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40 Years to Culminate in One Night at the Opera

Date Posted: Aug 08, 2022

Pensacola Opera will celebrate 40 years during its one-night-only Foo Foo Festival performance

The Pensacola Opera has long been a feature of the Foo Foo Festival, having produced numerous major events throughout the two-week celebration over the years. This year will be no different, and it will be especially prominent considering the Pensacola Opera just celebrated its 40th anniversary season. Pensacola Opera’s General Director Chandra McKern chats about how the organization will celebrate its historic landmark with a spectacular program just for Foo Foo Festival.

Q: Four decades of Pensacola Opera in the city. That is a huge milestone—how is that going to be incorporated into the Foo Foo Festival program?

A: We’re really excited to do something to highlight the past 40 years. To do that, we’ll be bringing in previous artists who have sung here and previous artists in residence who have gone on to huge careers, as well as have current artists in residence, local singers, and local talent from the Choral Society, Children’s Chorus, Symphony, and Ballet, to have a grand showcase of talent here in Pensacola while honoring the past 40 seasons here at the Opera.

Q: It sounds like it will be quite the performance—a definite can’t miss.

A: These types of concerts are typically done at level one companies, and it’s something we probably wouldn’t have been able to produce without the grant funds from Foo Foo Festival. We have 16 singers coming in, a huge orchestra, and all of the local arts organizations, so without this grant, it would be very hard to produce it.

Q: So what is the event and what should patrons expect?

A: The program is called Forty Forward: Celebrating Four Decades of Opera in Pensacola. It’s a special one-night-only concert planned for Saturday, November 12 at 6:00 pm at the Saenger Theater. In addition to the talented performers that will be on stage, we’ll also have a video presentation that will showcase some of the Opera’s most beloved productions and memories from the years. In addition, we are going to be performing selections that we’ve never done here before on the main stage. This concert is really giving us an opportunity to perform challenging and exciting pieces we wouldn’t normally be able to produce in the main stage season, so I think it will be a real treat for the audience because it will be the music they have never heard from us before.

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