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Opéra Mystique

Opera and the supernatural combine in FCO’s inaugural production at The Waterworks in Saint Augustine. 

February 2023


The Waterworks

184 San Marco Avenue

St. Augustine, FL, 32084

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Through two short operas written and performed in English, Opéra Mystique invokes mysticism and the afterlife to explore the idea that people believe what they want to believe.  Gustav Holst’s Sāvitri and Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium offer poignant glimpses into how people confront and react to death.  Small casts and orchestras will offer uniquely-intimate experiences, both thought-provoking and dramatic. Returning stage director Helena Binder (Madama Butterfly, La Traviata) leads this production conducted by FCO Artistic Director Curtis Tucker.

In Sāvitri, Gustav Holst, composer of the popular orchestral suite The Planets, combines eastern culture and western musical elements to tell an ancient story about Death’s claim upon a young man’s soul and his wife’s attempt to delay the inevitable.  Holst uses strings and woodwinds to create an ethereal sound that transports the audience to another realm.   Soprano Lisa Lockhart, Tenor Eric Botto, Bass-Baritone Lloyd Reshard, Jr. and dancer Christina Santos all return to First Coast Opera for this production.

The Medium by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti recalls film noir in this tragic drama of seances and unexplained phenomena.  The work was performed on Broadway in 1947, representing the first major and international success for the composer best known for the Christmas opera Amahl and the Night Visitors.  The story revolves around Madame Flora.  Does she really help others communicate with departed loved ones or is she merely a shyster taking their money?  Former Metropolitan Opera singer Heidi Skok makes her FCO debut as Madame Flora, joined by Eric Botto as Toby and other FCO newcomers Kyaunnee Richardson as Monica, Cass Panuska and Torlef Borsting as Mr. and Mrs. Gobineau, and Laura Kimmel as Mrs. Nolan.

The Medium
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