Pensacola Opera proudly shares details for the two mainstage productions of the company’s 39th Anniversary Season. Mozart’s delightful The Magic Flute and Rossini’s effervescent The Barber of Seville promise to enchant, enliven, and entertain audience members of all ages as the Saenger Theatre comes alive with the sound of two of opera’s most famous and beloved classics.
The Magic Flute | January 2022
With performances on January 28 & 30, Pensacola Opera kicks off its 39th Anniversary Season with a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Absent from the company’s repertoire since the 2008-09 season, Mozart’s final masterpiece is one of opera’s most popular titles, with numerous productions and performances presented every season around the globe. Sung in German with English dialogue and supertitles, The Magic Flute follows the journey of the young Prince Tamino and his quest for truth and enlightenment.
Metropolitan Opera tenor David Blalock (Don Ottavio in 2020’s Don Giovanni) returns to the Saenger Theatre stage as the heroic Prince Tamino. Blalock is joined by soprano Bizhou Chang (Zerlina in 2020’s Don Giovanni and Micaëla in 2021’s Carmen) as the princess Pamina. Soprano Elisa Sunshine—an Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera—makes her company debut as the evil Queen of the Night, singing the well-known stratospheric showcase, “Der Hölle Rache.”
Artist in Residence Ron Dukes sings the role of the high priest Sarastro, with debut artist Robert Mellon joining the company directly from performances in Madrid, in the role of Papageno, a phantasmagorical creature who is half man and half bird. The remainder of the all-star cast includes Alyssa Dessoye as Papagena and Robert Hartfield as Monostatos, with Emily Michiko Jenson, Erin Alford, and Imara Miles as the Three Ladies in service to the evil Queen. Spencer Reichman and Gregory Watson appear as the Speaker and Priest, respectively. Completing the cast are three members of Pensacola Children’s Chorus—Kyndall Jefferson, Shaelynn Wilkerson, and Deanna Harwell—serving as spirit guides to Prince Tamino.
Philadelphia based stage director Dennis Whitehead Darling makes his company debut, with Cody Martin (María de Buenos Aires, Man of La Mancha, As One, Don Giovanni, H.M.S. Pinafore) conducting members of the Pensacola Symphony and Pensacola Opera Chorus. Brian Ruggaber joins the company as Scenic Designer with Barry Steele (Florencia, Carmen, Pinafore) returning as Lighting and Video Designer. Costumes are designed and created by Glenn Avery Breed with wigs and makeup created by Brittany Rappise.
Performances of The Magic Flute are Friday, January 28, 2022 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, January 30, 2022 at 2:00 PM in the Pensacola Saenger Theatre. Tickets are available by calling the opera office at (850) 433-6737, or via the company’s website at www.pensacolaopera.com.
(L to R): David Blalock, Bizhou Chang, Robert Mellon, Dennis Whitehead Darling
The Barber of Seville | March 2022
The company’s mainstage season continues with Rossini’s hilarious The Barber of Seville. Sung in Italian with English supertitles, The Barber of Seville earned its place in the public lexicon through the Warner Brothers cartoon classic “Rabbit of Seville,” starring Bugs Bunny. While everyone in Seville is crying out for “Figaro, Figaro, Figaro,” our peripatetic title character leads us on a fun-filled evening of hilarious hijinks.
Internationally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera baritone Sidney Outlaw makes his Pensacola Opera debut as the title character, Figaro. Former Artist in Residence Camille Sherman (María de Buenos Aires, Man of La Mancha, Roméo et Juliette) returns as the effervescent—yet devilish—Rosina, joined by tenor Jonah Hoskins as the lovestruck Count Almaviva. Hoskins appears courtesy of The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program of The Metropolitan Opera.
Rounding out the cast are debut artist Matthew Burns as the irascible Dr. Bartolo and Ron Dukes as Don Basilio. Jack Chandler, Imara Miles, and Robert Hartfield appear as Fiorello, Berta, and Ambrogio, respectively.
Directed for the stage by Houston-based debut artist Frances Rabalais, Jerome Shannon will conduct members of the Pensacola Symphony and Pensacola Opera Chorus. Scenery is provided by Tri-Cities Opera, with Barry Steele as Lighting and Video Designer. Costumes have been designed and created by Glenn Avery Breed with wigs and makeup created by Brittany Rappise.
Performances of The Barber of Seville will be presented on Friday, March 11, 2022 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 2:00 PM in the Pensacola Saenger Theatre. Tickets are available by calling the opera office at (850) 433-6737, or via the company’s website at www.pensacolaopera.com.
(L to R): Camille Sherman, Jonah Hoskins, Sidney Outlaw, Frances Rabalais
Pensacola Opera’s 39th Anniversary Season is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; OPERA America; State of Florida Department of Cultural Affairs; Arts, Culture and Entertainment; Papa Rocco’s; Dignity Memorial; Emerald Coast Realty; Wind Creek Casino & Hotel; Culinary Productions; Fiore; Great Southern Restaurants; Executive Landscaping; REYCO Contracting Solutions; Cardon Estate Sales; and the Riesberg Institute.