Jul. 17, 2013

Geneseo Announces Inaugural Finger Lakes Opera Gala Concert Aug. 10

Gerard Floriano

Gerard Floriano, artistic director and conductor of the Finger Lakes Opera at SUNY Geneseo, will conduct the inaugural gala concert Aug. 10.

GENESEO, N.Y. – Singers from some of the world's top opera companies will help launch Finger Lakes Opera at SUNY Geneseo during a summer gala concert Aug. 10 on the college campus. The concert, which begins at 8 p.m. in Wadsworth Auditorium and features a 40-piece professional orchestra, will include an official public announcement of the new professional summer opera company's first full production scheduled for the summer of 2014.

"We couldn't be more excited to be embarking on this venture and to announce our 2014 production at the gala concert," said Gerard Floriano, the company's artistic director and conductor, who also is a professor of music at SUNY Geneseo and a 1984 alumnus. "We will start with a single production next summer, but the company's vision is to present several productions in repertory during the season, always showcasing some of the finest singers and musicians in the country."

Tickets for the Aug. 10 gala concert are available online. The event will feature an evening of arias, duets and ensembles from some of the world's best-known composers such as Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Donizetti, Massenet, Gounod, Catalani, Mascagni and Cilea. Scheduled to perform are Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Pastin; Seattle Opera tenor Rolando Sanz; baritone Evan Jones; and mezzo soprano Jessica Best.

"As a fervent opera fan myself, I am delighted to see the emergence of this tremendous artistic venture and am personally committed to the project as one of the founding members of the Friends of Finger Lakes Opera organization," said Christopher C. Dahl, president of SUNY Geneseo. "The bucolic setting of the Finger Lakes area is ideal for lovers of opera and lyric theater to escape for world-class entertainment. The project also will support economic growth in upstate New York by enhancing quality of life, which promotes job creation and tourism by attracting new businesses and residents."

Dahl and Floriano said the company will draw patrons from a wide area of Western New York and surrounding states, capitalizing on the area increasingly becoming a tourist destination.

Friends of Finger Lakes Opera have begun efforts to raise $1 million to help support the first five seasons through 2017.

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