Home Arts & Culture Grab Your Good Boots for the Songs Down South

Grab Your Good Boots for the Songs Down South

Janinah Burnett

From Opera to Opry; A festival of southern music & food. 


On November 9th, Pensacola Opera heads down south with a festival of southern food, music, and spirits that you won’t want to miss!

Bill-E Stitt from Bill-E’s restaurant in Fairhope, AL will be serving award-winning barbecue, bacon, and all the sides you could hope for. Fill up your plate and then grab a specialty cocktail, wine, or beer curated by Scott Jones, a Birmingham native who owns a wine education and tasting company.

Did we mention that the food & drinks are unlimited?

After dinner, we’ll head inside for a concert that will make you laugh, stomp your boots, and soothe your soul featuring three headlining acts: Opera Cowgirls, Janinah Burnett, and The Midnight Cricket Club. Leading you through the evening is our emcee–nationally-renowned drag artist Loosey LaDuca appearing as none other than Dolly Parton!

“The great thing about opera singers is that they usually have a variety of talents,” says Artistic Director Corey McKern. He continues, “For Songs Down South, I wanted to bring in internationally trained opera singers to perform music that they know and love outside of the traditional operatic canon. You will hear opera singers perform like they would after a show late at night amongst their friends. This is truly going to be a one-of-a-kind event.”

The details: 

Event: Songs Down South
What: One-Night-Only Festival of Southern Music, Food, and Spirits
Date: Thursday, November 9th
Location: Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio, Pensacola State College

Festival Ticket: $125 (All-Inclusive!)
Concert-Only Ticket: $75

Opera Cowgirls

Opening the concert is the Opera Cowgirls, performing opera, country, and bluegrass in a way that has never been heard in Pensacola. By blending the greatest operatic hits with some country flavor, the Cowgirls have proven that they can truly cover Puccini to Parton.

Janinah Burnett

Bringing the heart of the program is Janinah Burnett, with an intimate piano-only set. Burnett is fresh off of Broadway as part of Phantom of the Opera’s closing cast; she previously spent eight seasons as a Metropolitan Opera principal artist.

The Midnight Cricket Club

Bringing us home for the evening is The Midnight Cricket Club, founded by married opera singers Michael Mayes and Megan Marino. Both enjoy thriving opera careers–Mayes has performed on the Pensacola Opera stage in La bohème, The Barber of Seville, and Dead Man Walking. During the pandemic, his upbringing in Cut and Shoot, Texas inspired the group to get back to their roots of playing folk, country, and bluegrass.

Loosey LaDuca

Adding a vibrant southern splash is the emcee for the evening, Loosey LaDuca. Loosey is a nationally renowned drag performer, most recently having been featured on season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. While on the show, she garnered fame for her impressions of Dolly Parton and Joan Rivers. She will be hosting Songs Down South as Dolly Parton herself and providing her own musical and comedic elements throughout the evening.

Find more information about the Foo Foo Fest events, and upcoming show details by visiting the Pensacola Opera website.

Get ready for a boot-scootin’ good time!

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Makenna Curtis is a Pensacola local with a BIG heart for her hometown. Motherhood, storytelling, helping others, and celebrating the small things in life are just a few of her favorite things. Makenna graduated the University of West Florida with a degree in Communications and Advertising in 2017. Her passion for living life to the fullest and connecting with others makes having a conversation or reading her work easy!