The First Coast Opera is starting off the new year with a double-bill, featuring “I Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo and Curtis Tucker’s “The Stranger’s Tale.” Performances will take place at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium Saturday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 11 at 2 p.m.
Written around 1890 in response to Pietro Mascagni's “Cavalleria Rusticana,” Leoncavallo’s “I Pagliacci” features one act composed in the verismo (“realism”) style. Allegedly based on an incident from the composer’s childhood, a murder in 1865, the opera first premiered in the U.S. June 15, 1893, at the Grand Opera House in New York.
The First Coast Opera production of “I Pagliacci” will feature returning artists: Jamison Walker, singing the famous aria “Vesti La Giubba;” Sarah Beckham-Turner as Nedda; Sean Stork as Tonio; and Daniel Bates as Beppe.
Soprano Elena Galvan, recently a young artist with Florida Grand Opera in Miami, will make her company debut in Tucker’s opera, described in Opera News after its 2005 premiere as “a sincere, humane tale” and “an immense hit with the audience.”
Tickets are $40 for adults and $10 for students and may be ordered at www.firstcoastopera.com or by calling (904) 417-5555.