Kathryn Morrison Management                          -
Richard Troxell, Kathryn Morrison Management



The leading man in Opera Tampa's Romeo and Juliet is riding a wave of critical acclaim. Richard Troxell has wowed crowds with dashing looks, dramatic fervor and an effortless high D.

But the tenor who has played Galileo in Galileo Galilei with the Portland Opera and Lt. Pinkerton in Martin Scorsese's Madame Butterfly film, is perhaps best known in recent years for his thought provoking rendition of the Meow Mix jingle on the The Tonight Show.

The bit was actually perfect for Troxell, whose resume includes roles as a punk rocker in a contemporary staging of Giacomo Puccini's Manon Lescaut and as Dr. Yes in the New York City Opera's Anna Nicole.

"I'm not even close to an opera snob," he said. "I think it's an art form like any other, telling a story with beautiful music."

This is his third stop at Opera Tampa in recent years, having sung in La Boheme and Madama Butterfly. Troxell, who started as an actor in musicals, enjoys introducing opera to new audiences.

"It's like going to a hockey game," he said. "You kind of want to see it again."

8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, Morsani Hall, 1010 N MacInnes Place, Tampa. $66.50 and up. (813) 229-7827. strazcenter.org.