Knoxville Opera History

Founded:1978 as Knoxville Civic Opera
Artistic Director: Edward Zambara (1978-1981)
Performance Space: Bijou Theatre, Capacity: 750 (built 1890s as vaudeville house)

1983: Company becomes fully professional; name changed to: Knoxville Opera Company

General Director/Principal Conductor:

Robert Lyall (1982-1999)
Francis Graffeo (2000-2005)
Brian Salesky (2005-present)

Performance Venues:

Civic Auditorium, Capacity 2,400
Tennessee Theatre, Capacity 1,600 (built in 1927)

Season Repertoire:

1978 SEASON:
LA TRAVIATA (OCT. ‘78)
Costa, Ziegler, Stewart, Lorey; Starr, Lucas

1979-80 SEASON:
THE MERRY WIDOW (OCT. ‘79)
Costa, Reardon, Harrington, Smith; Starr, Lucas
CARMEN (APR. ‘80)
Elias, Myers, Norman, Schexnayder; Rosekrans, Helfgot

1980-‘81 SEASON:
THE BARBER OF SEVILLE (OCT ‘80)
Ziegler, Britton, Lorey, Beni; Woitach, Morelock

1981-‘82 SEASON:
MADAMA BUTTERFLY (APR. ‘81)
Azuma, Shelly, Gibbs, Deaton; Lyall, Gutman

1982-‘83 SEASON:
LA BOHEME (OCT. ‘82)
Myers, South, Gibbs, Burchinal; Lyall, Lucas
DIE FLEDERMAUS (APR. ‘83)
Shearer, Belling, Sonnenberg, Parsons, Evitts; Lyall, Morelock

1983-‘84 SEASON:
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA/I PAGLIACCI (OCT. ‘83)
Berini, Rom, Dominguez, Burchinal; Lyall, Morelock
HANSEL AND GRETEL (DEC. ‘83)
Greene, Farr, Searle, Teachey; Fowler, Farlow
TOSCA (APR. ‘84)
Sundine, Di Giuseppe, Long, Smith; Lyall, Tavernia

1984-‘85 SEASON:
THE SOUND OF MUSIC (JUL. 1984)
McLeod, Albrecht, Barron; Lyall, Patton
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (OCT. ‘84)
Peters, Greer, Dietsch, Rouleau; Lyall, Symcox
CENDRILLON (DEC. ‘84)
Friede, Donahue, Olsen, Bassett; Lyall, McDonnough
IL TROVATORE (APR. ‘85)
Negri, Davidson, Bonanome, Edwards; Lyall, Morelock

1985-‘86 SEASON:
FAUST (NOV. ‘85)
Vanelli, Fowler, Cooper, Hines; Lyall, Strasfogel
SUSANNAH (APR. ‘86)
Esham, Evans, Bernadini, Wells; Lyall, Floyd

1986-‘87 SEASON:
SOUTH PACIFIC (JUL. ‘86)
McLeod, Penn, Miller, Martin; Lyall, Patton

RIGOLETTO (OCT. ‘86)
Luna, Kesling, Raitzin, Burchinal, Reid; Lyall, Morelock
ROMEO ET JULIETTE (APR. ‘87)
Friede, Thorburn, Fowler, Nimnicht, Rouleau; Lyall, Strasfogel

1987-‘88 SEASON:
THE MUSIC MAN (JUL.‘87)
Paschal, Massey; Lyall, Muni
LA BOHEME (OCT. ‘87)
Luna, Gutknecht, Hartfield, Brandstetter; Lyall, Bakman
THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO (APR. ‘88)
Erickson, Shearer, Pedrotti, Opalach; Lyall, Morelock
I AM THE WAY (J. Hines)(JUN. ‘88)
Allen, Williams, Harris, Harris, Lachonas, Marsh, Petersen, Hines; Lyall, daCambra

1988-‘89 SEASON:
OKLAHOMA (JUL. ‘88)
Braden, Hall, Bitzas, Owen; Lyall, Eddleman
LA TRAVIATA (OCT. ‘88)
Thorngren, Thomas, McNeil, Opthof, King; Lyall, Igesz
RACHEL (Coe) (APR. ‘89-World Premiere)
Zambalis, Harris, Longacre, Stephens; Lyall, Morelock

1989-‘90 SEASON:
MY FAIR LADY (JUL. ‘89)
Brennan, Foss, Perkins; Lyall, Julian
THE MAGIC FLUTE (OCT. ‘89)
Zhu, Saffer, Locke, Davies; Lyall, Lesenger
PORGY & BESS CONCERT (JAN. ‘90)
Hamm, Albert; Lyall
AIDA (APRIL ‘90)
Copley, Munzer, Bonanome, Rucker, Reid; Lyall, Morelock

1990-‘91 SEASON
:
THE KING AND I (JUL. ‘90)
Marsh, Stapleton, Foss; Lyall, Julian
LUCIANO PAVAROTTI IN CONCERT (OCT. ‘90)
MADAMA BUTTERFLY (NOV.‘90)
Kim, Bruno, Ashbaker, Steele; Lyall, Lloyd
DON GIOVANNI (APR. ‘91)
Davis, Harris, Thorburn, Wilborn, Gratton, Cokorinos; Lyall, Lesenger

1991-‘92 SEASON:
WEST SIDE STORY (JUL.‘91)
Brady, Anz, Scherer, De La Nuez, Titone; Lyall, Azenberg
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA (OCT. ‘91)
Berry, Davis, Parce, Havranek, Mentzel; Lyall, Lesenger
OPERA BELISSIMO (Concert)(JAN. ‘92)
Friede, Angell, Hartfield, Rucker; Lyall
CARMEN (APR. ‘92)
Lerner, Adkins, Baker, Shaw; Lyall, Brovsky

1992-‘93 SEASON:
MAN OF LA MANCHA (JULY ‘92)
Sarkesian, Scheppelman, Stapp; Trevor, Julian
LES CONTES D’HOFMANN (NOVEMBER ‘92)
Zambalis, Senter, Wolverton, Clark, Ulloa; Lyall, Lesenger
GLORIOUS SOUND OF WAGNER (Concert) (JAN. ‘93)
Copley, Hilt, Eckhoff; Lyall
OTELLO (APR. ‘93)
Luna, Booth, Bernardini, Cowan; Lyall, Morelock

1993-‘94 SEASON:
MUSIC OF THE NIGHT (Concert)(JUL. ‘93)
Hinchman, Brennan, Maguire, Raines; Lyall
DIE FLEDERMAUS (NOV. ‘93)
South, Paul, Stephenson, Hartfield, Garrison, Orth; Lyall, Lesenger
CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA/I PAGLIACCI (JAN.‘94)
Angell, Riel, Mussard, Sciuderi, Hartman; Lyall, Morelock
TOSCA (MAR.‘94)
Luna, Locke, Lightfoot, Ferrier; Lyall, Pfeiffer

1994-‘95 SEASON:
MORE MUSIC OF THE NIGHT (JUL.‘94)
Brennan, Beechman, Maguire, Nease; Lyall
RIGOLETTO (NOV. ‘94)
Guyer, Senter, Hartfield, Rucker, Bell; Lyall, Helfgot
COSI FAN TUTTE (JAN. ‘95)
Akre, Paul, Sparrow, Chester, Huddleston, Stephens; Lyall, Ehrman
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (MAR. ‘95)
Dunleavy, Wolfe, Wolverton, LeBron, Langan; Lyall, Takazauckas

1995-‘96 SEASON:
UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (OCT. ‘95)
Page, Pratnicki, Wolverton, Karel; Lyall, Gately
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (JAN.‘96)
Dunleavy, Nikkel, Fallon, Mattsey, Barrett, Roy; Lyall, Freeman
FAUST (MAR. ‘96)
Thomas, Meyer, Dupont, Wilson, Mobbs, Peytchinov; Lyall, Morelock

1996-‘97 SEASON:
SHOWBOAT/PORGY & BESS CONCERT (JUL. ‘96)
Martin, Hairston, Craig; Lyall
LA BOHEME (OCT. ‘96)
Guyer, Rogers, Hartfield, Mobbs, Irmiter, Short; Lyall, Kara
IL TROVATORE (JAN. ‘97)
Luna, Pratnicki, Buhl, Hartman, Harvey; Lyall, Micheli
DIE ZAUBERFLOTE (APR ‘97)
Thorngren, Ernest, Lord, Mattsey, Bell; Tiboris, Freeman

1997-‘98 SEASON:
MADAMA BUTTERFLY (NOV.‘97)
Delligatti, Manhart, Tanner, Huls Harvey; Lyall, Nikolaides
LA TRAVIATA (JAN. ‘98)
Schroeder, Bernardini, Steele; Lyall, Bamberger
CARMEN (APR. ‘98)
Livengood, Pulley, Zhang, Garvin, Harvey; Lyall, Freeman
GALA CONCERT (JUL. ‘98)
Zambalis, Rogers, Elias, Nagore, Rucker, Stephens; Lyall

1998-‘99 SEASON:
SALOME (OCT. ‘98)
Bryant, Shade, Winter, Meier, Brainerd; Lyall, Gately
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (FEB.‘99)
Melcher, Eberhardt, Kelly, Swanson, Neal, Whitfield; Dubberly, Freeman
AIDA (APR. ‘99)
Johnson, Dever, Giuliacci, McFarland, Stephens; Lyall, Morelock
DON GIOVANNI (JUL. ‘99)
Zambalis, Carter, Wolf, Wilson, Wentzel, Stephens, Eckhoff; Salesky, Major

1999-2000 SEASON:
GALA CONCERT WITH MARILYN HORNE (SEP. ’99)
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA (OCT. ’99)
Lattimore, Troxell, Ray, Ward, Prescott; Graffeo, Freeman
DER FLIEGENDE HOLLANDER (JAN. ’00)
Smith, Nickell, Hayes, Brainerd, Eckhoff; Minde, Holliday
TOSCA (APR. ’00)
Byers, Wolverton, McFarland, Stith; Coppola, Bamberger

2000-2001 SEASON:
RIGOLETTO (SEPT. ’00)
Johnson, Daniels, Scibelli, Ellis, Maynor; Graffeo, Gentilesca
ROBERTA PETERS IN RECITAL (OCT. ’00)
L’ELISIR D’AMORE (FEB. ’01)
Hinchman, Green, Brown, Strummer; Graffeo, Freeman
HMS PINAFORE (APR.’01)
Rogers, Luke, Anderson, MacNaughton, Davies, Krause; Graffeo, Bamberger

2001-2002 SEASON:
GIANNI SCHICCHI AND PAGLIACCI (OCT. 01)
Davis, Fray, Morris, Gustafson, Walters; Graffeo, Bruce
ROMEO ET JULIETTE (FEB. ’02)
Kolganova, Heller, Baylon, Berry, Hawks; Graffeo, Robison
LA CENERENTOLA (APR. ’02)
Palmour, Downen, Condy,. MacNaughton, Wentzel; Graffeo, Scarola
SUOR ANGELICA AND SIGNOR BRUSCHINO (APR. ’02)
Diltz, Rector, Smithey, Tremper, Walters, Guinn, McConico; Graffeo/Richter, Freeman

2002-2003 SEASON:
BEL CANTO TO BROADWAY (AUG.’02)
Rogers, Wells; Graffeo
THE MERRY WIDOW (NOV. ’02)
Palmour, Tremper, Mungo, Schmidt; Graffeo, Stephens
LA BOHÈME (FEB. ’03)
Major, Wilborn, Youngblood, Cofield, Faria, Guinn; Graffeo, Freeman
L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI (APR. ’03)
DuPlantis, Smithey, Nicolosi, Adams, Nelman, Jesse; Graffeo, Terrell
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (APR. ’03)
Diltz/Douglass, Farrar/Burton, Sumners/Sparkes, Guinn/Baker, Smithey; Graffeo, Freeman

2003-2004 26th SEASON:
BEL CANTO TO BROADWAY (SEPT. 03)
Studer, Michalis; Graffeo
TURANDOT (OCT. ’03)
Zhang, Clayton, Hayes, Eckhoff, Walters, Skoog, Freeman; Graffeo, Luchsinger
DIE FLEDERMAUS (FEB, ’04)
Shirvis, Simons, Nickell, Anthony, Sims, Deaton, Ward; Graffeo, Marvel
LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (APR. ’04)
Mongiardo, Nassief, Nicolosi, Kleyla, Lindskoog; Graffeo, McConnell
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA (APR. ’04)
Marlowe/Farrar, Stroupe/Kelly, Herrin/Lombardozzi, Baker/Marlowe, Irvin/Neace, McCracken; Graffeo/Fellenbaum, Freeman

2004-2005, 27th Season
:
BEL CANTO TO BROADWAY (SEPT. ’04)
Ziegler, Mabbs, Graffeo
THE MAGIC FLUTE (OCT. ’04)
Cofield, Carter, Van Hoven, Fandrei, Faria; Graffeo, Freeman, Jolley
THE MIKADO (FEB. ’05)
Bégué, Stains, Freeman, Hart, Deaton; Graffeo, Robison, Sams
THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT (APR. ’05)
Redding, Stephens, Downen, Burdette, Bussell; Graffeo, Davies
LA CAMBIALE DI MATRIMONIO AND ROMAN FEVER (APR. ’05)
Fowler/Marlowe, Herrin/Lloyd, Irvin, Marlowe, Clegg/Neace, Sasser/Westerman; Selia/Stroupe, D’Agostino/Kennedy, Andrews/Presley, Andrade de la Torre/Phillips; Fellenbaum, Freeman

2005-2006, 28th Season:
CATHERINE MALFITANO: FROM THE MET TO THE COPA (OCT. ’05)
Malfitano, Salesky
LITTLE WOMEN (NOV. ’05)
Marshall/D’Agostino, Wiseman/Nelson, Grest/McCaffrey, Fowler/Phillips, Tankersly/Kennedy, Limper, Lloyd, Herold, Poholek, Webb; Fellenbaum, Freeman, Cothran
MADAMA BUTTERFLY (FEB. ’06)
Esham, Pineda, Wiseman, Vanya, Gaertner, Lloyd; Salesky, Freeman, Rusnak
THE MOST HAPPY FELLA (APR. ’06)
Wiseman, D’Agostino, Marshall, Lloyd, Webb; Fellenbaum, Freeman

2006-2007, 29th Season:
MOZART OPERA GALA (OCT. ’06)
De Oliveira, Rogers, Dials, Nickell, Wiseman, Wilson, Freeman, Gaertner, Wentzel, Rodescu, Webb; Salesky
COSÌ FAN TUTTE (NOV. ’06)
Wiseman, Marshall, Greer, Webb, Marlowe; Fellenbaum, Freeman
LA BOHÈME (FEB. ’07)
De Oliveira, Wiseman, Vania, Gardner, Marlowe, Wentzel, Webb, Berry; Salesky, Freeman
CARMEN (MAY ’07)
Nickell, De Oliveira, Nelson, Limper, Rivero, Lloyd, Gaertner, Berry, Marlowe, Herold; Salesky, Orrios

2007-2008 SEASON, 30th SEASON:
OKTOBERFEST (OCT. ’07)
Greer, Pupu’a, Freeman; Salesky
THREE TENOR HALL OF FAME GALA (NOV. ’07)
Lozano, Rivero, Studebaker, Wentzel; Salesky
OAK RIDGE COMMUNITY CONCERT (NOV. ’07)
Dials, Lozano; Salesky
LA FORZA DEL DESTINO (FEB. ’08)
Scott, Tedeschi, Dietsch, Wentzel, Webb; Salesky, Freeman
TOSCA (APR. ’08)
Harris, Studebaker, Sumegi, Wanko, Berry; Salesky, Bamberger

2008-2009 SEASON, 31st SEASON:
OKTOBERFEST (OCT. ’08)
Moore, Cates, Pupu’a, House, Subia, Arnold, Stephens; Salesky, Freeman
HALLOWEEN SPECTACULAR (NOV. ’08)
Rogers, Di Simone, Anderson, Sumegi: Salesky
RIGOLETTO (FEB. ’09)
Trevegne, Dirlikov, Vania, Martinez, Ames; Salesky, Freeman
PAGLIACCI (APR. ’09)
El-Khoury, Hayes, Bearden, Fernandez; Salesky, Garner

2009-2010 SEASON, 32nd SEASON:
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH (OCT. ’09)
Ballew, Brown, Barner, Rodgers; Salesky
OAK RIDGE COMMUNITY CONCERT (JAN. ’10)
Barner, Moore, Stock, Gilmore, Freeman, Serr, Stevens, Lickiss, Rosevear; Salesky
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR (FEB. ’10)
Gilmore, Vania, Martinez, Wentzel; Salesky, Freeman
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (MAR. ‘10)
Moore, Schreiner, Keith, Freeman, Rodescu, Stevens, Stock; Salesky, Freeman
IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA (APR. ’10)
Redding, Pfund, Garland, Irvin, Burdette; Salesky, Marvel

2010-2011 SEASON, 33rd SEASON:
MADAME BUTTERFLY (OCT. 1 & 3, ’10)
Park, Shigematsu, Burcham, Womack, Joiner, Stock, Pope, Doherty, Natale; Salesky, Freeman
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (OCT. 24, ’10)
Jack, Rodgers, Williams, Brown, Stock, Ballew; Salesky
OAK RIDGE COMMUNITY CONCERT (JAN. 23, ’11)
Wilson, Rodgers, Eschbach, Lickiss, Stock, Doherty; Salesky
MANON (FEB. 11 & 13, ’11)
Trevigne, Wilson, Wentzel, Beyer, Guinn, House, Natale, Eschbach, Rosette; Salesky, Stickann
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOSPEL CHOIR AT PELLISSIPPI STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (FEB. 27, ’11)
Rodgers; Melton
I PURITANI (APR. 8 & 10, ’11)
Gilmore, Manucharyan, Martinez, Mobbs, DiSimone; Salesky, Marvel

2011-2012 SEASON, 34th SEASON
LA TRAVIATA (OCT. 28 & 30, ’11)
El-Khoury, Borichevsky, Womack, Thompson, Prewitt, Tittle, Van Druff, Doherty, Pope; Salesky, Stickann
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (OCT. 9, ’11)
Walker, Ballew, Thompson, Andrews, Smith, Van Druff, Borichevsky, Jack, El-Khoury; Salesky
OAK RIDGE COMMUNITY CONCERT (JAN. 23, ’12)
Lopez-Hernandez, Fitch, Bumpas, Turner; Salesky
ROMEO & JULIETTE (FEB. 10 & 12, ’12)
Bumpas, Doherty, Fitch, Lopez-Hernandez, Pope, Richardson, Roberts, Sipes, Stewart, Stock, Turner, Van Druff, Wentzel; Salesky, Evans
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOSPEL CHOIR AT PELLISSIPPI STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (FEB. 26, ’12)
Johnson, Rodgers, Gable, Jack, Harshaw, Hamilton, Smallwood, Williams, Coleman, Wrushen, Gamble; Melton
OTELLO (APR. 27 & 29, ’12)
Austin, Dimopoulou, Bearden, Stenson Roberts, Thompson, House, Stock, Miller; Salesky, Holliday

2012-2013 SEASON, 35th SEASON
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (SEP. 30, ’12)
Richardson, Clark, Harshaw, Wagoner, Lima, Thompson, Jack, Wilson; Salesky, Turner
DIE FLEDERMAUS (OCT. 26 & 28, ’12)
Anderson, Cucinotta, Lima, Anderson, Joyce, Scofield, Anderson, Duquella, Marvel, Crider, Ferguson; Salesky, Deedrick
OAK RIDGE COMMUNITY CONCERT (JAN. 13, ’12)
Brimer, Van Druff, Prewitt, Stock; Salesky
LA FANCIULLA DEL WEST (FEB. 8 & 10, ’13)
Scott, Tedeschi, Bearden, Stock, Skinner, Doherty, House, Joyce, Smithey, Johnson, Scofield, Richardson, Van Druff, Rivera, Dunn, Fitch; Salesky, Laciura
CINDERELLA (APR. 26 & 28, ’13)
Cucinotta, Roberts, Wool, Anchel, Glavin, Dailey, Garland; Salesky, Marvel

2013-2014 SEASON, 36th SEASON
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (OCT. 6, ’13)
Becker, Jack, Bowers, Beam, Rodgers, Barnett, Prewitt, Daniels, Serr, Trevigne, Wrushen, Thompson; Salesky, Turner
THE TALES OF HOFFMANN (OCT. 25 & 27, ’13)
Bowers, Trevigne, Beam, Van Druff, Serr, Thompson, Ferguson, Lyles, Johnson, House; Salesky, Stickann
THE ELIXIR OF LOVE (FEB. 14 & 16, ’14)
Nelman, Dovhan, Kohl, Anderson, Hagens; Salesky, Deedrick
NORMA (APR. 11 & 13, ’14)
Bard, Bridges, Pupu’a, Thompson, Barnett, Cepeda; Salesky, Bachman

2014-2015 SEASON, 37th SEASON
H.M.S. PINAFORE (NOV. 21 & 23, ’14)
DiSimone, Johnson, Wentzel, Kohl, Anderson, Cucinotta, Condy, Fitch, Eder; Salesky, Deedrick
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (JAN. 24, ’15)
Nickell, Roberts, Cheney, Hunter, Kuster, Jack, Babcock, Rodgers; Salesky, Turner
CARMEN (FEB. 13 & 15, ’15)
Winkler, Lopez-Hernandez, Johnson, Cheney, Babcock, Hagens, Hunter, Kuster, D’Affuso, Ennen, Duquella; Salesky, Hudson
IL TROVATORE (APR. 24 & 26, ’15)
Blackwell, Fitch, Bard, Martinez, Burton, Miller, Doherty; Salesky, Stickann

2015-2016 SEASON, 38th SEASON
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (SEP. 26, ’15)
Bearden, Jack, Rodgers, Singletary, Lima, Austin, Woods; Salesky, Turner
MEFISTOFELE (OCT. 9 & 11, ’15)
Singletary, Austin, Ford, Lima, Deady; Salesky, Deedrick
HANSEL AND GRETEL (FEB. 26 & 28, ’16)
Russell, Williams, Peterson, Bearden, Ramsey, Pafumi, Lerner; Salesky, Evans
TOSCA (APR. 30, ’16)
Johnson, Hoos, Burton, Marcinko, Bearden, McEuen, Kenton, Rosevear; Salesky, Stickann

2016-2017 SEASON, 39th SEASON
KNOXVILLE OPERA GOES TO CHURCH…A CELEBRATION OF TALENT! (OCT. 1, ’16)

THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (OCT. 21 & 23, ’16)
Orth, Anderson, Coolen, Kohl, Bank, Wentzel; Salesky, Deedrick
LA BOHÈME (FEB. 10 & 12, ’17)
Cambio, Troxell, Lima, Verm, Cioffari; Salesky, Deedrick
MARIA STUARDA (APR. 28 & 30, ’17)
Bard, Daniel, Guzman, Bearden, Stokes, Barnett; Salesky, Deedrick

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  1. April 27, 2017

    I’m really thankful for the facts you published right here.
    Because now this bowers every student and me too, it is very interesting to read about History | Knoxville Opera! https://goo.gl/00ITyv

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