Joseph Lodato, Maria Natale, James Valenti Headline ‘Puccini99: A Celebration of Italian Heritage in America’

By David Salazar

The Kaufman Music Center will present “Puccini99: A Celebration of Italian Heritage in America” on Nov. 29, 2023 at 8 p.m.

The event will feature such artists as Joseph Lodato, Maria Natale and James Valenti.

Following this performance, Natale is set to perform “Tosca” with Cedar Rapids Opera. She previously took on the title role of the Puccini classic at Opera San José last April.

Lodato has performed at Carnegie Hall, Heartbeat Opera, the Met Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He will also be featured in the film “The Kill Room” starring Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson.

Valenti, a winner of the 2010 Richard Tucker Award, has performed with such companies as the Met Opera, Royal Opera House, Paris Opera, Teatro Colón, Opernhaus Zürich, and Sydney Opera House, among others.

They will be joined by the Terpsikord Orchestra under conductor Carmine Aufiero.

In addition to celebrating the works of Puccini, the showcase will also honor the career of soprano Diana Soviero.

The project is presented as part of the Heritage Concert Series and there are plans for a Puccini100 program next year during the composer’s centennial.