By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
It would never be mistaken for a full-fledged winter arts season, but there are a few signs that live performance may be tiptoeing back onto the South Florida scene.
In the classical realm, for example, there is Florida Grand Opera’s “Season of Specials and Shorts,” which features live, socially distanced performance concerts in alternate venues. “[They are] intimate yet socially distanced spaces that are perfect for a unique storytelling experience,” says Susan T. Danis, general director and CEO.
For pop music fans, Backlot Live at Broward Center of the Performing Arts fits the bill under the stars at its Lillian S. Wells Backstage Parking Lot, with face-coverings required and 6 feet of physical distance exclusively in pods of two, four or six persons.
Among the FGO’s works by four contemporary American composers is this month’s New York Stories, composed by Daron Hagen. It presents three intimate vignettes based on real people’s experiences living in the Big Apple. New York Stories is presented at 8 p.m. Feb. 13 and 3 p.m. Feb. 14, with simultaneous projections of English and Spanish translations. Tickets are $65.
On Feb. 28, Angela Brown’s Opera From a Sistah’s Point of View shakes things up a bit. “I would see very few people who looked like me,” says Brown of her travels as an international opera star. She created the work to dispel myths surrounding the art form, showcasing rising Black opera talent and spiking it with her tongue-in-cheek commentary. Performances are at 3 and 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.
The opera portion of the season wraps up on March 20-21 with a double bill of Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti and Signor Deluso by Thomas Pasatieri. All opera performances are at Miami Theater Center, 9806 NE Second Ave., Miami Shores.
The season also features the SongFest series of concerts held in Miami-Dade and Broward neighborhoods. Spotlighting current or former members of FGO’s Studio Artist Program, “Highlighting Baroque and Classical Opera Composers” is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. “Viva Verdi,” featuring studio alumnus Rafael Porto, is at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Art Deco Museum, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Tickets for both are $10.
In Fort Lauderdale, Broward Center’s Backlot Live kicked off last month with comedian Rob Schneider. The series switches gears this month with a couple of classic rock shows. “In the Light of Led Zeppelin,” at 6:30 and 9 p.m. Feb. 20, is more Zep experience than tribute act, featuring six Grammy-nominated, classically trained musicians performing Zeppelin classics as well as the symphonic orchestrations of Page and Plant. Tickets start at $25.
However, “The Best of the Eagles,” on Feb. 27, is an authentic interpretation, with band members singing and playing the songs of their counterparts in one of the biggest American rock bands. Shows are at 5 and 8 p.m. and tickets are $25-$40.
Classical-crossover singing string quartet Well-Strung performs at 6 and 8:30 p.m. March 13. Tickets start at $40.
For tickets and more info on the opera series, please visit fgo.org. For the Broward Center series, visit browardcenter.org.
Photo: “Best of the Eagles,” on Feb. 27 at the Broward Center.