The Knoxville Opera is one of only two companies producing Bellini's opera, "Norma," this year. (The other company being the Metropolitan Opera in NYC). A few days ago, Melony Dodson talked with stage director, Elizabeth Bachmann, about this beautiful, but rarely performed work. Its challenges, rewards, beautiful floating melodies, and strong characters are all topics that are discussed in this conversation. "Norma" is a rare gem and one that you probably won't want to miss.
The New York Times has recently called Steve Reich, "our greatest living composer" and The Guardian (London) has stated that: "There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history...and Steve Reich is one of them."
In 1990, he received a Grammy award for best Contemporary composition and in 2009, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in music for his composition "Double Sextet."
The Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra and Chorus presented a concert on March 22nd, featuring emotionally powerful music of Shostakovich, Verdi, and Henryk Gorecki. Conductor Dan Allcott talked with Melony Dodson about these historically significant works, giving fascinating background information about why and how they were composed, as well as a few personal anecdotes on the way...
On March 20th and 21st, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra performed all six of Bach's Brandenburg Concerti, along with Leopold Stokowski's transcriptions of Bach's Toccata in D minor and the Chaconne in D minor (from the Violin Partita No.2). Melony Dodson talked with the conductor of these concerts, James Fellenbaum, about how each of the concertos are different, why Bach composed them, and also about some of the featured soloists in the KSO's performance.
The Oak Ridge chamber symphony presented a concert Valentine's Day weekend at the intimate setting of First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge. The title of the concert was "Baroque Bonanza" and featured several double concertos from the Baroque era, as well as a suite by Henry Purcell and a few works by Mozart. In this interview, Maestro Dan Alcott talks a little bit about this period of music and why people seem to enjoy listening to Baroque music so much.
Gaetano Donizetti's comic opera, "L'elisir d'Amore" tells a tale about love, passion, and unrequited love, seasoned with laughs, colorful characters, gorgeous music, and a happy ending! The Knoxville Opera presents a production of it on Valentine's Day evening, Friday night at 8pm and also Sunday afternoon at 2:30pm. In this interview, Melony Dodson talks with stage director, Brian Deedrick, about this entertaining opera and why, perhaps, it is the perfect "first opera" to see and hear.
Canadian violinist, Lara St. John has been playing the violin since the age of two (and a half). She has performed all over the world and was one of the first professional musicians to create her own record label (Ancalagon). She performs and commissions new works, as well as "the classics," such as Mozart's 4th violin concerto, which she will be playing tonight (November 15th, 2013) with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. Ms. St. John is a passionate performer with a vibrant tone.
Stage director, Keturah Stickann, said of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann, that "it's the perfect marriage of the holiday of Halloween and opera." The story not only includes several macabre elements, but opera-goers are sure to be treated to colorful (and perhaps grotesque?) costumes, fantastical characters, and of course, beautiful singing. The Knoxville Opera is performing the opera, staring soprano, Talise Trevigne and tenor, Evan Bowers, Friday October 25th and 8pm and Sunday the 27th at 2:30. Performances will be given at the Tennessee Theatre.
Last week, world-renowned double bassist and composer, Edgar Meyer, returned to his home-town of Oak Ridge, TN to give a very special recital, featuring one of his compositions still "in progress." Also on the concert was a suite by Johann Sebastian Bach, and on the second half, "lighter" works, including fiddle tunes, and several of Meyer's own shorter compositions.