For the Love of Opera

Patrons of the Pensacola Opera have a lot to look forward to in 2022 

Pensacola Opera’s Director of Education & Artists in Residence/Assistant Conductor Cody Martin shares why 2022 is shaping up to be one of the best years for the opera yet.

Q: What’s to be expected during the new opera season when it kicks off in January?

A: As we were putting together this new season, we felt some uplifting performances would be appreciated after the last two years, and we have two all-time favorites coming up. The first is Mozart’s The Magic Flute (January 28 and 30), which is so inspiring and uplifting. Then in March, we have The Barber of Seville (March 11 and 13), which is a fun comedy. These both feature a variety of recognizable melodies and tunes that many have probably heard but didn’t realize were from operas. Both are great for someone who has never been to an opera or someone who attends all the time.

Q: In addition to these featured performances, are there some smaller events opera fans can take advantage of as well?

A: Of course! We always have a series of smaller events that happen around these major performances. One, in particular, is the Brown Bag Opera, which is hosted monthly during the season and is a free mid-day performance by our Artists in Residence. These performances are 45 minutes and they include favorite arias, duets, and popular songs, and they are a great way to spend a lunch break. They are sure to brighten up any day.

Q: The calendar this season also shows a popular event that combines opera with some of Pensacola’s best culinary offerings. Tell us about Bourbon & Broadway!

A: In February we’re doing a Bourbon & Broadway event (February 9), which is a program of Broadway favorites throughout different eras. It’s paired with a bourbon tasting, which is being led by Old Hickory Whiskey Bar. This year we’re adding a BBQ element to it, so that portion is being catered by Culinary Productions. We started this event a few years ago, originally as Bourbon & Blues. It’s a really fun event that combines musical performances and delicious tastings.

Q: That’s such a unique aspect of Pensacola—it’s an incredibly creative and talented community that comes together so much to highlight everything the coastal area has to offer.

A: We are so fortunate in being a town of our size to have all of these arts and creative organizations, and anytime we have an opportunity to collaborate, we jump at those opportunities. In fact, we’re doing a Gallery Talks for The Magic Flute on January 23 at the Pensacola Museum of Art. Before productions on the main stage, we typically partner with the Museum for Art for a gallery talk presentation. We go there into their space and do a presentation about the upcoming performance, in this case, The Magic Flute—talk about it, sing a few selections—and then the Museum of Art talks about a topic somehow related to the production. In this case, they will be talking about specific costumes from that time period and the visual aspects. It’s a really fun and interesting event every time.