A! Magazine for the Arts

New York's Metropolitan Opera Performances Broadcast Live to Knoxville Movie Theatre

January 11, 2007

If you've always wished that opera companies sold hot dogs, popcorn and soft drinks along with their Mozart and Puccini, your dream is about to come true.

Knoxville Opera
is pleased to welcome New York's Metropolitan Opera as they broadcast live performances of select productions at the Regal West Town Mall movie theater, at prices that would make New Yorkers drool -- $18 adults and $15 for children. A top-priced ticket to see an opera at the Met in person can go for as much as $300. Tickets are available at the theater and at www.metoperafamily.org/hdlive.

The first showing is sold out in New York but you can see it right here in Knoxville on Jan. 13, 1:30 p.m. Tan Dun's The First Emperor. A world premiere and A Met commission, the opera will be conducted by composer Tan Dun, who also co-wrote the libretto with novelist Ha Jin. It is directed by acclaimed Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, whose films include Raise the Red Lantern and House of Flying Daggers. Tenor Placido Domingo sings the role of the Emperor who unites China and builds the Great Wall. Paul Groves is Gao Jianli, the court composer who defies him and seduces the Emperor's daughter.

The second showing will be on Feb. 24, 1:30 p.m.: Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. The sensational Ren?e Fleming performs the role of Tatiana for the first time at the Met. Dimitri Hvorostovsky sings the title role, with Ram?n Vargas as Lenski. The Met's principal guest conductor Valery Gergiev conducts, with soprano Renee Fleming and baritone Dimitri Hvorostovsky.

Followed by March 24, 1:30 p.m.: Rossini's The Barber of Seville. This new production of Rossini's comic opera is staged by theater director Bartlett Sher (The Light in the Piazza, Awake and Sing!). The Met's all-star cast includes tenor Juan Diego Fl?rez as the Count Almaviva, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato as Rosina, and baritone Peter Mattei is the title role of Figaro. John Relyea performs Don Basilio, and John Del Carlo performs Doctor Bartolo. Maurizio Benini conducts.

The last showing will be on April 28, 1:30 p.m.: Puccini's Il Trittico. Award-winning theater director Jack O'Brien (The Times They Are A-Changin', Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) directs Puccini's Il Trittico (consisting of the three one-act operas Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, and Gianni Schicchi). The casts include: Maria Guleghina as Giorgetta, Salvatore Licitra as Luigi, and Juan Pons as Michele in Il Tabarro; Barbara Frittoli as Suor Angelica and Stephanie Blythe as the Princess in Suor Angelica; and Olga Mykytenko as Lauretta, Massimo Giordano as Rinuccio, and Alessandro Corbelli in the title role of Gianni Schicchi. Met Music Director James Levine conducts.

Knoxville Opera Marketing Director, Melissa Nance hopes this opportunity will attract new comers to Opera, those who may be attracted by the lower price and the familiarity of the movie-theatre venue. "We hope to see some of these folks at our live performance of La Boheme on February 9th and 11th." Tickets to the Knoxville Opera are available at www.knoxvilletickets.com or by calling 865-524-0795.