First Coast Opera and A Classic Theatre will perform Penelope Ann’s Revenge: A Reading on Sunday, August 30, at 3:00pm in the sanctuary of Ancient City Baptist Church in Saint Augustine. This free program will be open to a limited in-person audience, with social distancing measures in place. It will also be streamed online.
A brand new one-act opera written by composer Curtis Tucker, FCO’s Artistic Director, and librettist Nelson Sheeley, Penelope Ann’s Revenge is a sequel to Arthur Sullivan’s one-act comedy Cox and Box. It continues where the other ended, with two brothers sharing a rented flat in Victorian England. Their lives are turned upside down when Penelope Ann, who was formerly engaged first to Box, then to Cox, arrives!
The cast features four FCO veterans. Singing the title role of Penelope Ann is soprano Elena Galván, who last appeared with FCO in Bernstein’s Broadway and The Stranger’s Tale. Mezzo soprano Emily Heumann sings Lydia. Emily sang Cherubino in FCO’s 2019 production of The Marriage of Figaro, and she was in town rehearsing The Little Prince when COVID-19 shut the production down. Tenor Daniel Bates returns as Box, having sung the tenor roles in two other Tucker/Sheeley operas, Jay in The Stranger’s Tale and B. B. Wolf in The Trial of B. B. Wolf. He also sang Beppe in FCO’s I Pagliacci. Singing Cox is baritone Sean Stork who has appeared in numerous First Coast Opera productions and concerts, most recently singing Tonio in I Pagliacci.
The two companies will mount a full joint production of both Cox and Box and Penelope Ann’s Revenge in the Spring of 2021. For more information about attending or watching the Reading, check www.firstcoastopera.com for more specific instructions about watching it online. Whether in-person or online, audiences will be able to hear the new one-hour piece, hear a Q&A with artists afterwards, and complete a survey to provide feedback about the work.
And visit www.aclassictheatre.org, as we are expanding our offerings during this pandemic hiatus presenting online productions via StA Home Theatre. and are looking forward to coming seasons with more exciting productions.