KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – In celebration of its 40th Anniversary Season, Knoxville Opera presents Puccini’s Turandot 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23 and 2:30 p.m. Feb. 25 at Knoxville Civic Auditorium. Puccini’s “Turandot” is the first of two large-scale opera productions in the company’s 40th Anniversary season.
Prior to each performance, Maestro Brian Salesky will host an opera preview for an in-depth look at the history, story and music. The opera will be performed in Italian with projected English supertitle translations.
Pre-opera dining hosted by Knoxville Opera Guild is available for each performance. A three-course dinner is available for $75 per person (cash bar) beginning 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at Ruth’s Chris. A brucnh is available for $25 per person (cash bar) beginning noon Feb. 25 at Crowne Plaza. Reservations are available at www.knoxvilleopera.com and proceeds benefit the Knoxville Opera Guild.
Based on a 12th-century Persian story, “Turandot” tells the tale of a coldhearted princess who has vowed never to marry. Any suitor who desires her hand can do so by answering three riddles, but the price of failure is immediate beheading. The exiled prince Calàf is instantly overcome with the princess’s beauty and undertakes the riddle challenge despite the protestations of his father Timur and faithful servant girl Liù. Will Calàf succeed where so many others have failed?
Puccini’s final opera is full of elaborate drama, rich choruses, and breathtaking arias, including the iconic “Nessun dorma,” past sung by musical idols ranging from tenor Luciano Pavarotti to Aretha Franklin. Nashville Opera’s CEO and Artistic Director John Hoomes stage directs and Maestro Salesky will lead the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra and an international cast of singers like Canadian-American soprano Othalie Graham, who has received critical acclaim throughout North America for her interpretation of Princess Turandot. Tenor Jonathan Burton returns to Knoxville Opera as Prince Calàf. Korean soprano Yunnie Park makes her Knoxville Opera debut as the servant girl Liù.
Tickets for both performances are available from $23, and a discount for students of all ages is available. For tickets and more information, visit www.knoxvilleopera.com or call 865-524-0795, ext. 1.
About Knoxville Opera
Knoxville Opera’s mission is to provide the residents of East Tennessee with high quality, locally produced opera and related educational and community programs. The company, founded in 1978, is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose activities are made possible, in part, by generous major funding from The Aslan Foundation, Tennessee Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, Knoxville Opera Guild, The Fifth Commandment Fund, Pilot Flying J, Regal Cinemas, Knox County, Dr. Sharon Lord, The Sood Family, City of Knoxville, Robert H. & Monica M. Cole Foundation, Home Federal Bank, and The Gannett Foundation.
Photo credit: Reed Hummell, Nashville Opera
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