Memorial for Miller
If you go to classical music concerts in this area, there’s a good chance you saw Jason Miller perform. He lived in Gulfport but he was a singer with Gloria Musicae, the Sarasota-based professional vocal ensemble, and a soloist with the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra. He also sang with the St. Petersburg Opera (he played Stewpot in SPO’s “South Pacific” and was slated to play Jack in “Into the Woods”). He directed theater and opera around the Tampa Bay area, and was a popular music teacher.
He had recently sung several solos with AMICCO in its Symphony on the Sand concert. The morning of his death he had rehearsed with AMICCO for its “Messiah” the following night. There was time to replace him.
“We just did the best we could,” said AMICCO chorus master Dan Hoffman said.
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Hoffman said Miller was “a very versatile singer, able to sing both baritone and tenor,” and that he was always eager to pitch in and do anything extra that was needed.
On Dec. 10, Miller was driving along U.S. 19 in Pinellas County when a car jumped the median, struck Miller’s car head-on and killed him. He was just 36 years old.
The St. Petersburg Opera has set up the Jason Miller Memorial Chorus Fund to help “support participation in the St. Petersburg Opera Chorus of young, promising singers in financial need.” You can make donations at stpeteopera.org.
That’s the ticket
Leslie Odom Jr. isn’t making things easy on his local fans. He was supposed to perform at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa on Feb. 26. That got rescheduled for March 19. Now it’s been rescheduled again, this time for June 23. Tickets for either of the first two dates are still good for the June concert, but if you want your money back you can call the Straz Center box office at 813-229-7828 or go to the website, starzcenter.org. (Odom, for those of you who don’t follow such things, won a Tony Award when he starred on Broadway as Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.” He was also on the TV series “Smash” and he’s released two albums this year, one mostly show tunes and the other a Christmas album.)
Tickets went on sale Friday for the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour, which comes to the Amalie Arena in Tampa on May 6. Joe Walsh is the opener. The Heartbreakers, after all these years, still include three of the original four members: guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench and bassist Ron Blair. Ticket prices are $31.25, $45.75, $65.75, $121.75 and $145.75 plus service charge.
Also just on sale are tickets for the recently announced 20th anniversary tour of “Rent,” which comes to the Straz in September. People used to line up overnight for tickets to this show, which won both the Tony Award for best musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Tickets are $31-$67, plus service charge. 813-229-7828 , starzcenter.org.
The next phase of the Ringling’s New Stages series gets underway in February with a group of performances under the umbrella title “New Sincerity.”
The idea is to bring “unique works from genre-defying artists” to “unusual spaces throughout the (Ringling) grounds and galleries,” and focusing on groups who want “to make performance art accessible to all,” according to Ringling officials.
There are three groups in the “New Sincerity” project. Aerial artists Wise Fool New Mexico create an ever-changing kinetic sculpture Feb. 17-18. Institute for Psychogeographic Adventure (IPA). Experiment #42.000 (RINGLING) leads visitors through a series of personalized performance encounters ranging from the intimate to the spectacular in elaborate experiments March 16-19. The season closes with Captive by Motionhouse (April 7-8), a piece inspired by Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Panther. Four dancers in a large cage blend dance and aerial work in a provocative consideration of how a human, like an animal, can be plucked from normal life and plunged into captivity.