It’s great to be back in Knoxville! I just finished up a production of Carmen in South Africa and after 24 hours of flying, I am now here in Knoxville. I had so much fun working on last year’s production of Barber of Seville, and now I’ve returned for a very different kind of piece.
Brian Salesky has a wonderful knack for attracting some of the world’s greatest talent to Knoxville Opera, and I couldn’t be more excited to work with this remarkably talented group of performers. I did my graduate work in the theatre department of University of Tennessee, but I’ve been directing opera almost exclusively since my graduation in 2000. My stage direction for this production will be traditional in some senses, but I will also be experimenting with some interesting spatial relationships and conceptual ideas that I believe will help to heighten the relationships between characters and provide an interesting commentary on English society during the time of their Civil War.We are now a few days into our rehearsals, and things are already progressing well. I worked withYegishe, who is playing Arturo, six years ago in Boston. His voice is really one of the most beautiful I have ever heard. Rachele Gilmore is remarkable as Elvira, and her aria and mad scene are certain to take your breath away. The show is entertaining from start to finish, but I won’t give away the ending here. I look forward to seeing you at the show!