Cantus, Kaleidoscope of Dance among highlights of Romanza Festivale


While golfers eagerly await the start of the 2016 PLAYERS Championship, lovers of the arts will have a full array of offerings from which to choose as the annual Romanza Festivale of the Arts brings 10 days of music, art, theatre, dance and more to St. Augustine. To be held May 6-15 at venues across the historic city, the Romanza Festivale celebrates the diversity of the arts with offerings from both local and nationally renowned artists. Highlights of the 10-day festival include:


Among the headliners of this year’s Romanza Festivale is the nine-member male vocal ensemble Cantus, which will perform its touring program, “The Four Loves,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday May 12 at the Cathedral Basilica. Acclaimed by Fanfare as “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States,” Cantus performs an eclectic repertoire that includes everything from Renaissance chamber music to the Beach Boys’ “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring.”

Public radio fans may know the group from their frequent performances on “A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor” and “Performance Today’s” annual Thanksgiving program, “Thanksgiving with Cantus.”

Tickets are $30 for adults, $10 for students with a valid ID and $5 for children 12 and under.  

Musical acts will also include Jacksonville’s Big Orange Chorus, which will perform Monday May 9 at 7:30 p.m. at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium. Named the Sunshine District Chorus champions in 2014 and 2015, the barbershop chorus placed ninth in the world at the Pittsburgh International Chorus Competition, while the group’s barbershop quartet placed third in the world at the same event.

Tickets for the Big Orange Chorus are $30 for adults, $10 for students with ID and $5 for children 12 and under. Combination tickets for both Cantus and Big Orange Chorus may be purchased for $50, a savings of $10.

Visual Art

The St. Augustine Art Association will present an exhibition titled “Canvas, Clay, Collage, Cutting Edge” as well as a special art exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m.


Making its world premiere during this year’s Romanza Festivale is “Sweet Emmaline – the Musical Journey of Debbie McDade.” Written by Deborah B. Dickey, the musical play tells the story of St. Augustine native Emmaline Maultsby, who as a teenager traveled to New York City to launch a career as a jazz singer and composer. The play will be performed at 3 p.m. May 8 and 7:30 p.m. May 9-12 at the Lincolnville Museum and Cultural Center, 102 MLK Ave. Admission is $25.


Thirteen local dance troupes will perform as part of the Romanza Kaleidoscope of Dance. To be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday May 7 at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium, the event will feature Aerial Athletes, Abella’s School of Dance, Blue Lotus Mid East Dance Troupe, Dance Guild of St. Augustine, Florida School of the Arts, Mia Bella Academy of Dance, Mia Bella Academy north, Matanzas Tap, Noise Complaint, Perla Ballet, St. Augustine Dance Conservatory, SJCCA: St. Augustine High School, and Deidre and Felix.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students; children 12 and under are free.

To view a complete schedule of all Romanza Festivale activities, visit