Lakes Opera has brought world-class opera performances to the Finger Lakes region, most recently opening its fourth season in Geneseo. Now, at the start of its fifth season, the time has come for Finger Lakes Opera (FLO) to find a new home—and it has found it in Canandaigua.
While 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 for both FLO and residents of the Finger Lakes region. FLO Artistic Director Dr. Gerard Floriano explained that the move to Canandaigua means a more central location, closer to the heart of the Finger Lakes and thereby accessible to more people in the grand scheme.
This summer, the company will perform 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! The opera is filled with drama, which remains popular with audiences, and is among the five most popular operas, according to Operabase, an online database of opera performances.
Both previous fans of the Finger Lakes Opera and those looking for their first opera experience be right at home at the Canandaigua Academy auditorium, where the Finger Lakes Opera will host this season’s performances. The venue offers state-of-the-art lighting and theatrical equipment, as well as modern amenities that will keep the audience comfortable and allow this immersive experience to be fully enjoyed.
One modern amenity that has proven particularly useful to previous audiences is English translations. Performances of Tosca will be sung in Italian, but English supertitles will be projected above the stage. This allows the opera to be experienced almost as it was written, providing the audience a way to better comprehend and follow along. Floriano said first-time attendees can expect “a total experience in terms of sights, sounds, music, lighting and staging”
For the opera company, the piece promises to be a challenging and thrilling performance. “It’s like an Olympic event for a singer to get through this performance,” Floriano said. “The role of Tosca is one of the top three greatest roles for a soprano to perform. The singers—incredible athletes is what they are—plying their trade on the stage before you. You can sense the drama in their voices and see it on their faces.”
FLO has performed multiple opera and musical performances in prior seasons, but during the fifth season’s transition period, Tosca will be the main focus, with plans to expand offerings next season. Performances of Tosca will take place on Friday, August 11, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, August 13, at 2 p.m. at the Canandaigua Academy Auditorium located at 435 East Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. A variety of ticket options are available and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more, as well as for students. More information about Finger Lakes Opera, this summer’s performance and ticketing can be found online at www.fingerlakesopera.org.