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FCO Launches New Season with a Celebration of Aaron Copland

October 30, 2023 -- First Coast Opera launched its new season last weekend with Copland’s America, its annual dinner show. Patrons enjoyed a meal provided by St. Augustine’s own La Cocina International restaurant. Copland, of course, is Aaron Copland, a prolific American composer often referred to as the “Dean of American Composers.” In a life that spanned 1900 to 1990, he wrote numerous important works, both instrumental and vocal, among them Appalachian Spring, Lincoln Portrait, Rodeo, Billy the Kid, Fanfare for the Common Man, arrangements of Old American Songs, and his one opera, The Tender Land.

General and Artistic Director, Curtis Tucker, narrated the program and even took a turn on stage. “The Tender Land, which was the focus of this year’s program, was composed from 1952 to 1954, and was originally intended for television,” explained Tucker. “It never made it onto the small screen. It did, however, enter the opera repertory, premiered by New York City Opera in 1954. The opera is set on a small midwestern farm in the 1930s at the time of the Spring harvest and high school graduation.”

Tucker was recognized on the occasion of his tenth anniversary with the company. He now turns his attention to the December production of La Bohème, to be presented at Lewis Auditorium on December 30 and 31.

First Coast Opera is proud of their season supporters: Bank of America; Treasury on the Plaza; Tiberio Foundation; Fisher, Tousey, Leas & Ball, P.A; Gathered Events and Rentals; and Ameriprise. In addition to our sponsors, support for this event is provided by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council and the Florida Division of Arts and Culture.

From Left to right: Curtis Tucker, Aaron Smith, Deborah Smith, Megan Warburton, Caitlyn McKechney, Dirk Gavin McCoy, Jacob Pence.

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