Join the First Coast Opera for Pagliacci with the Stranger’s Tale as they present opera’s classic tale of tragic clowns alongside the regional premiere of a story of hope. The opera is sure to be one of the St. Augustine entertainment season’s most spectacular shows. But that sort of thing doesn’t just happen. So it’s time to meet the artists and performers behind the comedy, tragedy, and music.
Elena Galván (Kay)
Elena makes her FCO debut after recently making her role and house debut as Lisette in La Rondine with Opera San Jose. The Ithaca, NY, native completed two seasons as a Young Artist with Florida Grand Opera, where she performed the roles of Frasquita in Carmen, Oscar in Un ballo in maschera, and Norina in Don Pasquale. Elena has completed other young artist programs with Kentucky Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, and Opera Saratoga. She holds degrees from Ithaca College and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Sarah Beckham-Turner (Nedda)
Sarah last sang with First Coast Opera as the Baroness in La Vie Parisienne in 2016, and as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni before that. Since then, she enjoyed a huge success with New York City Opera’s production of Angels in America as Harper and Ethel Rosenberg. In 2016, she made her New York City Opera debut as Rosalba in Florencia en el Amazonas and sang Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance in her hometown with Amarillo Opera. In New York City, the Texas native also performs with the band The Opera Cowgirls, which brings the art of the opera to a wider audience.
Jamison Walker (Canio)
Jamison returns to First Coast Opera after last appearing on the company’s 15th Anniversary Crystal Concert in 2015. He last sang Canio in the summer of 2016 with Opera in the Ozarks, while earlier in his career he sang lighter tenor roles with Augusta Opera, New World Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Central Florida Lyric Opera. Formerly a Counterintelligence Agent in the U. S. Army, he performed in over 400 venues as soloist for the Signal Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon with the Army Band. He holds a vocal performance degree from Stetson University, which he later served as a member of the voice faculty, and he completed Master of Music and Doctor of Music degrees in vocal performance from Florida State University.
Dirk Gavin McCoy (Sgt. Miller)
Dirk made his FCO debut in January 2017, singing The Bonze in Madama Butterfly. In October and December 2017, he again appeared with FCO; on the Opera’s Most Haunting Melodies concert and as King Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors, respectively. Dirk has performed on concert and opera stages throughout the Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York/New Jersey areas, most notably with New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, and in concert at the White House. Dirk resides in Saint Augustine with his wife, soprano Lisa Lockhart.
Lou Agresta (Homeless Man)
As the show opens you will see him sleeping on the bench in Central Park. Lou is excited to appear in a First Coast Opera production for the first time. Since moving to St Augustine in 2010, Lou has appeared in over fifteen shows in the St. Augustine /Jacksonville Beach area theaters.
Daniel Bates (Jay)
Daniel returns to First Coast Opera after singing B. B. Wolf and Edwin in last season’s The Trial of B. B. Wolf and Trial by Jury. Other engagements in the current season include debuts with Anchorage Opera as Ernesto in “Don Pasquale” and with the Imperial Symphony as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi, as well as a return to Anchorage Opera as the title role in Candide. He is an alumnus of several significant young artist programs, including at Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Opera Saratoga.
Gregory Gerbrandt (Sam)
Gregory has performed with opera and symphonic organizations on five continents and created the lead baritone in five world premieres. In the current season, he can be heard in Kevin Puts’ Silent Night with Piedmont Opera, La Bohème as Marcello for Mobile Opera, and as Stanley Kowalski in André Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire for Opera Idaho. The Colorado native earned degrees from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and University of Northern Colorado and completed young artist programs with Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, and Sarasota Opera among others.
Curtis Tucker (Conductor/Stage Director)
Curtis joined First Coast Opera as Artistic Director in 2014, conducting Don Giovanni, La Vie Parisienne, The Trial of B. B. Wolf/Trial by Jury, and Amahl and the Night Visitors, as well as producing Madama Butterfly and several concerts and cabarets. Formerly General and Artistic Director for Opera Saratoga in upstate New York, he has been guest conductor for Cincinnati Opera, Opera Memphis, Syracuse Opera, Mobile Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, and Fresno Grand Opera. The Kansas City native earned degrees in music from Central Methodist College and the University of Northern Colorado, as well as a law degree from Northeastern University. He recently joined the faculty of the Florida School of the Arts.
Pagalicci with The Stranger’s Tale will be performed at Lewis Auditorium on Flagler College campus on February 10 and 11. Saturday’s show begins at 7:30pm and Sunday’s show begins at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.firstcoastopera.com
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