Season 2014

Tosca 2014, Times-Herald

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Scarpia, a favorite for John Minagro by Richard Freedman
Vallejo Times-Herald


It was a karaoke bar years ago. With some urging, John Minagro took the microphone and did a Broadway tune.

"I was quite willing," Minagro said.

And, apparently, impressive.

"This tough-looking woman in a black leather came up, grabbed my shirt, and said, 'Tell me you singing professionally,'" said Minagro, laughing that she added "or I'll beat" a certain substance out of him.

"That was one of the nicest compliments," he said.

Yes, to answer her question, he was signing professionally — in this tidy little production called "Phantom of the Opera" for five years at the Curran Theatre.

Obviously, the 66-year-old Walnut Creek resident is no stuffed shirt.

"Karaoke is a lot of fun. It's a good experience to get in front of a crowd with no expectations," Minagro said. "You get to do something in a different form of performing than you're used to. There's nothing formal, nothing planned. It rounds you out as a performer."

Minagro also takes in an occasional senior center.

"You're less tense, less worried about making a mistake," he said. "You learn you can do better when you're not nervous and take that experience with you."

Minagro takes a ton of "that experience" to the Bay Terrace Theater the next four weekends as Verismo Opera brings Puccini's popular "Tosca" to Vallejo.



Sims, M. (2015). Tosca 2014, Times-Herald. Retrieved from


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