First Coast Opera presented “The Stranger’s Tale” and “I Pagliacci”, two operas interwoven into one production, at Lewis Auditorium on Saturday, February 10, at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, February 11, at 2:00 p.m.
First Coast Opera Artistic Director Curtis Tucker is the author of The Stranger’s Tale, which tells the story of a single day in New York City’s Central Park and serves as the first act of the paired opera. A single storyline connected the action between this tale and Ruggero Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, which makes up the second act.
The Stranger’s Tale begins with a homeless man (Lou Agresta) sleeping on a park bench and recounts his interactions with other people in the park. In the second act, Canio’s Clown Show (the troupe from I Pagliacci) arrives. Songs and characters are intertwined between the two parallel storylines. The Stranger’s Tale is sung in English, while I Pagliacci is sung in the original Italian.
Cast members included Elena Galván, Jamison Walker, Daniel Bates, Sarah Beckham-Turner, Sean Christopher Stork, Gregory Gerbrandt, Daniel Bates, and Dirk Gavin McCoy. First Coast Opera Artistic Director Curtis Tucker serves as the conductor and stage director, and an orchestra of 19 musicians accompanied this production.