Olga Perez Flora, mezzo soprano
John Dooley, Baritone
Sharon Kessler-Dooley, Soprano
Dirk Gavin Mc Coy, Baritone
Lisa Lockhart, Soprano and Artistic Director, has gathered an amazing cast of vocalists to present the opening Headline Show for Romanza 2020. Sposi Cantante, the Singing Spouses, will appear on Friday evening, May 1, in a performance entitled Love and Marriage: the Bliss and Agonies of the Heart.
The cast includes:
Shannon Kessler-Dooley, Soprano: known for her lyricism and expressiveness, Ms. Dooley’s most recent operatic credits include: Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus with Opera Wilmington, Cio Cio San in Madama Butterfly with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, First Coast Opera, Erie Chamber Orchestra, and Mimi in La Boheme with Opera Theater of Connecticut.
John Dooley, Baritone: has been praised by the Wall Street Journal as “a warm, supple baritone. He is an outstanding crossover singer whose opera talent equals his flair for musical theater. Career highlights include the Emmy nominated Carousel with the New York Philharmonic Live from Lincoln Center, Badger the Miner in Tobias Picker’s Grammy nominated Fantastic Mr. Fox with Odyssey Opera/Boston Modern Orchestra Project and world premiers of Lysander in Michael Ching’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Olga Perez Flora, Mezzo Soprano: Cuban-American, Olga Perez Flora, has been lauded by Opera News for her “smoky tones” and “firm pleasant voice and lively poise”. Recent engagements include Eunice in A Streetcar Named Desire, de Falla’s El Amor Brujo, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, and Handel’s Messiah. An internationally known recitalist, Dr. Perez Flora has concertized across the US and in Italy.
James Flora, Tenor: has been hailed for his “resonant, impeccably-trained voice and fearless singing” and has received acclaim in repertoire ranging from Verdi and Wagner to works by Carlisle Floyd and Daron Hagen where he sang Louis Sullivan from Hagen’s Shining Brow at Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece: Falling Water. James has performed leading operatic roles across the US including Alfredo Tamino, Pinkerton, Rodolfo and Don Jose.
Dirk Gavin McCoy, Baritone: Mr. McCoy has sung with the prestigious New York City Opera and Washington National Opera houses; covering or singing comprimario roles in both houses. He has appeared most recently as the baritone soloist in Carmen to Carousel for Grace’s UMC’s Recital Series and as Marcello in Pasta to Puccini/La Boheme with FCO. Previous FCO appearances include Sergeant Miller in Curtis Tucker’s The Stranger’s Tale, King Melchior in Amahl and the Night Visitors and Uncle Bonzo in Madama Butterfly.
Lisa Lockhart, Soprano and Artistic Director: critically acclaimed for her performances on opera and concert stages across the US and Europe, Ms. Lockhart has been featured in many local productions since moving to St. Augustine from the NY area five years ago. She recently appeared as Musette in First Coast Opera’s Pasta and Puccini, as soprano soloist in Carmen to Carousel for the Music at Grace Series, in Rutter’s Feel the Spirit with the St. Augustine Chamber Singers, as Countess Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro with FCO and FCO’s A Tribute to Marian Anderson. Sposi Cantante was conceived and directed by Ms. Lockhart.
This free performance at First United Methodist Church at 7:30 pm on May 1 is the opening show of the 2020 Romanza Festivale of Arts and Culture. An opportunity will be given for donations at the end of the performance.