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.



Heritage House Shows The Scarlet Empress Dec. 10

Heritage House Arts & Civic Center rounds out the first season of the International Film Series with the sixth of the seven collaborations between actress Marlene Dietrich and director Josef Von Sternberg, the Scarlet Empress. It will be shown Sunday, Dec. 10, at 6:30 p.m. Admission will be free.  Review for the Scarlet Empress: A highly fictionalized biopic of the ... (click for more)

An Evening With The Voices Of Lee To Take Place Dec. 6

Lee University’s Voices of Lee will present An Evening with the Voices of Lee to celebrate their new release, “A Cappella Christmas.” The concert will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. in Pangle Hall.  The performance will feature music from the new Christmas CD, which features songs such as “Little Drummer Boy, “Christmas Time is Here,” and “Have Yourself a Merry ... (click for more)

Man, 21, Shot While Walking Along E. 19th Street

A 21-year-old man was shot Friday afternoon as he waked along E. 19th Street. The victim was identified as Quincy McConnell. Chattanooga Police officers responded to a local hospital on a report of a gunshot victim arriving for treatment. The victim arrived at the hospital via personal vehicle. He suffered a non-life threatening injury. The victim said he was ... (click for more)

$100,000 Powereball Winner In Greeneville

A Tennessee Lottery Powerball player in Greeneville woke up Thanksgiving morning a $100,000 winner.  The as-yet-unknown player matched 4 of 5 white balls drawn plus the Powerball in the Wednesday night drawing, which has a base prize of $50,000. Since he or she added the Power Play option for a dollar, the prize was multiplied by the Power Play number drawn, which was ... (click for more)

Stormwater Fiasco And East Ridge Camping

When did the Chattanooga City Council get replaced by members of the East Ridge City Council? I don't recall a time in Chattanooga where they've voted to shoot the city in the foot more than they have lately.  If this goes through despite the environmental impact warnings and then Camp Jordan has increased flooding after spending millions on sports ball fields, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

The best story this Thanksgiving comes from the New Jersey Turnpike where a very attractive young woman ran out of gas last month. Kate McClure had little cash on her as she began to walk towards the closest gas station in the pitch-black dark. But she didn’t get far before a homeless man, his beard ragged and clothes filthy, told her this was a bad place for her to be.  ... (click for more)