History Of First Coast Opera

First Coast Opera began as the vision of soprano Barbara Norris and her husband, Anthony Fast, opening with An Evening of Opera in January, 2000. That August, they presented Voices of Love, in the magical ambiance of the “swimming pool” at the Lightner Museum. The Company owes much of its initial success to the generous sponsorship of the Lightner Museum and its staff. Productions included Hansel & Gretel, Madama Butterfly, The Magic Flute, HMS Pinafore, The Mikado, Babes in Toyland, and The Pirates of Penzance.

The founders left Florida for Asheville, North Carolina, with a final concert - Addio! - in May 2008. Since then, First Coast Opera has produced Master Class, Three Penny Opera, La Bohème, Tosca, The Barber of Seville, and Turandot.

FCO has also become known for its series of cabarets and concert-style productions, including: Cabaret Italian Style, Cabaret Parisien, Cabaret Español, Romanza: Songs of Love, Cabaret Americana, Voices of Love-Encore!, Grandi Voci, Viva Espana, La Passione, A Gilbert & Sullivan Evening, Opera’s Greatest Hits, and A Gershwin Evening.

Under the leadership of former Presidents Pamela Tsitos, Dulcy Freeman and Adam Mayo, plus five years of Nancy Perry’s stewardship, First Coast Opera has grown professionally and financially. In 2014, FCO hired Curtis Tucker, a director/conductor/composer with 20 years’ experience in opera production, as its Artistic Director.

First Coast Opera is entering its 17th season which will include, Mario Lanza - Hollywood Tenor, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, and Two Trials.