L’Amour Toujours, a Popera! Concert

L’Amour Toujours, a Popera! Concert

What would opera be without the drive for love? Or, for that matter, what would life be? Experience the swell and pull of love found and lost in this riveting Popera! concert featuring some of the most evocative arias of the heart. This concert pitches four renowned soloists into the music that captures the tantalizing emotions of love — from Violetta’s selflessness in La Traviata to the fickle attentions of a seductive gypsy in Carmen to Cio-Cio-San’s longing and unwavering faith in love’s return in Madame Butterfly among many others. Maestro Lipton conducts this bittersweet bouquet of “love always” in an evening to satisfy anyone who has ever felt the music of his or her own heart.

Feb. 21 - 23, 2014 Ferguson Hall

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Show Dates & Times

Fri., Feb. 21 • 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 23 • 2 p.m.

Meet The Artists

Luis Ledesma is an established international singer renowned for his portrayals of the great villains and heroes of Puccini and Verdi. His powerful and refined vocals, paired with his theatrical gifts, earned him a young artist residency at The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and won him several competitions, including the Pavarotti International Voice Competition and the Julian Gayarre Competition in Spain.  Born in Mexico City, Ledesma is a naturalized American citizen who also refined his talents in the great opera houses of Europe. Ledesma also toured twice with Andrea Bocelli and has performed as a concert artist with orchestras in the United States and Germany.

EDUARDO GOMEZ (tenor) is one of the world’s most sought-after and versatile tenors with an usually broad repertoire that ranges from Nemorino to Otello in leading opera houses throughout Europe and North America. He is a regular guest of the Metropolitan Opera and has appeared on their stage in the title roles in Don Carlo and Ernani, Radames in Aida, Rodolpho in Luisa Miller, Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana and Canio in I Pagliacci. In North America, he has performed as Don Jose with the Houston Grand Opera, the title role in Otello, Riccardo in Un Ballo in Maschera, and Don Jose for Michigan Opera. In Europe, he was a regular guest of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (Radames, Don Jose in Carmen, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Fenton in Falstaff, the title role in Les Contes d'Hoffman, Rodolfo in La Bohéme, Paris Opera (Don Carlo, Mylio in Le Roi D'ys, and Alfred) and Deutsche Oper Berlin as Pinkerton. A native of California,Villa is a winner of the 1982 Metropolitan Opera and  began his musical training as a violinist. While studying at Santa Barbara City College he concentrated on musical comedy. He later attended the University of Southern California where he switched to operatic training.
OLA RAFALO (mezzo-soprano) has a voice that the Palm Beach Arts Paper has called “attractive, dusky, and powerful”. Her rich voice and dramatic sensibility lend themselves perfectly to the sumptuous roles of Carmen, Eboli in Don Carlo, Amneris in Aida, and Dalila in Samson et Dalila. This season, she performs the title role in Peter Brook’s La Tragedie de Carmen with Syracuse Opera. Recent engagements include Leonora in La Favorita with The Opera Atelier; as well as Dalila in Samson et Dalila, Fricka in Die Walküre, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, and the title role in Carmen with the Lyric Orchestra. Rafalo has also appeared with Opera Tampa, Sarasota Opera, DuPage Opera Theatre and Palm Beach Opera, where she was a member of their Young Artist Program. In 2008, she was awarded Grand Prize of the Elgin Opera competition and First Prize of the Sherrill Milnes Opera Idol competition. She was also an apprentice artist at Sarasota Opera, receiving the Leo M. Rogers award, as well as an apprentice at Opera Tampa.
ELIZABETH DE TREJO (soprano) “…has it all – a shimmering coloratura of great agility and intriguing color as well as superb acting ability” (The Toledo Blade). Upcoming operatic engagements include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte with North Carolina Opera and the title role in Bellini’s masterpiece, Norma. With Opera Tampa she performed with much acclaim the roles of Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Violetta in La Traviata, and the role of Rosina in Anton Coppola’s epic opera, Sacco and Vanzetti. She has toured with the Florida Orchestra as guest soloist, and concerts of zarzuela in Mexico City and Lincoln Center. De Trejo has worked with the Metropolitan Opera in Lulu, and in recent seasons, made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist under the baton of composer John Rutter. She has also received numerous awards from prominent vocal competitions, including the Gerda Lissner Opera Competition in New York, the MacAllister Opera Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the Connecticut and Gulf Coast Regions and the Jenny Lind Soprano Competition. Ms. de Trejo received her Bachelor of Music from Loyola University, New Orleans and her Master of Music from Yale University.

DANIEL LIPTON is widely regarded as one of today’s most exciting and creative conductors, whose superb performances of opera and the concert repertoire have gained him international acclaim. He was appointed music director and chief conductor of the Anhaltische Philharmonie and general music director of the opera company in Dessau, Germany. He became artistic director of Opera Ontario, Canada, and presented the Canadian premieres of Giordano’s Andrea Chénier, Verdi’s I Due Foscari and Massenet’s Portrait de Manon, along with other major operas. Under Lipton’s direction, Opera Ontario has enjoyed not only the highest artistic accolades, but also notable financial success, while greatly expanding the audiences in the process. He has been primarily responsible for the growth of Opera Ontario, making it one of Canada’s most important and artistically innovative companies. His annual POPERA™ galas have met with widespread popularity and acclaim. Before his time in Ontario, Lipton was appointed music director and principal conductor of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Colombia in Bogotà and conducted 33 programs a year with them. In Colombia he rebuilt the symphony orchestra and created a national opera company. He was appointed artistic director of the Opera de Colombia and produced 30 operas. Both organizations were raised to the highest international standard of performance because of his unwavering commitment to excellence. Previous posts include music director with Houston Grand Opera and artistic director of the San Antonio Festival. He has also held positions with the Zürich Opera, the Teatro Comunale in Bologna and Florence, American Ballet Theatre and the Denver Symphony Orchestra. In 2001, he was appointed artistic director of the EurOrchester for the European Classic Festival, (Triennale) for which he has conducted during the past 11 years.

About the Show

L’amour Toujours, A Popera! Concert Program 


Gioachino Rossini – Barber of Seville - Overture
Florida Opera Festival Orchestra
Daniel Lipton

Gioachino Rossini – Barber of Seville
"Una voce poco fa (A voice a little while ago)"
Elizabeth de Trejo 

Giuseppe Verdi – Don Carlo
"O Don Fatale (Oh fatal gift)"
Olà Rafalo 

Giuseppe Verdi – Don Carlo
Duet: "Dio, Che Nell'alma infondere (God, Who In the Soul Infuses)"
Eduardo Gomez and Jason Howard

Giuseppe Verdi – Rigoletto
"Caro nome (Dear name)"
Elizabeth de Trejo 

Camille Saint-Saëns – Samson and Delilah
"Mon cœur s'ouvre à ta voix (My heart opens to your voice)"
Ola Rafalo 

Giuseppe Verdi – Otello
"Credo in un Dio crudel (I believe in a cruel God)"
Jason Howard 

Giacomo Puccini – Madama Butterfly
"Flower Duet: Scuoti quella fronda (Shake that branch of the cherry tree)"
Elizabeth de Trejo and Olà Rafalo 

Giacomo Puccini – Madama Butterfly
"Lo so che sue dolore (I know that her pain)"
Trio: Olà Rafalo, Eduardo Gomez & Jason Howard 



Richard Wagner – Tannhäuser
Overture. Florida Opera Festival Orchestra
Daniel Lipton 

Richard Wagner – Tannhäuser
"O du mein holder Abendstern (Song to the Evening Star)"
Jason Howard 

Franz Lehár – Das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles)
"Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (Yours Is My Heart's Delight)"
Eduardo Gomez 

Georges Bizet – Carmen
"Les tringles des sistres tintaient (The rods of the sistrums tinkled)"
Olà Rafalo 

Giuseppe Verdi – La Traviata
"È strano...Sempre libera (It's strange...Always free)"
Elizabeth de Trejo 

Umberto Giordano – Andrea Chénier
"Improvviso – Un dì al l'azzurro spazio (One day into the blue sky I gazed deeply)"
Eduardo Gomez 

Umberto Giordano – Andrea Chénier
"Nemico della Patria (Enemy of the State)"
Jason Howard 

Umberto Giordano – Andrea Chénier
"Son la vecchia Madelon (I am Old Madelon. My son is dead)"
Olà Rafalo

Umberto Giordano – Andrea Chénier
"Come un bel dì di Maggio (Like a beautiful day in May)"
Eduardo Gomez 

Giuseppe Verdi – La Traviata
Overture, Florida Opera Festival Orchestra 

Giuseppe Verdi – La Traviata
"Brindisi - Libiamo ne' lieti calici (Drink from the joyful cup)"
Elizabeth de Trejo and Eduardo Gomez


FREE Master Class:

Learn from the best when Elizabeth de Trejo offers a free Master Class workshop at the Straz Center on Saturday, March 1. Click here to register!