By Barb Van Atta
This weekend’s Tri-Cities Opera performances of Puccini’s La Bohème will be dedicated to three former members of the company who passed away in recent months: tenors Alan Crabb and Pasquale “Pat” Arcodia and soprano Rosalie (De Felice) Julian.
Crabb, who served for several years as TCO chorus master, sang a wide variety of leading roles with the company from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. Included in his TCO repertoire were three of this season’s tenor parts: Rodolfo (La Bohème), Manrico (Il Trovatore) and Turriddu (Cavalleria Rusticana). Thirty years ago, he co-founded what TCO General Director Reed Smith described as “the very popular and well respected Downtown Singers through which he shared his infectious love of singing.” Crabb died Sept. 15. TCO started out, in 1949, as a workshop for aspiring singers, but, in less than two years, co-founders Carmen Savoca and Peyton Hibbitt went from presenting excerpts to producing fully staged works. Rosalie Julian was among the first group of performers and, like Crabb, included in her repertoire, roles associated with the 2012-2013 season (Mimi in La Bohème, Nedda in Pagliacci and both Lola and Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana). Julian sang with TCO from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. A skilled professional hairdresser, she then became a fixture backstage helping young singers with hair and make-up. She died July 31.
Arcodia performed in the early and mid-1960s and later was a voice teacher. He also operated Pino’s Ristorante in Binghamton where he entertained patrons with songs or arias, occasionally joined by other TCO singers. He died on Aug. 7.
In a written statement, Smith said, “While TCO is saddened at the loss of these three artists, we are proud to have had them in our ranks. Tri-Cities Opera dedicates this production of La Bohème to Rosalie Julian, Pasquale Arcodia and Alan Crabb in recognition of their wonderful performances at TCO, of their inspiration of other singers and of their value to the community at large. The heavenly choir has certainly gained some fine voices.”
Performances of La Bohème will be 8 p.m. Friday (Oct. 26) and 3 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 28) at The Forum, 236 Washington St., Binghamton,. The box office is open 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and prior to performances and can be reached at (607) 772-0400. Tickets also can be ordered online at the TCO website, www.tricitiesopera.com. BAMirror critic Tony Villecco will be at the final dress rehearsal; his review will run prior to the opening of the show.