Earlier this year, Knoxville's official opera community increased by 50 percent—from two companies to three. Marble City Opera's production of The Face on the Barroom Floor, a 1978 30-minute chamber opera by American composer Henry Mollicone, at Relix Variety Theatre in Happy Holler, meant that opera in Knoxville was no longer limited to the main Knoxville Opera company and the University of Tennessee Opera Theatre.
"Opera has its niche, its crowd, grand opera has an audience, and I never want that to go away," Marble City Opera general director Kevin Doherty said in a May interview with Metro Pulse classical music writer Alan Sherrod. "But I thought, let's put on accessible shows that other people can relate to, in small spaces, not charge a lot for tickets … places where you can go to the bar, get a bite to eat, and not worry about the usual stuff, and just enjoy the show. Then it gets people thinking and they'll be open to checking out the more traditional stuff."
At the time, the new company's future plans were vague. Doherty and Marble City artistic director Kathryn Frady Marvel, both veterans of Knoxville Opera and other professional opera productions, still haven't announced the company's next production, but they have put out an open call for singers and musicians (and other artists) to gauge interest and start planning for the future, with a show tentatively slated for December and more to come after that:
"Calling all artists and musicians! Marble City Opera Company is hiring! We are looking for talented artists, singers, dancers and musicians to be a part of the revolutionary new Knoxville Theater Company! Kathryn and Kevin are currently setting up interviews to see what's out there. We would love to meet you. We want to create the best art in town and for that we need the best artists!"
Interested artists can submit resumes, headshots, portfolios, recordings, and more to Marvel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Doherty (email@example.com).