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Knoxville Opera presents the enchanting tale of Cinderella

Melony Dodson talks with conductor, Kelly Kuo and mezzo-soprano, Elizabeth Sarian, about Knoxville Opera's charming and creative production of Pauline Viardot's Cendrillon.

Knoxville Opera (KO) is getting ready for its next production: Cendrillon by 19th century French composer, Pauline Viardot. Performances are May 3rd and 4th at 7:30pm and May 5th at 2:30pm at the Bijou Theatre in downtown Knoxville.

Stage-directed by Dean Anthony, this charming chamber operetta with dialogue is in three short acts based on the familiar and enchanting tale of Cinderella. Viardot's original composition was scored for piano accompaniment, but Knoxville Opera will present a chamber orchestration by David Hanlon, which was commissioned by Wolf Trap Opera in 2021. Kelly Kuo conducted that performance at Wolf Trap and worked closely with Hanlon during the compositional process. Kuo will lead musicians from the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra in KO's performance. These instrumentalists will be positioned in the audience boxes on both sides of the stage, with Kuo located down below, in the pit area (which will be mostly covered).

The opera will be sung in French (with English supertitles), but most of the dialogue will be spoken in English. Other unique highlights of KO's production include a "musical theatre party scene", the use of creative projections to enhance the story (including the use of "thought bubbles"), and magical appearances by the fairy godmother.

Learn more about Pauline Viardot, Hanlon's clever orchestration of Cendrillon, as well as more information about the unique characteristics of KO's production in this interview with conductor, Kelly Kuo, and mezzo-soprano, Elizabeth Sarian, who is singing the role of one of the stepsisters, Armelinde.

Tickets and additional information at https://www.knoxvilleopera.org/cendrillon