The ultimate culmination of the best of all the arts, performances held at the Historic Tennessee and Bijou Theatres. Knoxville Opera's 42nd Season includes two beloved, popular operas – Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet – and the southern U.S. premiere of Nkeiru Okoye’s riveting Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom. Add 100 education/community events to those three foundation blocks, and this promises to be a fabulous year!
The tragic story of Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers takes the stage in February in a revival of our unique 2012 production which includes dramatic readings from the original Shakespeare play in English throughout the performance. Romeo and Juliet is the perfect gift for your Valentine! Yulan Piao makes her debut as Juliet after 1st Place wins at both the Vienna Summer Music Festival and Verismo Opera competitions. Mackenzie Whitney, one of America’s fast-rising young tenors, debuts as Romeo. Metropolitan Opera bass Andrew Wentzel graces our stage as Friar Laurence. Stage Director Candace Evans returns to recreate her beautiful, poignant production.
We reach the apex of the season with Harriet Tubman, a historic production for our company and a significant Knoxville celebration of the iconic heroine of the 19th century Underground Railroad. The captivating music and words by African-American composer Nkeiru Okoye is a magical patchwork of styles including spirituals, juba, ragtime, field hollers, work songs, gospel, jazz, and shouts. Four artists from the 2014 NYC premiere will be recreating their roles, including the stunning portrayal of Harriet by Metropolitan Opera soprano Janinah Burnett, who is currently starring in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Ms. Okoye, cast members, and local soloists will be featured in several education and community events honoring the inspiring, courageous historical figure including programs in schools, at the Beck Cultural Exchange Center, the Public Defender’s Office after-school program, our our African-American Voices series, and the 19th Annual Knoxville Opera Rossini Festival International Street Fair.
For a complete calendar, cast biographies, and information about Knoxville Opera events, please visit the Opera’s website.