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A plaque at Tampa’s Italian Club will honor Norma Tina Russo, who produced opera in the bay area.
By Times staff
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 13, 2002

Ceremony honors Tampa's 'first lady of opera'

An opera pioneer will be honored in Tampa today. A bronze plaque for Norma Tina Russo, known as "the first lady of opera," will be unveiled at the Italian Club in a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of her birth. From the 1940s until shortly before her death in 1977, Russo produced opera and concerts of opera highlights in the bay area. Her companies sported a variety of names over the years, including Sun State Opera, San Carlo Opera, Tampa Grand Opera and L'Opera de Florida, and they brought in big-name singers such as Robert Merrill, Licia Albanese, Robert Weede, Dorothy Kirsten, Salvatore Baccaloni, Anna Moffo, Roberta Peters and Jerome Hines. There will be a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. today at the club, 1731 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City. For information, call (813) 689-6116.

New programing director at TBPAC

Judy Joseph is the new director of programming at Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Joseph came from the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, where she was director of programming and production.

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