When Richard Trimarchi and several other Revere students walked through the doors of Boston’s Cutler Majestic Theatre last Friday night to see ‘Madama Butterfly,’ they were handed programs.
On the cover of those programs was a design done by Trimarchi that was inspired by Puccini’s classic operatic tale.
The director of the production – done by the Teatro Lirico D’Europa – chose the Revere High School (RHS) senior to produce the cover art for the Boston performance.
Trimarchi said that he was a little nervous beforehand to have everyone looking at his artwork in such a professional setting, but he was also confident in his graphic design abilities.
“When I was younger I pursued art a lot but then I stopped for about five years because I didn’t think I was good enough,” he said. “I started back up and I’ve been doing graphic design for the last three years.”
Trimarchi was one of three students whose artwork was featured in the program. While his work was on the front cover, RHS students Jennifer Sao and Katherine Rodman also had artwork featured in the program.
Additionally, RHS students also had essays about “the opera experience” published in the program. Those students, all in the RHS Culture Club, were sophomore Shannen Donovan, sophomore William Truong, senior Xuyen Mai, senior Amel Derras-Chouk, sophomore Brian Monroy, senior Tamar Bonaventure and senior Lindsay Chorlian.
The opportunity for Trimarchi and the rest of the students came through Nancy Barile, RHS English Teacher and Culture Club sponsor.
Barile has forged a relationship with the director of Teatro, Jenny Kelly, who is also the founder and director of the Baltimore Opera Theatre. While Kelly is based in Baltimore, her company comes through Boston every year to put on a few productions.
Since 2007, Kelly has provided Barile with 50 free tickets to those productions. RHS students from the Culture Club have taken advantage of the opportunity and have become real opera lovers.
“Revere High Students have become huge opera lovers,” said Barile. “They get dressed to the nines to head into Boston for what is usually an ‘opening night’ performance. They’ve seen Aida, The Barber of Seville, La Boheme, and Pagliacci, to name a few. The experience has given them the cultural capital necessary to help them compete with their wealthier peers. Sometimes I invite other schools to come along – usually Lawrence High School, but I’ve also brought Malden and Winthrop students.”
This time, though, the invitation wasn’t only to come to the opera, but to help produce its program.
That’s where Trimarchi came in.
“[Ms. Kelly] sent an e-mail to the art teachers and we had less than a week to do it,” he said. “I worked on it for about four hours. However, I read up on the opera before to get an understanding of it. I like to research before I work. I like doing the research.”
Kelly was so pleased with Trimarchi’s work that she hired him to do the artwork for two more Boston operas, one in December and another in January.
“I’ve already finished the first one,” he said.
Trimarchi lives on Proctor Avenue and is the son of Lisa Pawlak, and the grandson of Rose Pawlak. He attended the Lincoln School and the Beachmont Middle School.