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Songs Down South

November 9, 2023

Festival Ticket

$125 | 5 PM
Food, Drinks, & Concert

Concert Ticket

$75 | 7:30 PM

From Opera to Opry; A Festival of Southern Music & Food

Get Out Your Good Boots

From Opera to Opry… Pensacola Opera is proud to present Songs Down South! Sponsored by ACE and as a part of this year’s Foo Foo Festival, Songs Down South will celebrate two well-loved southern traditions – food and music! 

The Festival – Unlimited Food & Drinks!

In the fresh, fall air enjoy a variety of southern-crafted cocktails, wine, and beer curated by Birmingham’s Scott Jones, former Food and Wine Editor of Southern Living. Then, indulge in some of the finest comfort food in the region prepared by William “Bill E.” Stitt from Bill E’s restaurant in Fairhope, AL, who cures and supplies the small batch bacon at local restaurants Jackson’s Steakhouse and Restaurant Iron. 

The Concert

Heading inside the Jean & Paul Amos Studio, the Opera Cowgirls will kick things off with their country renditions of opera’s greatest hits. Then, soothe your soul with Janinah Burnett, a genre-bending singer fresh off her run on Broadway in the closing cast of Phantom of the Opera. Bringing us home is The Midnight Cricket Club, a band formed by Michael Mayes & Megan Marino, professional opera singers with bluegrass roots. Oh, and did we mention the queen is coming? Loosey LaDuca, nationally renowned drag performer, having been seen on RuPaul’s Drag Race, will be our emcee for the evening appearing as none other than the queen of country herself…Dolly Parton!

All-Inclusive Festival Ticket: $125

Includes 2.5 hours of all you can eat food and spirits, and a seat to the main concert. Food is served at 5 PM, the concert begins at 7:30 PM.

Concert Only: $75

No food or drink included. Doors open at 7 PM; curtain is at 7:30 PM.


November 9, 2023


Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio


Country Casual

The Opera Cowgirls

About Opera Cowgirls

The Opera Cowgirls are an alt-country band where grand opera meets the grand ole opry. Founded by Caitlin McKechney (mezzo-soprano/guitar/banjolele), the group also includes Sarah Beckham-Turner (soprano/cello), Maria Maxfield (soprano/dulcimer/egg shaker or tambourine), Jessica Sandidge (soprano/mandolin/rival egg shaker or tambourine) and Mila Henry (not a soprano/mini-keyboards/percussion). By blending the greatest operatic hits with some country flavor, the Cowgirls have proven that they can truly cover Puccini to Parton.

They have performed at venues ranging from dive bars to cabaret halls, including the New York-based BAM Lepercq Space, Pete’s Candy Store, Le Poisson Rouge and The Slipper Room, and trips to Avaloch Farm Music Institute (NH), Dr Petersburg Opera (FL), Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre (IA), Delaware Valley Opera (NY), Magic City Opera (FL), NightBlue Theater (IL), Opera North (NH), Painted Sky Opera (OK), the San Francisco Ballet (CA), and West Texas A&M University (TX). Digital albums include Pearlsnaps and Pearls and A Very Merry Cowgirl Christmas, available online through all major music platforms. OperaCowgirls.com

Janinah Burnett

About Janinah

Janinah Burnett-she/her/hers- is an internationally renowned versatile singing actor, musician, writer, and educator who most recently was a part of the closing cast of Phantom of the Opera on Broadway making appearances as “Carlotta Giudicelli”. Other Broadway performance credits include Mimí in Baz Luhrmann’s La Bohéme on Broadway. This season, Janinah made her NY Philharmonic debut as a soloist in Adolphus Hailstork’s oratorio masterpiece Done Made My Vow and debuted the role of Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music with North Shore Music Theater. A principal artist at the Metropolitan Opera for 8 seasons, Janinah recently released her debut album entitled Love Color of Your Butterfly. From her own record label ‘Clazz Records’, Love the Color of Your Butterfly features collaborations with some of the world’s finest jazz musicians and innovative arrangements of Opera, Spirituals, Jazz, and More.
Available at www.janinahburnett.com.

The Midnight Cricket Club

About Midnight cricket club

The Midnight Cricket Club: Where genres collide and musical magic happens! Born during the pandemic, this eclectic ensemble brings together the best of bluegrass, country, old-time, and more. Picture this: Two opera singers crossed paths with two bluegrass virtuosos in Lyons, CO, mourning the stage closures of their respective art forms. Under a grandmotherly cottonwood tree, they played late into the night whilst being serenaded by crickets – the birth of MCC!

K.C. Groves (mandolin/vocals): The creative force behind the all women old-time band Uncle Earl, KC has performed at major festivals across the world and worked with musical legends like John Paul Jones. A band leader, solo artist, collaborator, and CO treasure; her musical influence runs deep.

Jason Hicks (guitar/vocals): Guitarist extraordinaire and cofounder of the longstanding bluegrass band the Blue Canyon Boys, he has traversed the country sharing songs and telling stories, recording 7 full length albums and performing on some of this nation’s most beautiful stages.
Megan Marino (keys/vocals): A genre-hopping dynamo, her rich voice and immense versatility shine with “swagger” and “vocal audacity” whether it be the Met, on screen, or under the warm embrace of a giant Cottonwood tree.

Michael Mayes (guitar/vocals): A celebrated operatic career in both traditional and contemporary roles, Michaels mastery of dramatic vocal repertoire and “gloriously rich” baritone has conquered stages across the US and throughout Europe.

Together, they’re The Midnight Cricket Club, where musical boundaries vanish, and the night comes alive with unforgettable songs!

Jan Miller Studio Artists

About Studio Artists

Each year, five talented artists join us for a season-long residency, appearing throughout our community and receiving invaluable career guidance and individualized instruction. 

2023-24 Jan Miller Singers

Nicole Heinen, soprano
Alexandra Sanchez, mezzo-soprano
Zachary Taylor, tenor
Bernardo Medeiros, baritone

Loosey LaDuca

About Loosey

Loosey LaDuca is a nationally renowned drag performer, most recently having been featured on season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While on the show, she garnered fame for her impressions of Dolly Parton and Joan Rivers, as well as her talent show performance of her original song, “Let Loose.” Loosey is originally from Ansonia, Connecticut, where she got her start in musical theatre.

William "Bill E." Stitt | Scott Jones


Food will be catered by William “Bill E.” Stitt. He owns Bill-E’s the Restaurant in Fairhope, AL and sells Bill E’s Small Batch Bacon served at Jackson’s and Iron Restaurant.

Wine & southern spirits will be served by Scott Jones from Birmingham, AL. He owns “Jones is Thirsty ” and was the Executive Editor for Food & Wine and Southern Living.

A Sneak Peek Into the Lineup for Songs Down South!

Songs Down South Sponsors

Table Sponsors

Paul & Lynne Tobin
Sheila & Bobby Dunn
Ruth Harper
Diane Appleyard & David Richbourg
Michael Riesberg
Marte Picker
Justine Simoni
Jan & Ron Miller

Stadium Sponsors

Aaron Erskine
Brian & Marie Baumgardner
Patricia Woodburn
Dr. Juliet DeCampos & Keith M. Kundahl
William A. “Tony” McDonald, M.D.
Allan Benton & Mark Chastain

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