From the Executive Director/Conductor

July 8, 2013

Dear Friends,

I am delighted to welcome you to Knoxville Opera’s 36th Season, highlighted by many exciting artists performing Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann, Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love and Bellini’s Norma at the magnificent Tennessee Theatre. I encourage you to explore our entire website which provides details about all of our wonderful activities.

Since I began my tenure here in 2005, our audience has been treated to many memorable performances by extraordinary artists. Joyce El-Khoury, Rachele Gilmore, Noah Stewart, Daniel Sumegi, Manrico Tedeschi and Talise Trevigne have been heard in the world’s major opera houses since their appearances with Knoxville Opera and “you heard them here first.” During this period Knoxville Opera has grown its repertoire with the company premieres of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West, Massenet’s Manon and Bellini’s I Puritani. This season’s premiere of Bellini’s extraordinary Norma continues this expansion with Boito’s Mefistofele to come in 2015.

Given the difficult economic times we live in, you will be happy to know that due to conservative financial disciplines and the generosity of government agencies, corporations, foundations and individuals like you, Knoxville Opera has just concluded its 8th consecutive debt-free season. Further, our $350,000 operating reserve ensures the company’s ability to expand its activities without interruption. Funding during the past two seasons, including the highest grants received in our history from the Tennessee Arts Commission and a $187,000 bequest from the Estates of Sammie Lynn and Eugene Puett have dramatically contributed to our fiscal stability. Deep appreciation goes to all whose generous support during these years has assisted us in establishing a solid financial foundation which empowers Knoxville Opera to serve our community.

This season we will present more than 75 education/outreach programs that will serve 100,000 people in our East Tennessee community and beyond. Let me mention some of the highlights:

• Building upon the success of the last two seasons’ in-school productions of Gounod’s Romeo & Juliette and Rossini’s Cinderella for 23,000 students, this coming season we will take Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love into schools along with our cornerstone program, Opera 101.

• 5th annual Knoxville Opera Goes to Church…A Celebration of Talent! concert at New Covenant Baptist Church on October 6, 2013. A delayed telecast is planned as well

• 13th annual Knoxville Opera Rossini Festival International Street Fair in Downtown Knoxville featuring 800 performers and more than 100 food and artisan vendors (April 12, 2014).

I look forward to having you in our audience for another unforgettable season!





Brian Salesky
Executive Director and Conductor

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