From the Executive Director/Conductor
August 1, 2012
I am delighted to welcome you to Knoxville Opera’s 35th Anniversary Season, filled with exciting artists performing Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West and Rossini’s Cinderella at the magnificent Tennessee Theatre. I encourage you to explore our entire website which provides details about all of our wonderful activities.
Artistically, the past seven years have featured many memorable performances by extraordinary artists. Singers like 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, Massenet’s Manon and Bellini’s I Puritani. This season’s premiere of Puccini’s extraordinary The Girl of the Golden West continues this expansion with Bellini’s Norma to come in 2014.
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 last season’s in-school production of Gounod’s Romeo & Juliette, this year we will present Rossini’s Cinderella to 12,000 students in their schools along with our cornerstone program, Opera 101.
- 4th annual Knoxville Opera Goes to Church…A Celebration of Talent! at Greater Warner Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church (to be telecast on East TN PBS for the first time) (9/30/12)
- 6th annual Oak Ridge Community Concert at Oak Ridge High School (1/13/13)
- 12th annual Knoxville Opera Rossini Festival International Street Fair on Downtown Gay Street and Market Square. 800 performers and 100+ food and artisan vendors will be there for your enjoyment along with the traditional Children’s FunZone on Market Square (4/27/13)
When I began my tenure in Knoxville in 2005 my primary focus was on bringing the company out of a financial crisis. 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 7th consecutive debt-free season. Further, our nearly $300,000 operating reserve ensures the company’s ability to continue our activities without interruptions. Recent funding dramatically contributing to our financial stability have been the highest grants received in our history from the Tennessee Arts Commission (for 2012 and 2013) and a $120,000 bequest from the Estates of Sammie Lynn and Eugene Puett. Deep appreciation goes to all whose support during these difficult economic years has assisted us in establishing a solid fiscal foundation which empowers Knoxville Opera to serve our community.
I look forward to having you in our audience for another unforgettable season!
Executive Director and Conductor