Anthony Laciura (Director)
Time flies when you’re enjoying yourself. That popular sentiment occurred to Anthony Laciura as he heard an announcer introduce him as the host for a recent Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera broadcast. The facts, for the moment, startled him: 860 performances of some 59 roles! “I did all that?” he thought to himself. For the past twenty-five consecutive seasons, yes, he did all that.
Of course, there were more debuts elsewhere: Geneva, Amsterdam, Montreal, Mexico City, Tokyo, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and many summer seasons at Santa Fe. Born and educated in New Orleans, he has been “enjoying’ himself since the age of 12, singing the cameo role of the newsboy in a rare staging of Charpentier’s opera, Louise, co-starring Dorothy Kirsten and Norman Treigle. Following his music and academic studies at Loyola and Tulane universities, the late Arthur Cosennza, former general director of the New Orleans Opera, recognized the youngster’s talents as both tenor and actor and assigned him several difficult featured roles, among them Goro in Madama Butterfly, Monostatos in Die Zauberflote, Incredibile in Andrea Chenier and Basilio in Le Nozze di Figaro. These roles Laciura would ultimately sing at the MET, along with some of his other favorites, such as Valzacchi in Der Rosenkavalier, Bardolfo in Falstaff, the four servants in Les Contes d’Hoffman, and as Count Sendorf in Janacek’s The Makropoulos Case. Recordings and video productions have only added to the tenor’s international reputation. The Washington Post calls Laciura, “one of the outstanding character tenors of our time.” Headlining the review the Post blatantly labeled him, “The Clown Prince of Opera!” The New York Times leading music critic simply stated that he is “a master of such parts,” and Terence McNally, during a MET broadcast, identified him as a “Singer of the Century.” Anthony has now taken this wealth of knowledge to the next phase and has climbed to the other side of the footlights to share his expertise as a stage director. In 2007, Anthony directed his first Otello with Vero Beach Opera and returned to direct Don Pasquale with Paul Plishka and Macbeth with Susan Neves. Anthony staged Abduction from the Seraglio with the New Jersey Opera Theater and he directed Tosca for Phoenix Opera in 2008.