|Sneak Peek of 21st Season|
|Dear Friends and Opera Lovers (one and the same, I hope),|
Though we sit currently in extended intermission, I hope to soon flash the lights and signal you back to your First Coast Opera seats. While we, like others, watch and wait to understand when we can resume public activities, rest assured that our staff and Board are planning programs to inspire and entertain you when that time comes.
Our 20th Anniversary Season ended inauspiciously in March, forcing the cancellation of two productions: The Little Prince in March and Cox and Box/Penelope Ann’s Revenge during Romanza in May. We had already begun planning our 2020-21 season , and that work continues. I want to share an early peek at our developing, and hopeful, plans.
Following the sold out success of last Fall’s Pasta and Puccini dinner theater event, we are planning a similar program for October 3. It will be our version of the evening hosted by Emperor Joseph II on February 7, 1786, at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.
To entertain his dinner guests, he commissioned the leading composers of the day, yielding Mozart’s The Impresario and Salieri’s Prima la Music, Poi le Parole ( First the Music, Then the Words ) . Our program will feature both one-act operas and dinner.
We return the second weekend of January to Lewis Auditorium for our first staging of one of Verdi’s most popular operas, La Traviata . That weekend, the annual national convention of the National Opera Association will be held at World Golf Village. It will be an exciting weekend with Saint Augustine at the center of the opera world and our production of this classic Italian opera.Our annual Evening of Arias fundraiser will continue on April 10, 2021. This year’s theme will continue our ongoing series of tributes to notable artists. Past tributes have included Leonard Bernstein, Mario Lanza, Marian Anderson, and Edith Piaf. Our 2021 event will highlight the careers of American stars of stage and screen Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
Our 21st Season will conclude with two more one-act operas, performed in collaboration with A Classic Theatre, that were postponed due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Arthur Sullivan’s Cox and Box is paired with a new sequel, the world premiere of Penelope Ann’s Revenge . The latter is the third original opera by FCO Artistic Director Curtis Tucker and collaborator Nelson Sheeley, following The Stranger’s Tale and The Trial of B. B. Wolf , heard in earlier FCO seasons. Performances are anticipated for May 2021.
Other events and programs may be added, and we continue to make plans for future seasons. The company has grown considerably, in scope and quality, in recent years. While the broad-reaching impact of COVID-19 may slow that growth in the short-term, we remain optimistic that First Coast Opera will continue to expand its service in Saint Augustine and throughout northeast Florida. Your support of our efforts is important and very much appreciated.