Boito’s Mefistofele

The Tennessee premiere of Boito’s stunning 1868 masterpiece! The timeless story of Faust who sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for youth and love!

Friday, October 9, 2015 at 8:00pm
Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 2:30pm
Performed at the Magnificent Tennessee Theatre

Opera preview hosted by Maestro Salesky begins 45 minutes prior to each performance

Mefistofele‘s sensational Easter, Witches’ Sabbath, and Prison scenes are book-ended by the overwhelming Prologue and Epilogue featuring:

Onstage 50-Member Orchestra
Scenes Rising up from the Orchestra Pit
More than 100 Choristers
Brass Choirs throughout the Magnificent Tennessee Theatre

Starring the Metropolitan Opera’s Donovan Singletary as the devil and Julia Lima as the doomed Margherita.

Meet the Director




Brian Deedrick (Stage Director)

Knoxville Opera is delighted to welcome back international stage director BRIAN DEEDRICK following his very successful Knoxville productions of Die Fledermaus and The Elixir of Love. As a freelance opera and theatre director, his work takes him all over Canada and the United States, with occasional forays as far afield as Casalmaggiore, Italy and Tel Aviv. During his years as Artistic Director of Edmonton Opera, some of his favorite productions there include Fidelio, Otello, Julius Caesar, Falstaff, Weill in Weimar, The Emperor of Atlantis, The Abduction from the Seraglio and South Pacific. Selected freelance opera credits have included Turandot and Aïda for Fort Worth Opera, Don Giovanni for Austin Lyric Opera, Otello and La Bohème for L’Opéra de Québec, Eugene Onegin and Tosca for Opera Carolina, The Flying Dutchman for Baltimore Opera, L’Elisir d’amore and The Pearl Fishers for Arizona Opera and The Merry Widow and Don Pasquale in Honolulu. Mr. Deedrick’s most recent projects have included La Bohème in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Candide in Edmonton. Upcoming productions include The Threepenny Opera for Studio Theatre, Lucia di Lammermoor for Edmonton Opera, Dead Man Walking for Opera Nuova, and Aïda for Austin Lyric Opera. When not directing, the Canadian native works as a city tour guide in Berlin, Germany!

Meet the Cast


Donovan Singletary (Mefistofele)

Birthplace: Crestview, Florida
Foreign Opera Companies: Latvian National Opera
Foreign Orchestras: Deutsche Radio Philharmonic, Orchestre Lamoureux
U.S. Opera Companies: Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Aspen Opera Theater, Kentucky Opera
U.S. Orchestras: Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Orlando Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, Little Orchestra of NY, Aspen Chamber Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Northwest Florida Symphony, Marina del Rey Symphony


Cody Austin (Faust)

Birthplace: Liberal, Kansas
Foreign Orchestras and Festivals: Hamilton Philharmonic (Ontario)
U.S. Opera Companies: Portland Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera New Jersey, Lyric Opera Virginia, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Tampa, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Shreveport Opera, Berkshire Theater Group
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Las Vegas Philharmonic, Philly Pops, Jupiter Symphony of NY, Ocean City Pops, Ambler Symphony, Buck Hill-Skytop Festival


Julia Lima (Margherita)

Birthplace: Uralsky, Perm Krai, Russia
Foreign Orchestras and Festivals: Moscow Conservatory Orchestra
U.S. Opera Companies: Knoxville Opera, New York City Opera Renaissance, Opera Company of Brooklyn (NYC), Baroque Opera Pastiche (MA), New Opera (NY), Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts (NYC), Tilles Center (NY)
U.S. Orchestras & Festivals: Garden State Philharmonic (NJ), North Shore Music Festival (NY), Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra (FL), Naples National Art Festival (FL), Mid Atlantic Opera Verdiana Festival (NJ), Water Island Music Festival (Virgin Islands), Bright Future International (IL)


Ryan Ford (Wagner)

Birthplace: Knoxville, Tennessee
U.S. Opera Companies: Asheville Lyric Opera, Opera in the Heights (TX), Moores Opera Center (TX), Samford Opera (AL)
U.S. Orchestras & Festivals: Houston Heights Orchestra, Castleton Festival, Chautauqua Music Festival


Allison Deady (Marta)

Birthplace: Rochester, New York
Foreign Orchestras and Festivals: Trentino Music Festival
U.S. Opera Companies: Nickel City Opera, Hillman Opera Company
U.S. Orchestras & Festivals: Brevard Music Center

Plot Synopsis

Prologue: In Heaven

A celestial choir praises God the Creator.  Mefistofele scornfully declares that he can win the soul of Faust.  His challenge is accepted by the Forces of Good.

Act I; Scene 1: Easter, Frankfurt, Germany, 16th Century

The aged Dr. Faust and his assistant Wagner observe the holiday celebrations. Faust senses that they are being followed by a mysterious friar.

Act I; Scene 2: Faust’s study

Faust is disturbed by the appearance of the sinister friar, now recognized as the Devil (Mefistofele).  Faust is intrigued and agrees to give his soul to the Devil upon his death in return for youth and pleasures for the remainder of his life.

Act I; Scene 3: A Garden

Now restored to his youth, Faust has infatuated Margherita, an unsophisticated village girl.  She is unable to resist his seductive charms and agrees to drug her mother with a sleeping potion and meet him for a night of passion.  Meanwhile, Mefistofele amuses himself with Marta, another village girl.

Act II; Scene 1: Brocken Mountain

Mefistofele brings Faust to witness the Witches’ Sabbath.  During the celebration, Mefistofele proclaims his contempt for the world.  As the orgy nears its climax, Faust sees a vision of Margherita.

Act II; Scene 2: Margherita’s Prison Cell

Margherita has been imprisoned for poisoning her mother and for drowning the baby she has had with Faust.  Faust begs Mefistofele to help them escape.  Margherita’s reunion with Faust turns to horror when she recognizes Mefistofele as the Devil.  Refusing to succumb to evil, the girl begs for divine forgiveness and dies as the celestial choir proclaims her redemption.

Epilogue: Faust’s Study

Once again an old man, Faust reflects that neither in the world of reality nor illusion was he able to find his desired perfect experience.  Sensing his impending death, but desperate for a final victory, he considers embarking on more exotic quests with Mefistofele.  However, Faust suddenly seizes his bible and cries out for God’s forgiveness.  The thwarted Mefistofele disappears as Faust dies and the celestial choir once more sings of ultimate redemption.