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Ruminski & Co.

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Opera fans have a lot to talk about after this weekend. On Friday and Sunday, North Tonawanda's Riviera Theatre played host to Rossini's "The Barber of Seville," the first production of Nickel City Opera.

Nickel City Opera is the brainchild of Buffalo bass-baritone Valerian Ruminski, pictured above in the lobby of the recently restored Riviera. Last week, I got to interview Valerian last week about the project. You can read about him here.

It was also a pleasure to review the opera, which was quite the musical success. Here is the review.

Here is Ruminski starring in the chilling final scene of Mozart's "Don Giovanni" in a production by Ottawa Lyric Opera. Marvelous! I could not resist including it even though it cuts off at an awkward point.

And here is Ruminski singing Canisius High School's Canisius Fight Song. Had to throw that in too.

Now that all that is out of the way, I am wondering what everyone else thinks of Nickel City Opera's inaugural production. Does anyone who was at either of the performances of "The Barber of Seville" have any opinions you would like to express? Don't be shy. All opera listeners have opinions, that is for sure.

One thing to get you started: Just now I ran into apointed out that she had been annoyed by a couple behind her chomping popcorn.

And I sympathize! When I went on Saturday, I loved that you could bring popcorn in. But now I can see that there might be a problem with it. At least in our modern era, we are used to silence at the opera. You want to be able to hear the music clearly. I wasn't eating popcorn, and as it happened, no one around me was. Had someone been chomping popcorn right in my ear, my opinion on the popcorn would have  been quite different. As it was, the problem did not occur to me.

It is fun to go back and forth about little things like this.

 friend who went to the Saturday night performance. It was her first opera, and she got a big kick out of it. But she But all in all, I do not think anyone will deny that this first production of Nickel City Opera was a triumph. With luck, this will lead to Buffalo having its own opera company. To Ruminski and friends: Bravo!

-- Mary Kunz Goldman

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