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Knoxville Opera presents Verdi's "La Traviata"


Melony Dodson talks with conductor, Joseph Mechavich and baritone, Malcolm MacKenzie about Knoxville Opera's upcoming production of Verdi's La Traviata. MacKenzie will perform the role of Giorgio Germont

Knoxville Opera presents Verdi's beloved opera, La Traviata, on Friday, February 16th at 7:30pm and Sunday, February 18th at 2:30pm. Both performances will be given in the magnificent Tennessee Theatre in downtown Knoxville. Kids under the age of 18 are admitted for free through Tennessee's Penny 4 the Arts program. Special ticket pricing also exists for college students. Tickets and additional information at https://www.knoxvilleopera.org/la-traviata

Learn more about La Traviata and this particular production in Melony Dodson's conversation with conductor, Joseph Mechavich and baritone, Malcolm MacKenzie. What makes La Traviata a great "first opera"? What are the responsibilities of a music director? What makes the Tennessee Theatre an opera singer's "dream"?

Maestro Mechavich has presided over productions of Porgy and Bess for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nixon in China for Auckland Philharmonia/New Zealand Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia for The Washington National Opera, Madama Butterfly for New York City Opera, and Dead Man Walking for Atlanta Opera. In addition to his impressive command of the standard operatic repertoire, Maestro Mechavich is also known for his deep commitment to American opera, particularly the music of Carlisle Floyd and Jake Heggie.

Malcolm MacKenzie has been heard at leading opera houses throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Paris Opera (Bastille), Finland’s Savonlinna Festival, Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, San Diego Opera, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera, in roles including Simon Boccanegra, Baron Scarpia, Rigoletto, Iago, Tonio, Don Giovanni, Count di Luna, Renato, Jack Rance, Marcello, Germont, and Count Almaviva.   
In 2022, Mr. MacKenzie created the role of Johnson/Owen in the World Premiere of the Pulitzer Prize winning opera Omar, by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels.


Melony calls the beautiful mountains of Boone, N.C., home, although she was born near Greensboro, N.C. There’s just something about those Blue Ridge Mountains that got in her blood and never left after she moved there to attend Appalachian State University (ASU). While at ASU, she majored in piano performance and music therapy and began to cultivate a love for accompanying and for collaborating with other musicians. This soon led her to earn a master’s degree in collaborative piano at the University of Tennessee, which she attended from 2006-2008.