New maestro takes the baton at Opera Tampa
It's Lipton's wide range of experience within the industry that most impressed Judy Lisi, president and CEO of the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, who founded Opera Tampa in 1995. The search to find "the perfect fit" took eight months, she added. "We've had such quality under Coppola and we want to continue that and build the company for the future," said Lisi. "(Lipton) has quite a world view and will bring the company to that international level. He's a respected maestro, but he also has a grace and warmth about him that will make him the perfect fit in Tampa." Lipton, who acknowledges opera can be intimidating to many, wants to expand audiences here. In Ontario, he created "Popera," performances that included soloists performing well-known arias on stage, as a way to introduce opera to those unfamiliar with it. "I'm really hoping to win people over (to the opera)," said Lipton, who is married with two children. "Most people who don't like opera have never been to one. My idea is to tantalize people and give them something to ignite their curiosity and make them step into the Straz." He says he wants opera to touch people's lives in the same way it has his own.