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Vallejo Center for the Arts to Present TCHAIKOVSKY'S STAR CROSSED LOVERS in January

Grammy award-winning Maestro Thomas Conlin will conduct the Vallejo Festival Orchestra for this singular event.

Vallejo Center for the Arts to Present TCHAIKOVSKY'S STAR CROSSED LOVERS in January

The Vallejo Center for the Arts will present a unique musical offering, Tchaikovsky's Star-Crossed Lovers, at the historic Empress Theatre in Vallejo on Saturday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m.

Grammy award-winning Maestro Thomas Conlin will conduct the Vallejo Festival Orchestra for this singular event, which will feature the full orchestra, as well as internationally renowned opera stars soprano Sarah Tucker and baritone Michael Adams.

"Tchaikovsky, who gave us Swan Lake, Nutcracker and the 1812 Overture, is surely the most popular Russian composer of all time," said Conductor Conlin. "His music has always had great appeal owing to its tuneful, heartfelt melodies, rich, warm harmonies, and colorful orchestration, all of which evoke a profound emotional response."

Tchaikovsky's Star-Crossed Lovers will include three masterpieces that Tchaikovsky himself considered among his very best works: musical portrayals of Romeo and Juliet and Francesca da Rimini, along with the most romantic excerpts from his greatest opera, Eugene Onegin. These compositions are characterized by his signature voluptuous melodies embedded in classical forms and his brilliant use of the orchestra.

While Tchaikovsky was born in Russia, his paternal family was from Ukraine, therefore his Ukrainian origins were hardly celebrated by the Soviets nor by Russians of today. On April 2, 2022, Russian missiles terrorized the city of Kremenchuk, the birthplace of Tchaikovsky's great-grandfather Fedor Chaika, a Cossack, who along with many of the composer's ancestors, battled against Russia and other empires seeking to dominate the territory of Ukraine

Soprano Sarah Tucker has appeared with the opera companies of San Francisco, Santa Fe, Dallas, Philadelphia, North Carolina, Virginia and Utah, the symphony orchestras of Dallas, Richmond, Lexington, Dayton and Las Colinas, at the Crystal Cathedral in Orange, California, and with New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center. In her debut last season as Fiordiligi in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte with San Diego Opera, she was described by Opera News as a "standout" with "impeccable pitch and phrasing." In October she sang the premiere of My Sister's Voice, by Indian-American composer Reena Esmail with the Dayton Philharmonic. Tucker was a National Semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was an Arizona Opera Young Artist.

Praised by Opera News for "brandishing a beautiful, evenly produced, nicely ripe sound," baritone Michael Adams returned to his home state of Texas last season to perform Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Dallas Opera and the Count in Le nozze di Figaro with Austin Opera. He has sung recently with Deutsche Oper Berlin, Utah Opera, Grand Teatre del Liceu, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Omaha Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Knoxville Opera and the Glimmerglass Festival. He was a 2018 winner at The William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation and 2015 winner of first place in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation International Vocal Competition, and the Mario Lanza Competition. Adams sang the title role in Eugene Onegin with Seattle Opera.

Thomas Conlin is a frequent guest conductor with opera and ballet companies and symphony orchestras on five continents, most recently in Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey and throughout the United States. He conducted the Warsaw Philharmonic orchestra on a recording of George Crumb's Star-Child, which won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and is part of a complete edition of the American composer's works, which calls "one of the most significant recording projects currently in progress, as well as one of the most artistically successful." Conlin's performance of Mozart's opera Lucio Silla in 1968 marked the first-ever use of projected translations (Supertitles).

"A season of classical music anywhere in the world is unimaginable without works by Rachmaninov, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Mussorgsky, Shostakovich, to name but a few on the list of great and important Russian composers," said Conlin, "but Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is today regarded everywhere as the quintessential Russian composer. What would Christmas in America be without the Nutcracker ballet performances that dominate theaters during the holiday season? Can anyone imagine Christmas shopping unaccompanied by The Dance of the Sugar Fairy or an outdoor concert on the Fourth of July without the stirring 1812 Overture?"

The Vallejo Festival Orchestra, founded in 2020 as the resident ensemble of the Vallejo Center for The Arts (VCA), is the centerpiece of classical music and opera programming at the VCA's Empress Theatre. Tickets for Tchaikovsky's Star-Crossed Lovers are available at or by calling 707-552-2400. Ticket prices are $29 - $97.

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