Message from Knoxville Opera, following the ‘old and ugly’ furore:
Knoxville Opera is deeply apologetic and sincerely regrets the hurt caused by our recent audition notice. When we posted the ad for engaging three singers for our education/outreach production of LA BOHEME we used language to communicate in “short-hand” the specific descriptions of the characters of Mimi and Musetta by Henri Murger, the original author, as they appear in the printed Puccini scores in the prefaces to Acts 1 and 2.
When considering all artists, our first priority has always been and always will be a person’s vocal ability to sing the role. We are a company committed to a culture of inclusion and will continue to hold ourselves ethically accountable for hiring diverse artists. If one were to take a comprehensive look at the entirety of the artists in our company over the past decade, one would find that our casting has been both diverse and inclusive. Please allow us to once again express our sincere and respectful apology.
So it was all Puccini’s fault, then?