Friday, February 10, 2012

Opera Weekend: Tragedy amidst Plenty, Triumph amidst Tragedy

So, there’s this opera, you see, it’s by Charles Gounod. It’s called Romeo and Juliet which is a famous play by a guy named Shakespeare, perhaps you’ve heard the name. It’s being put on by the Knoxville Opera Company with the Knoxville Symphony performing the score. It’s happening TONIGHT at 8 and Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at the Tennessee Theater. Tenor Noah Stewart (as Romeo, one would hope) and soprano Zulimar Lopez-Hernandez will lead the cast in this most romantic tragedy (or is it the most tragic romance?) ever. Gounod’s score will remind you of music of his contemporaries Georges Bizet and especially Jacques Offenbach, although you will not hear any Can-cans here.

I am always amazed at the onslaught of entertainment opportunities in Knoxville on any given weekend. A fully opera-tized weekend can be had this weekend with the R & J in Knoxville and the powerful work that is being put on by the Oak Ridge Civic Music Association, Brundibar. It is a children's opera by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása with a libretto by Adolf Hoffmeister, originally written for and performed by the children of Theresienstadt concentration camp in occupied Czechoslovakia. The name comes from a Czech colloquialism for a bumblebee.

If you enjoyed the Sound Company children’s show choir on our Clayton Holiday (and other) concerts, then you will want to see this production (under the direction of Music Director Dan Alcott) which features them exclusively as cast members. A goodly number of KSO musicians are Oak Ridge Symphony members and will be performing Brundibar at the Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Center.

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