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Arts Talk

By JOHN FLEMING and LENNIE BENNETT
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 14, 2002

Curtain falls on banner season at Asolo

Sarasota's Asolo Theatre reports its best season ever at the box office. Ticket sales exceeded $2.1-million for productions staged from Oct. 31 through June 16, and there were 7,785 subscribers. The Tale of the Allergist's Wife by Charles Busch and Agatha Christie's The Hollow both brought in more revenue than any other single show in the theater's 43-year history.

Voice classes

Vocal coaches Joseph and Violette Meyers offer three free voice master classes at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, from 2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 17, Sept. 21 and Oct. 19. Six to eight singers will be selected in advance to perform in the classes. Interested singers should contact the Meyerses at (813) 960-5528.

Requiem rolls

The Tampa Bay Concert Choir will participate in the International Rolling Requiem, a performance of Mozart's Requiem on Sept. 11 to commemorate victims of the terrorist attacks. In an idea conceived by members of the Seattle Symphony Chorale, choruses around the world will sing the work that day.

"We hope to involve as many singers as possible in this once-in-a-lifetime performance," director Frank Wells said. The choir begins rehearsals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Octagon Arts Center of the Unitarian Universalist Church, 2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater. For information contact Wells at (727) 688-2787. The project's Web site: www.rollingrequiem.org.

Rousseau retires

Marshall Rousseau retired as director of the Salvador Dali Museum in his typical understated style, refusing a big community party in favor of a staff-only fete on June 25 at Pepin in St. Petersburg, one of his favorite local restaurants.

The group presented him with a poster Dali designed as part of a series for the French National Railway in 1969.

"I was thrilled," he said. "I'd heard about this series but I didn't know we had some in the permanent collection. They knew how I love France, especially Paris."

The museum does have a complete set in the permanent collection, said curator Joan Kropf, but this poster was an additional one that had been set aside years ago, she said.

Rousseau will make his Sarasota condominium home base. He sits on the boards of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Dali, and he will teach two courses on museum management at Eckerd College starting in the fall. A longtime retail executive, Rousseau has been contracted by the Dali board as a consultant for the museum store.

He takes off this week for visits to family in Chicago and St. Louis, then time at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts and a trip to New York City.

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