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gran wilsonKnoxville Opera to Perform Manon

Knoxville Opera continues to deliver passion to East Tennessee in the production of Massenet's lush French masterpiece, Manon with performances on Friday, February 11 at 8:00 PM and Sunday, February 13 at 2:30 PM.

Meet Manon Lescaut – the passionate, insatiable young girl whose lust for adventure, physical pleasure and wealth inspired Jules Massenet to compose the most French of all French operas. The story is the magical combination of seductive French music about a sensuous femme fatale, singing in the sexiest of all languages: French.

"The composition of Manon distinguishes itself from all operatic masterpieces because every character and dance, every rhythm and harmony, every melody and phrase is dripping with unique French style." says Executive Director Brian Salesky. "Bringing this work to life requires the prodigious talents and stamina of a soprano who is in total command of her vocal, musical and dramatic skills" he continued.

The production will star the riveting Talise Trevigne, returning to Knoxville from 2009's Rigoletto for her Manon debut where she joins a group of illustrious artists who each brought their own special gifts to the part: Knoxville's own Disney Princess Mary Costa, Beverly Sills, Catherine Malfitano, Anna Netrebko and Natalie Dessay.

"Valentine weekend is the perfect setting for this romantic, passionate tale and we're ecstatic to welcome back Talise in a role far different than her recent performance in Dallas Opera's world premiere of Moby Dick." says Executive Director Brian Salesky.

Joining Trevigne and playing the arduous role of Manon's lover is veteran tenor Gran Wilson who has sung the part at many European houses throughout his career. Playing his father will be Knoxville resident and former Metropolitan Opera bass Andrew Wentzel (UT Vols' "Anthem Man"). Salesky, Wilson and Wentzel first worked together in 1990 at Central City Opera, again on 1999's Don Giovanni in Knoxville and most recently for Knoxville Opera's Mozart Gala in 2006. "I am most grateful to my dear colleagues for returning to our stage on this momentous occasion" says Salesky.

Tickets for Knoxville Opera productions start at $18 for adults and $13 for students. Group discounts and subscriptions are also available. Seating is limited, and advance tickets are highly recommended.

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Published January 28, 2011

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