Just when you think all the fun holiday events are over, there’s still one more!
Mark your calendar for the Knoxville Opera 2011 Preview at Pellissippi State Community College. The event takes place on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 11:50 a.m.-12:45 p.m., in the Clayton Performing Arts Center, on the Pellissippi Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road.
Knoxville Opera conductor Brian Salesky and Knoxville Opera Studio artists bring music and drama to campus for the event, and the community is invited to attend. The presentation is sponsored by the student club Gnosis and the Music program.
The event is free, but donations will be accepted at the door for the Pellissippi State Foundation on behalf of the Music Scholarship fund.
The performance includes excerpts from Knoxville Opera’s upcoming productions of Jules Massenet’s “Manon” and Vincenzo Bellini’s “I Puritani” (“The Puritans”), along with selections from operas by Giacomo Puccini and Georges Bizet.
“This will be a superbly entertaining program, featuring sensational music from the 2011 Knoxville Opera productions,” said Annie Gray, Gnosis faculty sponsor.
The audience will meet Manon Lescaut, the passionate young girl whose lust for adventure, physical pleasure and wealth inspired Massenet (1842-1912) to compose what is said to be the most French of all French operas.
Next, Salesky and company move to England with selections from “I Puritani.” The Italian composer Bellini’s (1801-1835) work is set during the English Civil War and revolves around the radiant Puritan bride-to-be Elvira.
“‘I Puritani’” is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for Knoxville…” said Salesky, “a feast of ravishing soaring melodies, astounding vocal fireworks and the highest notes ever sung on the Knoxville Opera stage.
“This opera most recently thrilled audiences in New York City, when the legendary team of Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti took on the principal roles. Knoxville Opera’s production will feature young Metropolitan Opera stars Rachele Gilmore and Yeghishe Manucharyan.”
Bill Brewer, Pellissippi State’s Music program coordinator, is excited at the prospect of having the Knoxville Opera perform at the college.
“We are very fortunate to have a professional opera company in Knoxville where our music students can experience opera firsthand,” he said. “They study the workings of the genre in the classroom but cannot fully grasp the beauty and drama unless it is experienced live. Hopefully, because of this presentation, many more of our students will take advantage of the ‘opera experience’ in the near future.”
For more information about the performance at Pellissippi State, contact Annie Gray, (865) 694-6492, or the Music Office, (865) 539-7178.