First Coast Opera presented “I Pagliacci” and “The Stranger’s Tale,” accompanied by an orchestra of 18 musicians, at Flagler College’s Lewis Auditorium on Feb. 10 and 11.
Maestro Curtis Tucker weaved his self-composed “The Stranger’s Tale” into Ruggero Leoncavallo’s classic story of betrayal and intrigue among a travelling theatrical troupe, creating a cohesive double bill that took place in present-day Central Park.
“The Stranger's Tale,” a modern portrait of hope and humanity originating in the unlikeliest of places, served as Act 1, and “I Pagliacci” followed as Act 2. A single story line continued throughout, with the ill-fated Pagliacci falling to his knees before the Stranger, acknowledging the relationship between man’s frailty and the road to his redemption. This all occurred in but a single day in Central Park.
In keeping with modern and historical traditions, “The Stranger's Tale” was sung in English, while “I Pagliacci” was performed in Italian. Supertitles were used for both, and using original languages kept the musical integrity of both pieces, while massaging the stories into a single tale.
This closes out the 18th season for First Coast Opera. The public is invited to the organization’s annual fundraising gala in St. Augustine on Feb. 24 from 6-8 p.m. The evening will include professional singers, a special silent auction, a buffet of heavy hors d’oeuvres and refreshments. A suggested donation of $75 per person is encouraged. To RSVP and for more information, please e-mail FCOpera@gmail.com.
The 2018–2019 Season will highlight Mozart’s traditional and well loved “THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO” (Le Nozze di Figaro). Follow FCO on its First Coast Opera Facebook page for upcoming events and productions.