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Art&Seek Q&A: Dr. Gustavo Tolosa a.k.a. the Chief Vampire

by Cindy Chaffin 11 Feb 2010 3:45 AM

By day, Dr. Gustavo Tolosa is the mild-mannered Director of the Arts Academy at Brookhaven College. But on Valentine’s weekend, this performer, teacher and administrator becomes Dr. Gustave de la Croix, Chief Vampire.


Dr. Gustavo Tolosa is an accomplished solo and chamber music pianist. He holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Redlands, a Doctorate in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music and was selected by the International Biographical Centre in England as one of the few to be included in the important reference title Outstanding Musicians of the 20th Century. A very accomplished vampire, indeed.

This coming weekend, Dr. Tolosa transforms into the glamorous and sophisticated chief vampire Gustave de la Croix as he and his band of urban vampires throw an intimate party and concert.

In a recent e-mail exchange, Art&Seek learned a little more about this interesting man-pire and the Vampires’ Valentine Party:

A&S: How did the idea of Vampires’ Valentine come about?

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa: I am always looking for new ways to bring the music to the masses. My life goal is to bring music to the world (music performance and music teaching). Even though I have a formal musical training, with a Doctorate in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music in New York, I consider myself a revolutionary! I am always looking for new ways to present the traditional concert setting. I wanted to present what we call a voice and piano recital in a new and innovative way and mix several genres such as a traditional concert or recital with a Broadway musical, a theater play, an opera and present it all in a setting that combines a relaxed living room atmosphere with a cabaret atmosphere with a traditional concert atmosphere. This idea was also born from my fascination with vampires and the idea that if there were real vampires, there probably would be some that are musicians. And so here we have four musical vampires!

A&S: Is this the first year for Vampires’ Valentine or have you produced this event in the past?

Dr. Gustavo Tolosa: I manage the South Side on Lamar Concert Series and the Musica For the World Concert Series, and every year I put together a Valentine’s Concert. Last year, the theme was “Love & Friendship,” and it was lovely. It was a dinner, dessert and concert. This is the first year that I introduce the group “The Urban Vampires” that I have formed. We will be presenting other performances during the year in different places in Dallas and around the nation, but the “Vampires’ Valentine” is a creation for this year!

A&S: What should one expect when attending this event?

G.T: I love what I do and I have tremendous fun with it. I want our guests to have fun and feel the joy and power of music while they try our unique gourmet bon-bons, drinks and fabulous company. There is something for everyone in this show, and I mean everyone! What someone should not expect is a formal concert atmosphere. They can also expect great music and incredible performances given by my colleagues.

A&S: Tell me a little more about yourself and the other three vampires.

G.T: In this show the performers are: Jacquelyn Lengfelder, soprano (as Countess Erzsebet Alucard), Marquel Dionne, mezzo-soprano (as Barcelona Marceaux), Blake Davidson, tenor (as Sergei Alucard) and me, Dr. Gustavo Tolosa, Artistic Director; piano and harpsichord (as Chief Vampire Gustave De La Croix). All four of us are classically trained and have extensive performance experience, but all four of us are excited to venture into a more eclectic musical world!

A&S: Are vampires particularly fond of Valentine’s Day? If so, why?

G.T: During Vampires’ Valentine, these four urban vampires (we like living in big cities and mingling with people without them noticing us) get together in their coven and hang out while they remember their past loves and love stories. Vampires do fall in love and are capable of loving. In this particular occasion, the vampires are going to reveal some of their inner most secrets and one of them is going to make a decision that will change their lives forever.