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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Florentine at the Lake

Tonight @ Alterra, 7 p.m.

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Minimalist sets and elegantly subtle costuming have allowed the vocal prowess of Milwaukee's Florentine Opera Company to dominate each of their performances for nearly 80 years. Currently led by general director Bill Florescu, the company has shifted from happy-go-lucky to frighteningly melodramatic and back again in productions like the Sinclair Lewis adaptation Elmer Gantry, a bold interpretation of Mozart's Magic Flute, and the company's first non-English show, Río de Sangre, composed by Emmy-winner Don Davis. Although its cast often thunders across bigger stages like the Marcus Center, the group reaches out to general audiences each summer with its free Florentine at the Lake concert series at the lakefront Alterra, with multiple performances through August.