JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL: Susan Hellman stars in Susannah's lead title role.
St. Petersburg Opera opens its highly anticipated production of Susannah this evening. The popular American opera follows an innocent Tennessee mountain girl accused of sinful behavior by her town’s church-going elders.
Penned by Carlisle Floyd in the 1950s — then a professor at Florida State University — the opera will feature a member of the original cast and Floyd will be in residence this week participating in SPO events. The opera stars Susan Hellman as Susannah, Todd Donovan as Olin Blitch, Scott Wichael as Little Bat and Anthony Webb as Sam. Hellman and Donovan have had impressive career credits throughout the country and are based in St. Pete. Wichael is Kansas City-based but has also performed widely. Webb was hailed as a “nimble” young tenor by The New York Times. Fri., Jan. 31, 7:30 p.m., Sun., Feb. 2, 2 p.m. and Tue., Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m., Palladium Theatre, 253 Fifth Ave. N., stpetesburgopera.org.