Opera On Horseback In Knoxville Feb. 8 And 10

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It has been more than 70 years since cowboy entertainer Tom Mix and his horse took center stage at the Tennessee Theatre.  After this prolonged absence, horses will be a featured highlight in Knoxville Opera’s upcoming Wells Fargo Advisors production of Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West.    

The musical drama exploring the 1849 California Gold Rush presents an opportunity for Knoxville to experience opera and horses.  Opera singers will make their entrances and exits on quarter-horses from Strong Stock Farm on Rutledge Pike.   

Horses are just one of the production’s many elements designed to depict an authentic recreation of life as it was in a small, mountain mining camp.  The action includes gunfights, poker, whiskey and cigars, a sheriff, a Wells-Fargo agent, Native Americans and a blizzard.

The story, about the saloon owner Minnie who saves the life of her bandit lover in a poker scene, is based on David Belasco’s 1905 play which was subsequently made into four movies, including the 1938 Hollywood musical The Girl of the Golden West starring Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.  When the opera first premiered at New York City’s Metropolitan Opera in 1910, the world’s most famous Italian tenor, Enrico Caruso, starred as the infamous Ramerrez. 

Fans of Phantom of the Opera will recognize a major theme from that musical, which Andrew Lloyd Webber plagiarized from Puccini’s brilliant score.

The opera is a marriage of music and a slice of Americana, combined with an authentic Western storyline.  To add to the audience’s experience, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach will be parked in front of the Theatre to welcome patrons and for photo opportunities.

Tickets for performances on Feb. 8 and 10 start at $18 for adults and $13 for students and are available by calling the Knoxville Opera Box Office at  865.524-0795.


Ponder Anew Play Is At Charles And Myrtle's Saturday

Ponder Anew, a Reader’s Theater play with music based Herschel Ponder’s 1989 memoir about his experiences as the pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt in the European Theater during World War II, will be at Charles and Myrtle's Coffeehouse on Saturday at 8 p.m.  The coffeehouse is inside Christ Unity Church at 105 McBrien Road.  There is a $10 suggested donation at the door. ... (click for more)

Alice Smith, Lookout Mountain Poet, Reading At The Hunter Museum Of American Art

The Southern Lit Alliance hosts Alice Smith, a poet from Lookout Mountain, Tn., at the Hunter Museum of American Art on Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., for “An Evening with Alice Smith.”  Mrs. Smith will read from her work and will be available for a book signing. Her two volumes of poetry will be available for purchase at the event. Currently, Ms. Smith lives on ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I’m Certainly No Expert

Sometime on Monday night, after I had written a piece on getting swatted with a switch as a kid, I got an email from ESPN Canada asking if I would be a televised guest on “Off the Record,” the most watched daily sports show in Canada. The subject: corporal punishment in America. Are you kidding me? I am hardly an expert. All weekend my world of sports and its excitement was warped ... (click for more)