First Coast Opera to open season with ‘Bon Appetit!’

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An operetta about Julia Child, with dinner and servings of chocolate cake? First Coast Opera announces its 23rd season of live opera in Northeast Florida. Based in St. Augustine, the season will open with “Bon Appetit!” on Oct. 7-8 at Celebration Hall at St. Anastasia, 5205 A1A South, St. Augustine Beach. 

“Opera is sometimes serious and tragic, but sometimes downright fun,” said Curtis Tucker, First Coast Opera artistic director. “The first two programs of this season highlight comedy, entertainment and chocolate cake! What could be better?”

The dinner-opera event will be catered by La Cocina International restaurant, featuring performances of Bizet’s comic Le Docteur Miracle and Lee Hoiby’s operatic depiction of Julia Child making a chocolate cake in “Bon Appetit!” The evening will include a special treat from Crème de la Cocoa. Performances will take place from 5-9 p.m. each night. 

Enhanced tickets with a VIP reception are $125, with champagne and an opportunity to meet the artists. General admission tickets are $75, and student tickets are $50. All tickets include the catered meal and performance. Tickets are available at firstcoastopera.com

The Bat

Ring in the New Year with “Die Fledermaus” (The Bat), on stage at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, and at 3 p.m. Jan. 1, in Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada St., St. Augustine. This is the fully-staged production with orchestra of Johann Strauss Jr.’s classic 19th-century Viennese operetta, performed in English with complimentary champagne at intermission. 

Nelson Sheeley (“The Marriage of Figaro,” “H.M.S Pinafore”) directs and Tucker conducts. House seats are $70. General admission tickets are $50, and student tickets are $20. Choose seats at firstcoastopera.com  

‘Opéra Mystique’

“Opéra Mystique” will be performed in February 2023 at The Waterworks, 184 San Marco Ave., in uptown St. Augustine. This otherworldly program features staged performances with orchestra of Menotti’s séance-filled “The Medium” and Holst’s “Sāvitri,” based on an episode from the Sanskrit epic “Mahābhārata.” 

Evening of Arias

March 2023 will mark the return of “An Evening of Arias,” an annual event that features heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and performances by First Coast Opera guest artists.

Founded in January 2000, First Coast Opera serves Northeast Florida’s First Coast region through a series of concerts and staged productions of operas and operettas. Based in St. Augustine, performances feature guest artists from throughout the United States performing alongside local and regional talent. Go to firstcoastopera.com or call 904-417-5555, and follow on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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