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Stage planner: 'Il Trovatore' at St. Petersburg Opera Co., 40 whacks at the Straz

LOVE AND DEATH: IL TROVATORE

Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 opens with three short notes followed by a long note. Echoed by Tchaikovsky and other composers since, the motif is like fate knocking at the door, said Mark Sforzini. The maestro of the St. Petersburg Opera Company recently addressed a full house at St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts for a lecture on Il Trovatore. The opera company opens its season this weekend with Giuseppe Verdi's opera of sorcery and revenge.

"It's almost as if, regardless of choices characters make, they are on a path toward a certain outcome and they can't escape it," Sforzini said.

Written between Rigoletto and La Traviata, Il Trovatore is regarded as one of the composer's best. Over two hours, stars Michael Morrow, Alexandria Batsios, Christopher Clayton and Claudia Chapa showed why with some spectacular singing.

The opera starts at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. $22-$67. (727) 822-3590. mypalladium.org.

A SWINGING TIME: LIZZIE

Jobsite Theater's Lizzie the Musical is packed with enough darkly dysfunctional family dynamics to power any self-respecting horror show. But the engine that drives Lizzie forward is a rock band of local musicians. Its members are Mark Warren and singer-songwriter Rebekah Pulley on guitar, cellists Tom Kersey and Rose Mallare, bassist Nader Issa, drummer Woody Bond and keyboard player Jeremy Douglass.

"They get what a rock show should sound like," said David Jenkins, Jobsite's producing artistic director, who is also directing Lizzie.

The show starts at 8 p.m. Friday‑Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday and 8 p.m. Oct. 20. It runs through Nov. 6 at the Jaeb Theater, David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $28. A preview Thursday starts at 8 p.m. and costs $15. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.

STUERMER UND DRANG: FLORIDA ORCHESTRA

Genesis, the British rock band, has been around almost as long as the first book of the Bible. They've morphed from folk to progressive rock to pop and plain old rock.

On Friday, the Florida Orchestra celebrates that versatility with a tribute concert, the Music of Genesis Starring Daryl Stuermer. Guitarist Stuermer, who replaced Steve Hackett in 1977, has also played in Phil Collins' solo band (the two shared a 1989 Grammy for co-writing Something Happened on the Way to Heaven) and his own, the globe-trotting Daryl Stuermer Band. The concert starts at 8 p.m. Friday at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S, St. Petersburg. $35-$65. (727) 892-5798. themahaffey.com.

LET IT RAIN: CELTIC THUNDER

The producer's email arrived in April, when Michael O'Dwyer was about to return to the Cork School of Music in Ireland. The email: Would he like to audition for Celtic Thunder, the popular vocal group?

There was a catch. He had to do it that day — in Dublin, a three-hour drive. It was late afternoon. O'Dwyer auditioned on Skype and is now the group's newest member. Celtic Thunder performs Sunday in Clearwater.

"It's a dream come true," O'Dwyer said. "I never would have expected to be touring through the states at age 24, through 40 states. It's phenomenal."

The concert starts at 8 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 N McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater. $45-$79. (727) 791-7400. rutheckerdhall.com.

Stage planner: 'Il Trovatore' at St. Petersburg Opera Co., 40 whacks at the Straz 10/12/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2016 11:36am]
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