Tri-Cities Opera gears up for new season with changes

Local News

Tri-Cities Opera is gearing up for a brand new season with a new logo, new website and a renewed emphasis on connecting with the community.

Among the changes instituted by new General Director Susan Ashbaker is the conversion of its rehearsal space on Clinton Street into a second performance space.

The season has been lengthened to four performances, but now only two will be staged at the Forum and the other in the new black box theater that has been named Savoca Hibbitt Hall in honor of the company’s founders.

In addition to painting the former social hall black, the space has new theater lighting and there are plans for new carpeting and a fully refurbished stage.

Production Manager Cindy Marino joined TCO full-time two months ago.

“All the new people that we have and the new programs we’re doing and our flash mobs and all of the community involvement. And the Opera and Beer that we did a couple weeks ago at a local brewery. It’s fun and exciting and challenging at the same time,” said Marino.

Work is being done to prepare for the season opener, “The Barber of Seville,” at the Forum on October 23rd and 25th.

Scenic Charge Artist AmarA is doing a full repaint and making minor repairs to the 25 year-old set.

“It’s one house that’s on stage that spins so that you get the exterior view and the interior view of it. It’s absolutely incredible. Two story house with roofs and rooms and doors and a staircase. It’s amazing,” she said.

This Thursday, TCO is planning a ribbon cutting to celebrate the renovations to Savoca Hibbit Hall.

It’s one of many events scheduled in conjunction with co-founder Peyton Hibbit’s 90th birthday.

The opera has also launched a 90 at 90 fundraising campaign soliciting $90 contributions which will go toward further work on the Clinton Street Opera Center including new windows, doors and façade work.

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