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Live Active Cultures

Florida Opera Theatre's new director, Eric Pinder, talks mission, venues and opera's kinship to punk rock

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… FOT's next show, opening Jan. 26 at the Maitland Telephone Museum: The next opera is [Gian Carlo Menotti's] The Telephone, which is another one in English. It's another comedy, set around the late '50s/early '60s, so we're doing it in a Mad Men kind of style. It's about just two people, which is a relief from the 14 [performers] who are in this one [Gianni Schicchi].

… future plans for FOT: We're continuing to grow, but, necessarily, we're staying small. We might do Cosi Fan Tutte next year with a string quartet. … One of the things we do want to do is Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti. It's a little histrionic now, but in the '50s, no one was doing stuff like this; it was radical for that time. Everyone knows Leonard Bernstein, and it's one that hasn't been done.

My biggest goal for my tenure as director: the Ring Cycle with puppets. We'd have to pare it down; the only person who would see all 14 hours would be me.

… opera's kinship to punk rock: There's a huge link between opera and punk. I know a lot of people that are into punk music that are also into opera. It's not only the screaming; it's the sense of devastation. A really good punk song will just devastate you, and [it's] the same thing with Butterfly's aria; at the end of [either], you should just be an emotional wreck.

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