The Dicapo Opera Theatre’s 30th Anniversary

Kristin Sampson, Guido LeBron

The Dicapo Opera Theatre opened its 30th season with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. The sold out production was followed by a gala dinner at The Columbus Club. The evening started with a champagne toast to Dicapo Opera founders: Executive Director, Michal Capasso, and Artistic Director, Diane Martindale. A documentary about the history of Dicapo was shown and included footage of the construction of the 250 seat theater in the basement of the St. Jean Baptiste Chuch.

After the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera, Dicapo Opera Theatre is the only opera company in New York to present an entire season of opera productions, musical theatre, concerts, family fare, and other events, and it does so in a gem of a facility tucked away on the Upper East Side.

No other American opera company has devoted itself so passionately to the entire oeuvre of the Italian master Giacomo Puccini. In October 1981, Michael Capasso produced his first Tosca. Now, to celebrate Dicapo’s 30th season, Mr. Capasso applies his imagination and intimate knowledge of the Puccini idiom to a new production of this tale of fervent love, duplicity, and tragic death.

Among those celebrating at the gala were opera greats; Renata Scotto, Elaine Malbin, Licia Albanese, conductor Pacien Mazzagatti, broadway’s Stewart F. Lane, Bonnie Comley, gala chair; Sharen Benenson, and board and gala committee members: Dr William & Marissa Priester, Carol Black, Karen Unterberg Diane Britz-Lotti, Barbara O’Dwyer Lopez, Judith Reid, Judy Iovino, Jeffrey Lawrence, Father John Kamas, Maria Bell, John Hartje, David Kutz, Paul Koningsberg and Bernardo Paradise.

The dinner guests were entertained by back stage stories from the Tosca cast members who included: Kirsten Sampson, Branden Coleman, Richard Cassell, Peter Gage Furlong, Guido LeBron, George Kassarjian, Nicholas Connolly, Bryce Smith and Leah Lane.