Marble City Opera and Executive/Artistic Director, Kathryn Frady, have been working hard to organize and produce a live performance during the time of Covid-19. The opera company will present Leoncavallo's one-act opera, I Pagliacci, at the Tennessee Amphitheater at World's Fair Park, August 13, 14, and 15. All performances are at 7:30pm, but seating will begin one hour prior to the performance to encourage less crowding and more social distancing. Seating is general admission to keep patrons from having to walk in front of one another in order to get to one's assigned seat. An online option will also be available for those who do not feel comfortable attending the live performance. Other safety measures include socially-distanced seating in the 1,000 seat outdoor theatre, digital programs and ticketing, socially-distanced staging of the opera, reduced cast size, and reduced orchestra (strings and piano only). Kathryn became a "Covid coordinator" through the Knox County Health Department so that she could make sure she was well-informed to keep patrons and artists safe. Additionally, she worked with the TN Amphitheatre to create a mitigation plan, which was then sent to the City of Knoxville for approval. The mitigation plan can be found at http://marblecityopera.com
The cast features some familiar names, including several UT alumns. Tenor, Brandon Evans will be singing the role of Canio, Kathryn Frady is Nedda, and Blayne Ziegenfuss is Beppe. Rounding out the cast are two UT alums: Baritones, Ryland Pope is singing the role of Silvio, and Jesse Stock is Tonio. Marble City Opera pianist, Brandon Coffer, is the Music Director and recent UT grad, Logan Campbell, is the conductor. Stage direction is by James Marvel.
With music by Ruggero Leoncavallo, I Pagliacci is a relatively short, but dramatic opera, with rich music and complex characters. Audience members may recognize Canio's aria "Vesti la giubba" ("Put on the Costume"), which was made famous by Pavarotti's emotional performance of it.
Tickets and information about Marble City Opera's production of I Pagliacci can be found at: https://www.marblecityopera.com/i-pagliacci or on their Facebook page.