2016-2017 Concert Series

Saturday , October 22, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.


The celebrated three SICILIAN TENORS,Caruso,Scaccioand Vitalelend their voices to the music of Italy, Broadway and Hollywood. Their united forces create a whirlwind of bella musica and light-hearted fun…not to mention the requisite “one-upmanship” expected when tenors gather! Their nationally-acclaimed performances stretch from Carnegie Hall to Las Vegas! The three tenors all have Sicilian ancestry.

Aaron Carusostudied in Italy and New York and has performed opera from La Boheme, La Traviata, I Pagliacci, andTosca.He was recently chosen to sing the role of Mario Lanza which will open on Broadway in the future. At nearly all of the major Italian music festivals in the U.S. he has been a headliner, specializing in Neapolitan Italian music. Elio Scaccio,a seasoned credentialed opera performer, has been an on-stage artist since early childhood. Classically-trained, his pop-classical debut CD “Lettere D’Amore”was released recently. It is comprised of original compositions along with well-known Italian classics and was followed by a Spanish version. He has the ability to “crossover” between classical and pop standards. Sam Vitaleis also a classically-trained tenor and seasoned credentialed opera performer. He has sung the lead tenor roles in “Carmen” , “La Traviata” , “Tosca” , “L’Elisir d’Amore” , “The Phantom of the Opera” , Don Giovanni” and“I Pagliacci” . While in the United States Air Force Vitale won 1st place in the World Wide Tops in Blue Competition - Classical Division. He is a proud veteran of Operation Desert Storm. The Sicilian Tenors are accompanied by David Gross,conductor, piano accompanist, music director and arranger for top stars including Andrea Bocelli, Aretha Franklin, Jerry Vale, and many others

Sunday, February 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.


The Swing Legacy’s seven acclaimed jazz musicians, six instrumentalists and a vocalist, provide the authentic style, elegance and excitement of a big band. Through their original arrangements of traditional big band swing music they produce a “big band sound” that makes the group’s sound larger than its size! The Swing Legacy’s music is both great dance music and interesting concert jazz, and it functions professionally as a concert jazz ensemble and a dance band. Its members are known for their impeccable musicianship and powerful swinging beat.

A Boston-based group, organized in 1991 by Henry Francis, The Swing Legacy plays throughout New England…and beyond. Their CD’s have received many complimentary reviews, and two songs have been used in national TV spots and network TV shows. They consist of Boston’s finest and most experienced big band swing jazz musicians.

Cognizant of Middletown’s talented musicians’ contributions to the swing era, the guest performers are looking forward to a nostalgic afternoon of swing. “ An experience in jazz for all ages!”

2016-2017 Opera Series
(Live opera, fully-staged)

The Connecticut Lyric Opera and the Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, under direction of Adrian Sylveen, perform acclaimed operas professionally sung in the original languages with English titles projected over the stage.

Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 3:00 p.m.

Eugene Onegun

by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Eugene Onegin is an 1879 operatic masterpiece of Russia’s foremost composer, Tchaikovsky. He has filled the opera with soaring lyrical scenes as well as varied Russian rhythms. The audience is charmed by his music’s beauty and simplicity.

This opera is based on Alexander Pushkin’s verse novel ”Eugene Onegin” , his Russian literary classic. The opera’s three acts take place during the 1820s in and around St. Petersburg, Russia. Eugene Onegin is an arrogant cynic, bored with his life. At a dinner party he is introduced to the beautiful young and impressionable Tatyana by his friend who is the fiancé of Tatyana’s sister. Tatyana immediately falls in love with Onegin and writes him a passionate letter that evening. Then he callously rebukes her and says to forget him. Six years later he returns from extensive travelling and sees her at a ball. He declares his love for her wanting her to flee with him. The mature Tatyana, now married, initially responds to him, but then she sends Onegin away forever deciding to stay with her husband.
- Sung in Russian, with English translation projected above the stage

Friday, May 26, 2017, at 7:30 p.m.

TOSCA by Giacomo Puccini

The dramatically gripping opera Toscaby Italian composer Puccini is o favorite among opera performances in the United States. It has an intricately tragic story set to Puccini’s incomparably beautiful and electrifying music. The composer was at the height of his career, having just completed La Boheme, when he seized on Victorien Sardou’s play LaToscaafter seeing the famous actress Sarah Bernhart in the title role. He quickly completed his opera based on the play and to his satisfaction it was an instant success. First performed in 1900, Toscais set in Nineteenth Century politically-charged Rome. Floria Tosca, a famous opera singer, is caught between her lover, Mario Cavaradossi, and a lecherous and powerful Chief of Police, Baron Scarpia. She emotionally struggles to deal with Scarpia and save her beloved. After having agonizingly reached a solution she suddenly experiences changing developments and makes a new decision in the final dramatic scene of the opera.
- Sung in Italian, with English translation projected above the stage.