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Center Stage: Community Concerts cancels performance, but more planned

By Staff | Feb 11, 2020

Marsha Wagner

Fort Myers Community Concerts unfortunately had to cancel its second performance of the season when the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra had to cancel its Jan. 27 concert due to visa difficulties. Organization members should hold onto their tickets, however, as they will get you into the Siberian Virtuosi concert on March 19. Ten violinists and a pianist comprise this award-winning ensemble, so mark your calendars and don’t lose those tickets.

Also, make a note that there is a change in the box office phone number. For individual tickets for a single concert, contact the Barbara Mann Box Office directly at 239-481-4849 or visit online at www.fortmyerscommunityconcerts.org.

Now onto the second concert in Fort Myers Community Concerts’ 71st season, which was Teatro Lirico D’Europa performance of Verdi’s “La Traviata” – or “The Strayed Woman” – based on Alexander Dumas’ play, “Lady of the Camelias.” (To tell the truth this is not my favorite Verdi opera, and I guess I also find the Dumas play a bit too sappy and predictable. I never even liked the classical film “Camille,” which featured the great Greta Garbo. All these “bad” girls with hearts of gold are just not “my cup of tea.”)

The performers were first-rate, especially soprano Susanne Borraggine in the leading role of Violetta Valery. Also, tenor Alessio Borraggine as Alfredo Germont – Violetta’s ardent lover – nailed the part, both vocally and dramatically. The entire cast was in tiptop form and the production values were top quality.

My main quibble with this opera company is always with the choreography and dancers. Two dancers – one male and one female – are in no way a dance chorus, to say the least. The choreography was also somewhat odd! A Spanish gypsy dressed as a belly dancer with a tambourine and bare feet in no way resembles any gypsy I’ve ever seen. Also, I’ve never seen a flamenco dancer doing a hooch coochy. Her partner – a supposed matador in a floppy shirt, slacks and tap shoes – would have confused any bull in the bull ring.

Well, you get the picture. I’m afraid I got a case of the giggles since the two dancers reminded me of Sid Caesar and Imogene Coco doing their version of Spanish dance on the old “Your Show of Shows.” (Anyone remember those shows on Saturday nights?) Be that as it may, the audience loved this production, judging from the bravos and standing ovation.

Onward and upward: the next Fort Myers Community Concerts’ performance sounds like a winner. The Russian State Symphony Orchestra will take the stage on Feb. 10 at the Barbara B. Mann. It will be followed by the Russian National Ballet performing the full-length “Sleeping Beauty” on March 2. Once again, I am sure individual tickets are available for either event, which I would highly recommend. Remember, the new number is 239-481-4849 – and if you phone, remind ’em Marsha sent you.