The artistic team of Carol Sparrow, Randolph Locke, and Thomas Pasatieri, cofounded "SFVA" to
Present works that are primarily composed in English.
Present performances that highlight Florida-based talent.
Provide performances at an affordable price for anyone to attend.
The Cook Theatre (part of the FSU Conservatory/Asolo Center for the Performing Arts) was chosen because of its stark intimacy and excellent acoustics. Seating capacity is 161. Costumes, props, and set pieces will be minimalistic thus inviting the audience to be overwhelmed by the magic of the human singing voice combined with superior acting.
Thomas Pasatieri was born in New York on October 20, 1945. He began piano lessons at a very young age and was a skilled performer by the time he was ten. He studied composition with Nadia Boulanger as a teenager. Pasatieri entered Julliard with a composition scholarship at sixteen, where he studied composition with Vittorio Giannini and Vincent Persichetti. He also studied with Darius Milhaud at Aspen, where Pasatieri won the Aspen Festival Prize for his opera The Women at age 19. Pasatieri is a prolific opera composer, having written 28 operas to date with some of he most famous and most produced being The Seagull and Signor Deluso. His most recent operas include Before Breakfast, The Family Room, The Hotel Casablanca, and Frau Margot.
He has composed many works for chorus, various instrumental pieces, and more than 400 songs. The songs have been performed and recorded by distinguished artists, including Janet Baker, Thomas Hampson and Frederica von Stade, among many others. Recordings of Pasatieri’s works are numerous, and most are on Albany Records. Pasatieri taught composition at the Julliard School, the Manhattan School of Music and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory. From 1980 until 1984, he held the position as Artistic Director of the Atlanta Opera. After ending the post in Atlanta, Pasatieri moved to Los Angeles where he created the film music production company Topaz Productions. He wrote the film score for American Beauty, The Shawshank Redemption, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Road to Perdition, The Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, and Scent of a Woman, among others.
Currently, Pasatieri resides in Sarasota, Florida, where he continues to perform and compose.
Carol Sparrow, mezzo-soprano, has appeared to critical and popular acclaim as Eboli in Don Carlo at the Komische Oper in Berlin and in St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as the title role in Carmen for which she is known for her "feline grace and provocative languor, singing with firm, rich tone and secure control."
She has appeared with many prominent opera companies across the United States and performed Brangaene in Tristan und Isolde and The Composer in Ariadne auf Naxos for Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Other roles include Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. With Opera Memphis she has sung the role of Santuzza in Cavalleria rusticana, Musetta in La Boheme, Azucena in Il trovatore, and most recently the role of Despina in Cosi fan tutte
Ms. Sparrow was engaged by the Metropolitan Opera for their productions of Die Walküre and Elektra. On the concert stage, she has appeared as soloist in Mahler's Symphony No. 3 in Brussels, as Debora in Pizzetti's Debora e Jaela for the Netherlands Radio Orchestra, as solosist with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops Orchestra in concert at Carnegie Hall, and as Alto Soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the National Orchestra of Mexico, Beethoven’s Ninth with the Connecticut Symphony, and Voices of the Holocaust with Gloria Musicae.
As a featured artist with the New York City Opera for three seasons, Ms Sparrow sang over 15 leading and supporting roles, and appeared in several national telecasts of Live from Lincoln Center on PBS, receiving the Stanley Tausend Award for outstanding performances from Beverly Sills.
A native of North Carolina, Miss Sparrow earned her Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music and earned her Master of Music Degree, studying with opera greats Italo Tajo and John Alexander.
While continuing her music career, she teaches Music Appreciation at State College of Florida and Ringling College of Art and Design. She has served as Facuty Artist at USF, FGCU, and at OperaMaya International Summer Festival in Cancun.
Ms. Sparrow and her husband, tenor Randolph Locke, frequently perform as pOpera! in which the two sing operatic and popular favorites along with Ms. Sparrow’s piano accompaniment, appearing across the Southeast and in Cancun.
The husband and wife team also cofounded and direct the Sarasota Voice Academy, as well as the charitable nonprofit organization OASIS (Opera for Animals: Singing Is Saving) which raises funds for animal welfare groups by giving concerts or other musical events using musicians’ donated talents, having raised over $850,000 for animal welfare since its inception in 2001.
They later began the OASIS Young Artist Program for emerging artists in 2011: codirecting opera and teaching voice. May 2017 will combine the Sixth OASIS YAP and to work alongside the International Artists involved in the premiere season of the Sarasota Festival of Vocal Arts.
Randolph Locke, tenor, has enjoyed a busy international career having sung with opera companies in Italy, Greece, Finland, Stuttgart, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Mexico City, Puerto Rico, Ottawa, Edmonton, New York, Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Boston, Atlanta, Santa Fe, and Sarasota, to name but a few.
His repertoire has encompassed some of the most demanding tenor roles, including Calaf, Cavaradossi, Radames, Bacchus, Samson, Manrico, Hoffmann, and Don José.
As a frequent artist at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, he performed Orin Mannon in the highly acclaimed production of Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Elektra. He is known for his portrayals of Hoffmann in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Bacchus in Aridane auf Naxos, and Calaf in Turandot, his signature role in which
Charles H. Parsons of Opera News Online said of his Opera Columbus performance (February 2009): Locke has a “voice full of passion and power, yet it could be sensitive and sensible in quiet passages.”
Mr. Locke has also excelled in the Slavic and Germanic repertoire, making his German debut as Luka in Aus einem Totenhaus in Stuttgart. He sang the role of Lukas in the American premiere of Smetana’s Hubicka with Sarasota Opera, and covered Gregor in The Makropoulos Case with both the San Francisco Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
At the Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico City and the Festivale Cervantino in Guanajuato, he sang the role of Panfilo in the revised premiere of Carlos Chavez’ The Visitors which was released on the RCA/BMG label, winning Mexico's coveted Music Critics Award. Mr. Locke has been seen and heard numerous times on NPR, PBS, CBC (Canada), RAI (Italy), and Univision (Mexico).
Randolph Locke has appeared in concert as tenor soloist with the National Orchestra of Mexico, Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Florida Philharmonic, Connecticut Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony, Berkshire Music Festival, Johnstown Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, Flint Institute of Music, Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Sarasota Orchestra.
Mr. Locke and his wife mezzo soprano Carol Sparrow have been presented by the Community Concert Association of New York City in over fifty recitals throughout the United States and have also been the featured operatic performers for Cunard Cruise Lines in over one hundred recitals around the world aboard ships such as the majestic Queen Elizabeth II.
Randolph Locke is a graduate of Texas State University and received his Master of Music Degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, which he attended as the first place Corbett Opera Scholarship winner, studying with the legendary Italo Tajo and John Alexander. While continuing his concert and operatic career, he also teaches Private Voice and Opera Workshop at the Sarasota Voice Academy. Previous years he taught as Faculty Artist at SCF, USF, FGCU, and the OperaMaya International Summer Festival in Cancun, Mexico.
Together with wife Carol Sparrow, they perform as pOpera!, and have cofounded OASIS (Opera for Animals: Singing Is Saving), OASIS Young Artist Program, SVA, and the Sarasota Festival of Vocal Arts.