Vero Beach Opera appoints new music director

VERO BEACH — The Vero Beach Opera is proud to announce the appointment of maestro Bruce Stasyna as Vero Beach Opera music director.

In accepting the position, Stasyna said, “I am thrilled to accept this appointment. I always look forward to my trips to Vero Beach for the quality of the performances and the enthusiastic reception of VBO audiences. The community is replete with extraordinary people and I am happy to serve the organization in this new capacity.”

For the 2014-15 season, Stasyna will conduct the Brevard Symphony Orchestra in a fully staged, original production of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Il Tabarro on Jan. 11, at 3 p.m. He will host and perform as pianist in the Three Divas World of Opera concert on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. featuring Metropolitan Opera mezzo soprano Megan Marino, Metropolitan Opera soprano Susan Neves, and soprano Maria Aleida. During the Marcello Giordani Foundation International Vocal Competition from April 6 through 10, Stasyna will serve as pianist for all competition rounds and the prize-winners’ concert. To close the season, he will partner with Metropolitan opera star Marcello Giordani in Amado Mio Vero, a concert featuring the 2015 MGF International Vocal Competition winners.

During the 2014-15 season, Stasyna will also conduct Die Fledermaus, The Rape of Lucretia, and Die Zauberflöte, chorus master I Capuleti e I Montecchi and Richard Strauss’ first opera Guntram, and perform concerts in Canada and the USA with Marcello Giordani, Ashley Thouret, and Jeanine De Bique.

Regarding a recent performance of the Rape of Lucretia, the Times Argus wrote that the “Green Mountain Opera Festival Artistic Director Bruce Stasyna led the excellent chamber orchestra in a deft performance of this spicy score.” The Washington Post said Stasyna had “done an excellent job honing the skills of the chorus” for the Washington Concert Opera’s production of Attila.

For Adriana Lecouvreur, The Washington Times noted that Stasyna had prepared “…an excellent chorus—briefly but effectively used”. For Minnesota Opera’s production of Nixon in China, Opera News commented that “the outstanding artistry of the company chorus must be mentioned, and for his debut with the Green Mountain Opera Festival “Artistic Director, Bruce Stasyna, overcame many obstacles to present a highly effective Don Giovanni”. The Classical Review acknowledged the “superb work from the chorus” when discussing Stasyna’s work for New York City Opera’s La Périchole.

Previous engagements have included chamber music with members of the Charlotte Symphony, recitals with Maria Aleida, Deborah Voigt, Marcello Giordani and conductor for Albert Herring, Così Fan Tutte, Don Pasquale, Le Nozze di Figaro, Little Women, Orlando, Suor Angelica & Gianni Schicchi.

He served six seasons as Head Coach and Director of the Young Artist Program at Palm Beach Opera. As pianist, the Palm Beach Daily News wrote “among the many heroes and heroines, the unsung hero of the evening was pianist Bruce Stasyna, who accompanied each singer with remarkable musical empathy and memorable (yet unobtrusive) technical skills.”

Stasyna has served as Chorus Master for New York City Opera, the Minnesota Opera, Washington Concert Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, and as Artistic Director of the Green Mountain Opera Festival. He was Head of Music for the Minnesota Opera from 1999 to 2006 and appeared at Wolf Trap Opera as guest artist on recital programs featuring Steven Blier. He has conducted at the Green Mountain Opera Festival, Des Moines Metro Opera, Lake George Opera Festival, New York City Opera, Opera Roanoke, Sugar Creek Symphony and Song and has enjoyed associations with the Minnesota Orchestra, the National Chorale, and Vero Beach Opera.

He has given chamber music performances at the Avery Fisher Hall and the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center, the Dallas Art Museum, the Victoria International Festival, the St. Lawrence Center for the Arts, Koerner Hall and in Guatemala City. Stasyna has held artist residencies at the Butler Opera Center at University of Texas and at Emory University. Performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio, Florida, Minnesota, Vermont Public Radio and CJRT radio Canada.

Stasyna serves as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions at the district and regional levels.

For details on the VBO season, visit www.verobeachopera.org.

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