The priest in one of the later scenes of Knoxville Opera’s production of Carmen looked especially authentic. There’s a reason for that. The supernumerary part was played by Fr. Rich Andre of St. John XXIII University Parish.
The music was wonderfully familiar, especially the “March Of The Toreadors.” One of the singers I interviewed, Ryan Kuster, played the toreador Escamillo. The other singer I interviewed, Zulimar López-Hernández, was radiant as Micaëla. It was fun to see Leon Duquella, a classmate from the FBI Citizens Academy, playing the part of Lillas Pastia.
The main roles of Carmen and Don José were played perfectly by Audrey Babcock and Brian Cheney. Emily Hagens and Briana Hunter were standouts as Carmen’s friends Frasquita and Mercédès.
My only disappointment was that my wife came down with the flu and had to miss our Valentine’s eve date. She insisted that I go to the show while she got some rest.