Sunday, March 6, 2011

If you are captivated by high notes and the witty interplay of comic opera, then today’s Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra concert, featuring arias and duets from Rossini’s Barber of Seville and Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro, is just the ticket for you. Soprano Katy Williams and Baritone Kevin Richard Doherty will combine with the KCSO to brighten up what promises to be a dreary day here in Knoxville.

As a follow-up to the KSO’s production of Amadeus! earlier this season, the overture and five set pieces from Figaro will be performed. This is the “silly farce” that the Court Chamberlain, so bent on having Mozart stick to “elevated themes,” so disdained in the play.

Although there is no play entitled “Giaochino” dedicated to the life and times of Rossini, his music is no less legendary. The baritone aria “Largo al factotum” is immortalized in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. You know, the one where the singer’s head shrinks in the middle of the performance. The soprano aria Una voce poco fa is the quintessential Italian opera buffa coloratura workout, and Ms Williams does not disappoint.

Also on the program will be the Overture to the Pirates of Penzance, by Arthur Sullivan, the overture to a rival production of the Barber of Seville by Giovanni Paisiello, and Lucas Richman’s own Salutation No. 8.

So bring your swim fins, (or at least an umbrella), hoist the anchor and set sail to the Bijou Theater today at 2:30 for a trip through the land of comic opera.

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