Other Guild Events
Annual Membership Party
This social event kicks off each new season of activities. It is held in the early of part each season and focuses on members getting to know members. Wine, heavy Hors d’ Oeuvres, and entertainment is included.
This major fundraiser of the Knoxville Opera Guild is an elegant black tie affair held in the fall each year. A cocktail hour with silent auction precedes a gourmet meal that is accompanied by fine wines and spirits and entertainment. As dinner concludes, a short but spirited live auction is held. Dancing continues till midnight. The themes of many of our gala balls come from operas being performed by Knoxville Opera during that performance season.
An excellent beginning to delightful performances are the Guild’s pre-opera meals. All events are timed so attendees have sufficient time to arrive at the Tennessee Theatre before the curtain goes up.
Since 1998, the Knoxville Opera Guild has held an annual martini party to break the winter doldrums. Originally associated with the annual Rossini Festival, the event featured the Rossini Funtini Martini. In recent years, special martinis have been developed to support different themes. For example, the 2007 Martini Party celebrated the Knoxville Opera production of Carmen with a Spanish decor and featured the El Matadore martini. In 2008, the Guild chose to celebrate a fine Irish tradition with a St. Paddy’s Martini Party featuring such special martinis as the Shamrock, the Blarney Stone and the Virgin Leprechaun. In addition to a variety of great martinis (and wines for those that prefer the softer spirits), this event consists of a heavy hors d’oeuvres buffet, a silent auction, and live entertainment.
Each year, Knoxville Opera Guild arranges a series of special Monday night dinners at some of Knoxville’s finest restaurants. Opera lovers of all ages enjoy dinner and spirits together, have an opportunity to meet new friends or simply get to know each other better. Each dinner features performances by guest and local artists.
The Guild welcomes the arrival of the summer season with its annual croquet tournament. Celebrating along the banks of the Tennessee River, guests are urged to dress in white sports attire or period costumes to compete for best “master and mistress of the mallet.” Matches continue through the afternoon following a double elimination tournament format. Those eliminated cheer on the survivors while everyone partakes in a variety of food and beverages. A special feature of this event is a civilized partaking of champagne, strawberries, and cream. Awards for best vintage female and male costumes are made along with recognition of the day’s croquet champions.
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
MONC is designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. The auditions are held in 55 districts comprising 15 regions in the USA and Canada. Approximately 1500 singers audition annually, starting at the District level, with winners advancing to the Regional Auditions. Approximately 20-25 Regional winners are brought to New York as National Semi-Finalists for musical preparation under the guidance of the Metropolitan Opera artistic staff. Approximately 10 Semi-Finalists are advanced to the Grand Finals. Approximately 5 Finalists are selected as National Council winners, and awarded $15,000. About 100 former MONC Auditioners are on the Metropolitan Opera roster annually. The Middle and East Tennessee District Auditions alternate yearly between Knoxville and Nashville and are supported jointly by the Knoxville Opera Guild and the Nashville Opera Guild.
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