Press Release

Central Florida Vocal Arts Announces a Season of Vocal Voyages!

ORLANDO – (June 21, 2024) After a season which saw the sold out run of A Little Night Music at the Dr. Phillips Center, an immersive theatrical experience at CityArts with Dracula, the Musical, and the regional premiere of Scalia/Ginsburg, Central Florida Vocal Arts returns for its twelfth season with three thrilling productions that will take audiences on journeys both through time and space: The Pirates of
Penzance, The Light in the Piazza,
and The Ballad of Baby Doe.

A Season of Vocal Voyages sets sail in August with Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in the Alexis and Jim Pugh Theater at The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Directed by Selena Ambush and with music direction by Philip King, The Pirates of Penzance cast will be led by rising talent AJ Morales, last seen in Dracula, the Musical and A Little Night Music, as the young pirate apprentice Frederic and beloved Central Florida actress, Sarah Beth Ganey as his love interest, Mabel. CFVA’s Artistic Director Eric Pinder will take to the stage as the tongue-twisting Major General Stanley, and Chris Teixeira will lead the bumbling band of pirates as the Pirate King. The Pirates of Penzance will also feature Metropolitan Opera alumna, soprano Susan Neves as Ruth, the “Piratical Maid of all work.”

The stellar voices of the cast will shine against the lush backing of Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of its founder, Aaron Collins. This is the seventh collaboration between Space Coast Symphony Orchestra and Central Florida Vocal Arts, and the third to take place at the Dr. Phillips Center. Following performances at the Dr. Phillips Center on August 9th, 10th, and 11th, The Pirates of Penzance will travel to the East Coast to perform semi-staged productions for the Space Coast Symphony’s audiences August 17th at The Scott Center in Melbourne, and August 18th at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center.

In October, Central Florida Vocal Arts will present Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza at the Universal Orlando Foundation Theatre at Orlando Family Stage. The winner of six 2005 Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, CFVA’s production will be directed by lauded performer and director, Ayo Jeriah Demps, with music direction by Philip King. Demps, celebrated for their innovative casting and direction,
will be a delightful addition to CFVA’s directorial line up.

The Light in the Piazza is based upon the 1950s novella of the same title, by Elizabeth Spencer, The work centers the experiences of American mother and daughter duo, Margaret and Clara Johnson on a trip to Florence, Italy. While there, Clara meets and falls in love with a local young man and their relationship blossoms quickly, despite the language barrier and cultural differences. This coming-of-age story
is made more complex, due to a childhood injury that has left Clara with limited mental faculties and developmental delays that have made it difficult for Clara to connect with her peers platonically or romantically. Clara’s mother Margaret thus struggles with her own anxieties in allowing her daughter the independence to fall in love, and risk the very likely heartbreak. Throughout the work, themes of love, acceptance, and the complexities of familial relationships are explored against the backdrop of an enchanting Italian cityscape.

This holiday season, Central Florida Vocal Arts will relaunch their holiday entertainment group, Belles & Beaux, under the artistic direction of Sahid Pabon and Philip King. Showcasing the finest vocal talent our community has to offer, Belles & Beaux will host engaging performances throughout Central Florida, ensuring all residents and visitors can enjoy the musical sounds of the season, cheering both
young and old; connecting with both the joyful and lonely.

CFVA will conclude its 2024-25 season with the contemporary American opera The Ballad Baby Doe under the banner of Opera del Sol. The Ballad of Baby Doe, composed by Douglas Moore with an English-language libretto by John Latouche, explores the lives of historical figures Horace Tabor, a wealthy mine owner, and Elizabeth “Baby” Doe Tabor. Set in Central City Colorado in the 1870s, a young and ambitious Baby Doe, arrives from Wisconsin, seeking a new life. She catches the eye of Tabor who is captivated by her charm and beauty and despite being married with children, Tabor pursues her, eventually divorcing his wife, Augusta to marry Baby Doe.

Throughout the opera, the relationship is tested by external pressures and internal conflicts but Baby Doe’s loyalty, in the face of insurmountable hardship is unwavering and underscores her deep love and commitment. The Ballad of Baby Doe is a poignant tale of love, ambition, and the enduring human spirit juxtaposed against the tumultuous American West.

In addition to these Mainstage offerings, CFVA will be found across our community, collaborating with Fringe Festival, Creative City Project and FusionFest among other arts partners. Central Florida Vocal Arts’ Season of Vocal Voyages promises to captivate audiences of all ages and backgrounds with compelling storytelling and the extraordinary vocal talent for which CFVA and Opera del Sol are known!

About Central Florida Vocal Arts
Central Florida Vocal Arts uses our platform in the performing arts to build a better Central Florida community through education, performance, and appreciation. A non-profit music advocacy organization, we are dedicated to re-imagining the future of vocal arts. We provide the highest quality training to artists of all ages while also offering performance opportunities to emerging and professional artists. We use the arts to create tangible social good in our community.

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