Northeast Times

A night at the opera

Amici Op­era Com­pany has had nu­mer­ous homes since form­ing in 1998, but founder and im­pres­ario Raf­faele Tudisco hopes he’s come across a more per­man­ent spot.

The op­era com­pany has been re­hears­ing at Holmes­burg United Meth­od­ist Church’s Fel­low­ship Hall, at 8118 Frank­ford Ave., and will stage its first play there on Sunday.

“It’s a cozy room,” Tudisco said be­fore last week’s first re­hears­al.

The hall fea­tures round tables with cloths and center­pieces, and Tudisco plans to keep that set­ting. He’s already moved in all of the props.

There are two park­ing lots and a han­di­capped en­trance. Re­fresh­ments will be for sale dur­ing shows.

“You can’t beat that,” Tudisco said. “We’ve been want­ing to get a steady ven­ue and wanted to be in the North­east badly. I think it will catch on. It’s very in­ex­pens­ive and in­tim­ate. People are close to the stage. A lot of people get turned on to op­era that way.”

In the last 13 years, Amici has pro­duced more than 200 per­form­ances of 97 op­er­as. Tudisco, who lives in Mel­rose Park Gar­dens, is pre­par­ing for his 145th role.

Over the years, shows have been held in Phil­adelphia, the sub­urbs, South Jer­sey and Delaware.

The sea­son runs from Septem­ber through Au­gust, quite a packed sched­ule among Phil­adelphia-area op­era com­pan­ies. Amici pro­duces both pop­u­lar and rare shows.

“We’re the only place that does op­era twelve months a year,” Tudisco said. “We’re already cast­ing for next sea­son. All the sing­ers sing for free, which is un­heard of. When we make money, it goes in­to the next show.”

The com­pany has grown tre­mend­ously, ac­cord­ing to Tudisco, since its first three shows at the long-closed Beth Emeth-B’Nai Yiyzhok syn­agogue in Castor Gar­dens.

“We’re get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter qual­ity sing­ers,” he said.

Tudisco will de­liv­er fli­ers to schools and of­fer par­ent/child dis­counts to at­tract more young people to op­era.

The de­but show at the 199-year-old Holmes­burg United Meth­od­ist Church will be Il De­mone, with shows at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 and 11.

Rus­si­an Ant­on Ru­bin­stein com­posed the work in 1871.

“It’s a very beau­ti­ful op­era,” Tudisco said. “It was very pop­u­lar at the turn of the (twen­ti­eth) cen­tury.”

Tudisco, a bari­tone, plays Il De­mone in the show and doubles as the stage dir­ect­or. The rest of the cast con­sists of Heath­er Green (Tamara), John Rudolph (Prince Gud­al), Kate Quinn (Prince Sinod­al), Re­becca Dim­mick (Un Ange), Jenna Lee Moore (gov­erness of Tamasa and Mes­sen­ger) and Ting Ting Wong (pi­an­ist).

The show is about evil spir­its that call upon a de­mon to des­troy the beauty of God’s cre­ation. The de­mon falls in love with a wo­man whose wed­ding day is delayed by a storm and or­ders the death of her fianc&ea­cute;.

Tudisco will wel­come op­era fans to Amici’s new home and hopes to at­tract new fans with ap­peal­ing sounds.

“It’s the mu­sic that moves you,” he said. “Try it. You’ll like it.” ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­ing@bsmphilly.com

Listen up …

The Amici Op­era Com­pany will present Il De­mone on Sundays, Dec. 4 and 11, at 4 p.m. at Holmes­burg United Meth­od­ist Church, 8118 Frank­ford Ave.

Tick­ets cost $25 at the door; $22 for seni­or cit­izens and ad­vance pur­chases; $15 for stu­dents 13 and older; and $10 for chil­dren 12 and young­er. There is plenty of free off-street park­ing.

Call 215-224-0257 or vis­it the op­era com­pany’s page on Face­book. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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