Enrich your “Tosca” experience with two free Vail Symposium programs | VailDaily.com

Enrich your “Tosca” experience with two free Vail Symposium programs

Daily staff report
James Alexander will conduct Bravo! Vail's performance of "Tosca" on July 11 and 13.
Special to the Daily


What: An Opera Conductor’s Guide to “Tosca”

When: Doors open at 12:30 p.m. today; program begins at 1

What: Meet the director and cast member of “Tosca”

When: Doors open at 11:30 a.m. Friday; program begins at noon.

Where: Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail

Cost: Free

More information: There is no reserved seating. Visit http://www.vailsymposium.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

As Bravo! Vail Music Festival debuts its first opera, “Tosca,” Thursday and Saturday, the Vail Symposium is working in partnership with the venerable music festival to take audiences behind the music with two special, free programs.

Today, the Vail Symposium and Bravo! will present An Opera Conductor’s Guide to “Tosca,” in which guests will learn about what happens behind the conductor’s podium. Joseph Illick, artistic director and principal conductor of the Fort Worth Opera, will join renowned opera expert Richard Marx for an interactive interview that will share how the musical score drives the opera’s plot. The event also will explore the orchestra’s role in the opera experience and give perspective from behind the baton.

On Friday, the program focuses on the elements that make each performance of “Tosca,” one of the most performed operas in history, unique. The director brings his or her personal perspective, and each cast member brings their distinctive artistry and character. Robert Marx, frequent Metropolitan Opera Quiz panelist, will lead “Tosca” director James Alexander and cast member Patrick Carfizzi through a behind-the-scenes conversation about bringing Tosca to life in Bravo! Vail’s historic production at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater.

About the speakers

Joseph Illick is currently the artistic director and principal conductor of Fort Worth Opera. He has also served as the artistic director of Greater Miami Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, Shreveport Opera, Voices of Change in Dallas, Voces Intimae also in Dallas and Performance Santa Fe. He has conducted for more than 13 opera organizations across the United States and in Europe. His opera “UnShakeable,” commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera, has been performed throughout New Mexico and Colorado. His opera “Feel the Tango” has been performed in Santa Fe, Fort Worth and Nashville and his children’s opera, “Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World,” will premiere this November.

James Alexander is co-founder and the creative director of Symphony V. As an internationally renowned stage director, he has staged operas and plays on three continents with a number of prestigious companies, orchestras, and conductors. During the 1990s, he collaborated with Maestro Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, helping create stagings of “Salomé,” “Pique Dame,” “Idomeneo” and the 50th Anniversary production of “Peter Grimes” at Tanglewood.

Patrick Carfizzi is a baritone who will play Sacristan in Act One of “Tosca.” In the 2018-2019 opera season, Carfizzi will return to the Metropolitan Opera as Sacristan in Puccini’s “Tosca,” the Jailer in Poulenc’s “Dialogues des Carmélites,” Betto di Signa in Puccini’s “Gianni Schicchi,” a role debut as Quinault in Cilea’s “Adriana Lecouvreur” and cover the role of Talpa in Puccini’s “Il Tabarro.”

Robert Marx has appeared on the Metropolitan Opera’s live Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts since 1995 as an intermission host, commentator and opera quiz panelist. He is president of the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, a leading arts philanthropy in New York City.

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