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Opera Memphis to Host 4th Annual Midtown Festival

Friday, April 1st marks the first day of the fourth annual Midtown Opera Festival. The 10-day long event will take place at Playhouse on the Square and features a unique lineup of opera, dance, jazz, concerts and cabaret.

Opera Memphis, which was founded in 1956, will be partnering with Ignite Memphis, New Ballet Ensemble and Rhodes College to bring a unique and entertaining experience to Memphians.

“The Midtown Opera Festival is a true Memphis original. It pairs unconventional operatic experiences with signature cocktails in a laidback Midtown atmosphere, and – with our partners bringing everything from jookin’ to jazz to trapeze artists – every day is a truly unique experience,” said Ned Canty, Opera Memphis General Director.

Here is a list of the events taking place throughout the festival:


  • The Tragedy of Carmen
    April 1st and April 9th at 8:00 p.m.
    Starring Caitlin McKechney , Hanna Brammer Dillon and Daniel Mobbs

Peter Brook’s intense version of the Carmen story. Inspired by a trip to Spain in 1830, Prosper Mérimée wrote a novel about a fiery gyspy, her soldier lover, and their doomed love affair. Fascinated by the novel, composer Georges Bizet created what may be the world’s most popular opera, Carmen. In The Tragedy of Carmen, music from Bizet’s opera is paired with scenes from the original novella to give us a new glimpse at a character we think we know.


  • L’heure espagnol
    April 2nd at 8:00 p.m. and April 9th at 6:00 p.m.
    Starring Marie-Stéphane Bernard, David Schnell, Cullen Gandy, Alex Desocio, and Matthew Curran

Maurice Ravel’s opera is set in Toledo, Spain, and follows the tale of clock maker Torquemada who is none the wiser as his wife, Concepción, shuffles not two but three secret lovers. It is a sexually charged comedic romp, as only the French could create.


  • April in Paris
    April 6th at 7:00 p.m.
    Starring Marie-Stéphane Bernard

Bernard, accompanied by pianist Angelo Râpan, will perform some her favorite French songs, transporting guests to the glamorous and romantic world of Paris in the 1950s through the music of Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker and Charles Trenet.


  • Springloaded
    April 2nd and April 3rd at 5:00 p.m.
    Noella Garcia Carmona and Shamar Rooks.

The New Ballet Ensemble will be showcasing its genre-defying style with a blend of improvisational hip-hop, ballet and flamenco.


  • The Real Ambassadors
    April 8th at 7:30 p.m. and 10th at 2:00 p.m.
    Presented by Rhodes College

Part of Rhodes College’s Brubeck Festival, this jazz musical by Dave Brubeck, a steadfast figure of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement who fought for equality through his own dealings in the music industry, is a rarely performed treat.


  • Opera Takes Flight
    April 2nd 9:30 p.m.
    Presented by High Expectations Aerial Arts

Enter a dream-like world filled with breathtaking aerialists, high-flying acrobats, and hypnotic dancers as cirque meets opera in a mesmerizing performance that will delight both your eyes and your ears.

  • Sweet Airs that Give Delight
    April 7 at 7:30 p.m.
    Starring Dan Mobbs

Guests can attend an evening of Shakespearean songs, performed by Mobbs, at the Beethoven Club.

Also accompanying these shows, Ignite Memphis and Arts Memphis will present Ignite Arts, an evening of innovative thinking about the arts in Memphis.

Individual tickets for the pre-show meals and talks, stage productions and other events range from $10 to $55. Festival passes providing access to all festival operas, partner events, pre-show meals, and free drinks are available for only $100.

To purchase tickets and get the full lineup of festival events, call 901-257-3100 or go here.

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