Rock the Runway fundraiser blends music with fashion


Have you ever wondered what would happen if you combined the elements of fashion, rock music, theatre, and Amadeus Mozart? What would this very unique, and rather intriguing mashup look like, and how would that come together?  

You’ll have an opportunity to find out at Pensacola Opera’s Rock The Runway on Feb. 22.  

“This is a brand new event for us,” Pensacola Opera General Director Chandra McKern said. “A lot of our patrons and community members are gonna remember last year we did an event called MODA, a fashion show, at Vinyl Music Hall. This year, we knew we wanted to do some type of fashion show event. But we wanted to be clear and true to our mission while attracting new audiences.” 

And what better than to return to Vinyl Music Hall for Rock the Runway.  

“This biggest thing for us is after we did MODA last year, several of the folks that were there, didn’t even know that it was a Pensacola Opera event,” McKern said. “They thought it was a fashion show. So we really wanted to make sure this year that Rock the Runway was centered around the mission of our organization. So we want to keep stressing that it’s not just a fashion show. It’s more about the experience.” 

Once you walk through the doors of the popular venue, you’ll notice the rolled out runway and seating along the catwalk and upper balcony. But rest assured, there’s one thing at Vinyl that’ll be familiar to everyone − music!  

“My husband (Pensacola Opera Artistic Director Corey McKern) and I know an opera singer, internationally known, and her name is Alyson Cambridge,” McKern said. “She lives in New York, and co-produced and co-created this Broadway show called Rock Me Amadeus LIVE. We thought Alyson would be the perfect person to bring in as a model and emcee with some of her bandmates from Rock Me Amadeus LIVE.” 

Sounds and songs from your favorite bands of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, mixed in with classical composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky, will likely prove to be an eclectic medley of music as models strut their stuff. The set and backdrop will be designed by Wardrobe Witchery Owner and well known costume designer Glenn Avery Breed. 

“It’s not going to be your typical fashion show,” McKern said. “It’s going to be fashion theatre. Think of it that way. Because when you go to an Opera, it encompasses sets and costumes and special effects, and we were like, ‘how can we make a fashion show a truly operatic performance?’” 

We can’t forget about the fashion. Featured looks from Dillards, SoBo Boutique, S & K Boutique, Jen’s Designer Deals and Randall’s Formal Wear will be front and center, with more than 30 models from the greater Pensacola area looking their most fierce.  

“There’s gonna be five different looks,” McKern said. “And the looks are gonna be based off of opera characters. We took five major operatic characters (including) Carmen, Rusalka, which is a mermaid, and kinda cool. Also, Queen of the Night from Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Aida, and Cherubino.” 

Floor, balcony and VIP tickets are now on sale. VIP tickets are $150, which include open bar access, reserved seating for the show, the power to choose your own seat, and entrance into the VIP reception afterward. A word of advice − choose your seat carefully. If you choose to sit closest to the runway, you must remain seated for the entirety of the show.  

“All proceeds for Rock the Runway go directly back to fulfilling our mission of enriching the culture by producing professional events for people of all ages, interests, and backgrounds,” McKern said. “It’s going to be a unique experience, and we hope to inspire and get new opera fans along the way.” 

For more information, visit www.pensacolaopera.com or call 850.433.6737.