February 14–16, 2020 @ Tennessee Theatre
KNOXVILLE, TN — Knoxville Opera presents “Romeo and Juliet” Valentine’s Day weekend at the Tennessee Theatre. After an absence of eight years, Charles Gounod’s opera about one of the most beloved stories of all time returns to the stage Friday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb 16 at 2:30 p.m. Performances are presented in French with projected English translations.
This presentation of Shakespeare’s tale of the star-crossed lovers includes dramatic readings from the original play in English by Clarence Brown Theatre artists including Director Calvin MacLean. Making their Knoxville Opera debuts in leading roles are soprano Yulan Piao (Juliet), first place winner at both the Vienna Summer Music Festival and Verismo Opera competitions; tenor Mackenzie Whitney (Romeo), who has recently sung leading roles with the opera companies of San Diego, Madison, Pensacola, and Annapolis and baritone Bryan James Myer (Mercutio), veteran of opera companies from Hawaii to New York City. Also making debuts are current UT School of Music students Cornelia Lotito as Stephano and Wayd Odle as Tybalt. Rounding out the cast is former Metropolitan Opera bass Andrew Wentzel (Friar Laurence) professor of voice at UT.
The production, sponsored by The Sood Family, is staged by the director Laura Alley, whose career has included major productions at San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, and many other companies from coast to coast. In the pit, Maestro Brian Salesky conducts the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra.
Adult tickets, starting at $25, may be purchased online at www.KnoxvilleOpera.com, or by calling the box office at (865) 524-0795 ext. 1, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Student tickets, starting at $15, may be purchased by calling the box office. Students are also invited to attend the final rehearsal without charge Feb. 12 at 6:30 p.m. (accompanying adults pay $5 cash at the door). A limited number of free student tickets to the performances may be reserved in advance by completing the following link: surveymonkey.com/r/freestudenttix. One ticket per student; no specific seating requests.