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Live Active Cultures

When it rains, it pours: 25 hours of art in Orlando

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Finally, I finished my 25-hour marathon at Maitland's Art & History Museums, for the Florida Opera Theatre debut of Gian Carlo Menotti's comic micro-opera The Telephone. Director Eric Pinder told me he wants to make opera more accessible by bringing it to unconventional venues; the intimate Germaine Marvel building, decorated with mod Mad Men-era furniture, certainly qualifies. Pinder's introduction of soloists Alexandra Martinez and Austin Hallock as "Madame Olga I. Supposiva" and "Signor Bastamante Linguini" indicated that, though their youthful musicianship was serious, the show would be anything but stuffy. The main attraction, starring Kenneth Stavert as a frustrated suitor attempting to propose to a telephone-obsessed Feryal Qudourah, was sparklingly silly but strongly sung, especially considering the cast had less than a week of rehearsal together. Between musical director Robin Stamper's virtuoso accompaniment and Pinder's sly staging, if this is the future of Orlando opera, I'm on board.

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