Sioux City Symphony and the Legendary John Osborn

Sioux City Symphony and the Legendary John Osborn | Special
May 26, 2023 | 1 hr 52 min

International operatic tenor and Sioux City native, John Osborn, performs with the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra. This program also features Osborn’s wife, the renowned soprano, Lynette Tapia. Osborn and Tapia sing some of their opera arias in this stunning musical celebration.

For more than 100 years, the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra has flourished drawing musicians from nearby regions and beyond. Music Director and Conductor, Ryan Haskins has received international attention as an innovative and creative concert presenter.

This performance originally took place on March 11, 2023 at the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa.


Funding for the Sioux City Symphony and the legendary

John Osborne was provided by

the Gilchrist Foundation,

founded by Joslin Gilchrist, furthering

the philanthropic interests of the Gilchrist family.

In wildlife and conservation,

the arts and public broadcasting and disaster relief.

Funding provided by Friends, the Iowa PBS Foundation,

as well as generations of families and friends

who feel passionate about the programs they watch on Iowa PBS.

♪ Singing in foreign language ♪

We have such a rich, vibrant

art scene here in Sioux City and in northwest Iowa.

And the Sioux City Symphony

is sort of the central hub of that art scene.

We are going into our 108th season.

We're one of the longest continuously running

symphony orchestras in the country.

We are so very proud to be presenting

John Osborn, who of course, was born

and raised right here in Sioux City, Iowa, has gone on

to become one

of the most outstanding tenors in the entire opera world

and his very beautiful, talented wife, Lynette Tapia.

The planning of this program was really centered around

what could we present best to this audience.

I grew up in Sioux City, so kind of a tour,

so to speak, of how my career has gone since starting in Iowa

and then traveling all over the world

and doing, you know, operas. And it's

fun. It's exciting.

Always an adventure.

John is just an incredible human being and an absolute

genuine individual when it comes to his artistry.

♪ Singing in foreign language ♪

There is power and character

and nuance that many singers won't ever achieve.

And to bring John and Lynette together allows us

to experience a whole new side of John.

But at the same time, be introduced

to this fantastic voice that Lynette brings.

She has a way to keep it natural and genuine

and just give you enough to make your heart beat

just a little faster.

 ♪ Singing in foreign language ♪

I was so blessed to meet John

and we really did have an instant connection

and we really have grown together.

We really wanted to put together something that put across

his journey in this opera life that we share together,

as well as a journey for the audience to understand

what opera is in

Italian, in French, in German,

and how it can tie into our life.

So just because it's in a foreign language

doesn't mean it's a foreign emotion.

And I think John and I really love to play on stage with that.

We're really trying to make the most beautiful mix

of sounds together, just like our relationship.

This is brought to life in a new way,

a genuine organic approach to music when it evolves.

It changes in the moment, and not many artists can do that.

So we can rehearse the heck out of this entire program.

But until we get to the performance,

we don't know what we're going to see.

And that's the energy that's required in a performance

that is impactful and meaningful.

This is one of the

things that makes a live performance

so unique because it's literally unique.

It can never be reproduced

in that way ever again.

It requires so much concentration

It requires so much concentration

from the orchestra to be flexible enough

to bend and twist and turn to fit perfectly

into what John and Lynette are doing.

The beauty of this concert is that it tells a story.

It brings to life important concepts, important ideas

that yeah, maybe they were written 100 years ago.

But the greatest thing about music

is that it still lives and breathes today.

There's a reason why it's part of our culture, our heritage.

It saves us. It allows us to survive.

It allows us to heal.

It allows us to celebrate.

It is the most beautiful thing that is in existence

that allows us to be true, good human beings.

And that's what we celebrate in this concert tonight.

In this

aria, Loretta stops the whole opera with the most

stunning and beautiful meltdown in opera history.

She is begging her

father to give his consent so she can marry Rinuccio.

And she says if he does not say yes, she will throw herself

off the Ponte Vecchio into the Arno River.

But after you hear her sing this most glorious

Puccini aria, how could you say no?

Gianni Schicchi is an opera that I first performed

in English when I was still a student at Simpson College.

I think I was 19 years old.

That is crazy to be singing Puccini at 19 years old.

But it was amazing and I had the opportunity

to sing it only one other time in Italian,

the original Italian language at the New York City Opera.

And it was so exciting.

Rinuccio is a character that's just part of this

Buoso Donati family, and the story's really pretty funny

because they're all just, you know, fighting over the will.

And everybody in the family wants their big piece.

And this aria Rinuccio is basically convincing

the entire family

that that Gianni Schicchi you're all wrong about him.

He's not a serpent.

He's not slimy.

He is the one because he knows everything and he's our man.

And all these people who helped create Florence, it's

all people like him.

Gianni Schicchi is just as great as them.

Good evening.

Giuseppe Verdi, at the age of 47,

was living the life he did not need to work.

He did not need to write.

He enjoyed life.

Let's put it that way.

He was chilled out until there was a commission

that came from St Petersburg

and let let's say that the offer of money was something

that if he didn't take, it would be absolutely insane.

So he took the project.

He decided to write this next opera, La forza

del destino, The Force of Destiny.

And the opera itself had two versions

the original version that was written in 1862

and then revised later about four or five,

six years later for the premiere in La Scala.

That revision brought us this next work,

the overture to the Force of Destiny.

The opera itself has a lot of action, as you say,

some murder, some death, some tragedy, some sorrow,

some sadness.

In fact,

there are only about maybe four pages

or five pages of actual love in the entire opera.

That's a good opera.

So this overture begins with that fate knocking on the door.

You hear pounding on the door in the brass

and then melodies and themes throughout this overture

tell the story.

Before the opera happens, before the curtain rises

of the intensity, the anxiety, the stress

that we find within the complicated

world that La forza lives in.

Please enjoy Giuseppe Verdi's La forza

del destino Overture.

In this duet,

Gilda is sharing her innermost secrets

with her housemaid, Giovanna, about a young, handsome

man that's been following them to church.

As she shares all of these details,

she's interrupted by the entrance of this young man,

the very same young man who is the duke in disguise,

and he has paid off Giovanna so that he can be alone

with Gilda.

He comes in to express his love to her.

But Gilda does very startled and so with with clever words,

he calms her down and convinces her

that everything is okay and that I'm in love with her.

And as they share their love together,

they're interrupted once more by the footsteps of her father,

and she panics and doesn't even know his name.

So he lies to her and says that he is everything

she had dreamed about

before this poor young student, which he is not.

And she asks him his name.

She asks him if he's going to come back

and he reassures her that yes, he's coming back and then

they have to quickly say goodbye.

And so they have a fond farewell.

And in opera, a fond farewell can last for a few minutes.

So it's a very short farewell in this one,

isn't it, honey?

This has been a

long, long go to get to where we are today.

This concert was originally set for April 2020

and then the world changed just a month before.

And so I think

this concert in general has evolved in several stages.

During the pandemic,

we all had time to reflect

on our life and our passion and our careers.

And for me, what music meant truly what music meant.

And I think this concert is sort of the culmination

of those points in evolution to bring us here today

to finally celebrate two incredible singers.

So to prepare for a program like this, which is, you know,

a pretty hefty go.

There's a lot of music happening

and many of these works are not the same.

They come from different periods, different styles.

There's a lot of preparation before we even see each other.

But when we were able to get together

for the very first time with even just a piano.

Just sort of on the second, I just do a little bit

That Piano rehearsal is so important to be able

to really go through things

and figuring out, Okay, I'll que you here.

I'll wait for you here.

You know, where's that breath?

These small details, which then when we come to the orchestra

as a whole other level,

because you only have one person on the piano and you've got

almost 80 people on stage.

So this is not only exciting for me, it's also

kind of an honor.


I mean, to be titled as a legend returning home,

maybe I didn't feel quite at this age

that that is exactly what's happening here.

But here is John, just simple.

John, who grew up in a Catholic family in Leeds

and went to kindergarten at Hawthorne

St Michael's for eight years and then Heelan

for four years and then Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

So I really did all of my formal education in Iowa.

We gave this all school assembly.

And being back to Heelan

was not the same school, but it still sort of was.

And that was amazing being a student here at Heelan

I mean, I was like, I'm going to go study

opera and everybody is like, Wow, that's so cool.

They didn't really know what it was and neither did I.

The kids went nuts.

They were super sweet, super responsive.

And just you can tell that that wonderful tradition,

wholesome education is continuing at Heelan

Being a singer or

an international opera singer.

Wow. It takes a lot of commitment, a lot of passion.

You know, there are a lot of sacrifices

a you're apart from loved ones quite often.

My career started from high school, I can say.

And I was a gymnast.

I was a junior Olympian.

So it really was nothing like singing.

But the more I did it, the more I said,

this is vocal gymnastics, We balance each other out.

this is vocal gymnastics, We balance each other out.

I'm more of a straight laced.

Got to do this, got to do that.

He's a little more of a free spirit.

John is John.

And a lot of people, when they're in

this industry can change.

And I love that about him.

I think that's the most special thing about him,

that he is still himself.

And when people see him, he's very approachable.

And that's what you should be as an artist.

Very approachable because life is art.

♪ Singing in foreign language ♪

When I met Lynette

in the summer of 95 at the Glimm

was like a beacon of light,

I had never met anyone that was so positive

that had this incredible energy and charisma

in my life.

I learned from Lynette that not only was

God the biggest thing missing in my life,

but then I needed to put him first.

And so Lynette changed my heart.

She changed my life forever for the better, of course.

And performing with her

is so special because

we truly do

love each other in every way.

♪ Singing in foreign language ♪

Giuditta is Lehár's final operetta that he wrote his favorite

and most operatic. In this aria

she is

talking to two men, and they're asking

why everyone is so attracted to her.

And she says in this very sensual piece,

My lips are so fiery

and the blood of a dancer from my mother

lives within me.

So this might be the most popular aria

on the entire program.

And this is Dein ist mein ganzes herz

the story is the land of smiles and Dein ist mein ganzes herz

is yours is my heart alone

where you are not I cannot be basically.

Sou-Chong is declaring his love to Lisa to convince her

after he has been forced to marry

four other women that she's the only one for him

At the time.

Franz Lehár was Bandmaster of the 26th Regiment in Vienna,

when the Commission came from socialite fashion trend leader

and arts patron Princess Metternich,

she asked for something extraordinary special to mark

her a grand gold and silver carnival ball in 1902.

She wanted music

to represent the opulence and luxury of the event.

This commission would have been a part of the long

standing Viennese tradition of what's called a Name Waltz,

which would have been premiered

at the start of these high society events.

Although the Gold and Silver Waltz would eventually find

international fame, the premiere was less impactful.

The guests were excited to be there.

It was an extravagant event.

The ceiling was painted in silver with gold stars.

The guests were dressed to the nines,

and even the lighting reflected

the character with gold palms and silver trunks.

The music started.

The guests jumped to their feet, started dancing, chatting,

drinking and eating,

and completely forgot about the music that was being played.

Although the start was rocky, the Gold and Silver still today

remains one of the greatest masterpieces

written during the twilight years of the Viennese


In this glorious aria, Louise


her very happy day and remembers

the first kiss that they shared the beginning of their love.

And I think so very much of my first kiss

with John and how wonderful

my life is because of that.

In this aria, the young Werther feels that

the best way to express himself is through a poem by Gerda.

Just how much he missed Charlotte and the pain

and suffering that he felt during the time they were apart.

This duet is the wedding night of Romeo and Juliette.

Romeo is struggling with the thoughts that he has just

on the same night killed Tybalt, who is Juliette's cousin,

to avenge the death of Romeo's best friend, Mercutio.

Knowing that Romeo must leave in the early morning, Juliette

tries to prolong their night as long as possible,

But as soon as she hears the morning bird,

she tries to hurry Romeo out

and he defies the fates and said,

No, it's not the morning, it's still night.

And he just wants one more kiss and he wants to enjoy

the sunrise with Juliette.

So in the end, they say a long, fond farewell.

A very long, fond farewell.

Thank you so much.

Wow, everybody here,

I can't tell you how emotional it has been this week

going down, up and down memory lane, running into college

and high school classmates of mine, grade school

family and friends

coming from all over the place.

Wow. I got my start

here in Sioux City, Iowa.

So, I guess I'll

sing an encore for you

The first aria That I ever learned

was “La donna è mobile” from Rigoletto.

And my senior year

in high school, Russ Clifford taught me every syllable.

of that aria.

I didn't speak

a lick of Italian.

Now I speak Italian, French, Spanish, German, English.

No problem.

But back then, wow, I had a lot to learn but

I had the joy of singing this so much.

When I was 20 years old, I was like a sophomore

during my sophomore and junior year in college, I won

the Bill Riley talent search competition.

Here at the Woodbury County Fair,

and went on to the state fair

and won it, with this aria.

So we're going to sing “La donna è mobile”

Thank you, everybody.

That's the Lynette Tapia the love of my life.

Married 26 years.

We have a 22 year old daughter

who is an animator.

Love you Anna.

Thank you, everybody, for being here, I think.

My entire family, for everything they've done to support us.

We think the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra,

the entire organization, the major donors of this event.

Thank you so much for keeping arts alive here in Sioux City.

And we would like to give you one more long,

fond farewell.

So our favorite duet is from La

Boheme, O soave fanciulla

Funding for the Sioux City Symphony and the legendary

John Osborn was provided by

the Gilchrist Foundation,

founded by Joslin Gilchrist, furthering

the philanthropic interests of the Gilchrist family.

In wildlife and conservation,

the arts and public broadcasting and disaster relief.

Funding provided by Friends, the Iowa PBS Foundation,

as well as generations of families and friends

who feel passionate about the programs they watch on Iowa PBS.