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Our original show, Home Sweet Home is a dramatic and heart-rending journey through music and drama that explores the mysteries of the heart during the tragic years of the Civil War. Based on memoirs from the Civil War, the cast consists of Charles Farruggia, actor and baritone, and Kathryn Mientka Farruggia, concert pianist. Charles portrays a Union captain and a Confederate soldier, depicting the heart-break, the longing for home, and the anguish over the “glorious cause.”  Kathryn depicts, with her piano, the loved ones left behind.  Each vignette finishes with a classic song from the Civil War, and a brilliant piano solo performed by Kathryn from the classical repertoire and also fantastic piano arrangements of Civil War tunes.  Songs include “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground,” “Shenandoah,” and “Home Sweet Home.” Dynamic piano solos include works by Gottschalk that were composed during the Civil War, as well as works by Schumann, Liszt, and others. The audience gets a real feel for what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War; Charles, in his various roles, speaks of the emotions and experiences of the soldiers. Each half of the program begins with a short narration, and the history of the Civil War is recounted, so the audience reviews the facts about the war. From then on, we are plunged into the actual feelings, emotions, and thoughts of the soldiers: their enthusiasm for the Great Cause, the ensuing doubts, the reality of the horrors of war, the longing for home and family. The heart-rending songs from the Civil War and beautiful piano solos richly add to the emotional drama.  The show ends with President Lincoln and a strong and positive message of the cost of freedom. All of our audiences have been moved to tears and standing ovations. This is a show for everyone of all ages, and carries a moving, positive message of freedom!

Kathryn Mientka  Farruggia,  pianist       
Kathryn Mientka  Farruggia  performed internationally to critical acclaim as the  pianist in the  Mientka Duo, which she and her late  husband, Tyme  Mientka co-founded in 1983.  The Duo gave concerts in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, and  the  USA, where they were featured nationally on radio and television. Their debut at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. was received with an enthusiastic standing ovation. They  also were featured numerous times on National Public Radio´s Performance Today, and in 1995 they were featured on PBS television in an hour-long documentary, “Almost Famous: the Mientka Duo”. The documentary was subsequently submitted by PBS for an Emmy. The Mientka Duo was the recipient of many honors and awards, including a special prize at the Concours International de Musique de Chambre in Paris. 

Kathryn holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance from the University  of Southern California. She taught at Montana State University for two years. Subsequently she and her husband moved to Germany, where they lived for eight years, teaching and touring internationally.  In 1995 they moved to Colorado. From 1999 to 2004 they founded and directed a concert series, an after-school music and dance conservatory, a youth orchestra and a youth choir.

Kathryn co-directs the Western  Slope  Concert Series in Colorado, now in its 23rd season, and is a founding member, pianist and music arranger  in the cross-over Celtic band FEAST, which has toured nationally with great success, as well as toured Germany, and  has  been featured on PBS. FEAST played to a sold-out crowd at the Civic Center in Rapid City in 2013.  She is founding member of  Il Divo Colorado, a singing group which has toured Colorado with great success. She was staff pianist for the vocal faculty for six years at Colorado Mesa University and  was  staff piano  accompanist for the vocal faculty at Northern Arizona University for two years. She performed numerous concertos with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta during these years.

Her special crusade is promoting the DS 5.5 small keyboard, made especially for small hands. She performs often on the keyboard, which fits into her Yamaha grand piano. She and her husband, Charles, recently relocated to Lead, where she performs regularly in the Historic Homestake Opera House. In January 2021 she performed a solo piano recital at the opera house, and since has been engaged to perform a piano recital series, with performances in September 2021, and January and May of 2022.

In 2020, Kathryn and Charles premiered an original drama-concert, “Home Sweet Home,” in Sedona, Arizona and then toured the show to the western slopes of Colorado. In 2021 the Homestake Opera House engaged them to perform the show three times in April 2021. The reception was so enthusiastic, they were engaged to perform it again on July 3, 2021, to honor Independence Day. The script was written by Charles and Kathryn created the musical arrangements.

Charles Farruggia, singer, actor, writer

Charles’ heritage is Sicilian and Lakota, he is a direct descendant of Red Cloud, and he grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota. Having taken the lead in his high school musical, he discovered a love for acting and a beautiful baritone voice. He continued his education, studying music, theater, and psychology at Black Hills State University, where he sang in the elite concert choir.  During the next few years he became lead singer with the band Briar, and toured South Dakota. When the group disbanded, he was engaged by numerous bands to fill in for lead singers for the next few years.

A career in restaurant management and ownership took him away from touring, and to Denver, Colorado, although his musical life was always busy with wedding engagements and performing solo at bars and restaurants. In 1996 Charles moved his family to Grand Junction, Colorado, and he became artistic and production director for the Grand Junction Community Theater. During the next three years, he performed as lead in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “God’s Favorite,” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” He played Dr. Sanderson in “Harvey,” Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol,” and wrote and directed a one-act play “Silent Night, Holy Night.” He also co-directed the musical “Brigadoon.”  

In 1999, while pursuing a degree in psychology at Colorado Mesa University, he won the part of Pontius Pilate in the university’s much acclaimed production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He received the award for best supporting actor for his gripping performance. Shortly after, he was recruited by a local theater to perform the lead in “Once Upon a Mattress.”   

In 2014 he began a 4-year engagement performing Scrooge for the yearly production of “A Christmas Carol” by Seraphim Theatrical Entertainment in Rapid City.  

In 2019 he wrote “Home Sweet Home” in collaboration with his wife, concert pianist Kathryn Mientka Farruggia. From 2020 to 2021, the couple toured the highly successful show to Sedona and Flagstaff, Arizona, the western slope of Colorado, and Lead, South Dakota. Charles and his wife now reside in Mountain Home, Arkansas.