Long Island Opera is reborn
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With the assistance of an emerging group of benefactors, beginning with Sal Diliberto, owner of Jamesport’s Diliberto Winery, the company began presenting a series of concerts at East End venues, then ventured into Nassau County. “We started getting the word out,” as Berta put it, and other benefactors began to come on board. Among them, are Marty and Sue Bevilacqua, who own Oceanville Masonry Showcase in Oceanside, the sponsors of the current production of
“We are very gratified to have the support of Marty,” said Berta. “He has a real love of opera and his community. He knows opera can affect people in a very positive way and brings a needed cultural vitality to the community. We need more people like him. He has a vision that opera can change a community and make a real difference in people’s lives.”
Berta who is directing this fully staged performance of “Rigoletto,” said the opera was chosen because its storyline and content appeal to both opera buffs and those who are new to this art form.
“The audience will connect with its music and energy,” said Berta. “It’s about love and passion with incredible music, involving a curse, love and lust and a daughter’s sacrifice for her one true love. It encompasses everything that is so enjoyable about opera.”
Based on Victor Hugo’s “Le Roi s’Amuse” (The King is Entertained), the gripping and tragic tale revolves around a curse, an evil duke, his hunch-backed court jester Rigoletto and Rigoletto’s beautiful, innocent daughter Gilda. First performed in 1851, Rigoletto cemented Verdi’s reputation as a master of Italian opera and was the first of his “big three,” with Il Trovatore and La Traviata immediately following.
The opera is performed in Italian with English supertitles, with a 23-piece orchestra, led by conductor Michael Dadap.
The cast includes baritone Ted Labow in the title role of Rigoletto, Italian tenor Paolo Buffagni as Duke of Mantua, Rockville Centre’s Jennifer Caruana, mezzo-soprano, as the sultry Maddalena, and soprano Mary Thorne as Gilda.