The University of Tennessee School of Music has confirmed that it has named James Marvel as its new Director of the UT Opera Theatre. Michael McConnell had held the post of interim director following the 2010 resignation of Carroll Freeman. Marvel will take the post in August in preparation for next season.
Marvel made his stage directing debut in 1996. Since then, he has staged a number of productions for Knoxville Opera, including last month’s production of Bellini’s I Puritani with soprano Rachele Gilmore (METRO PULSE review) and the 2010 production of Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia (METRO PULSE review). Marvel’s website biography indicates that he was named Classical Singer Magazine’s “2008 – Stage Director of the Year” and that he has directed over 80 productions in the United States, England, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and the Czech Republic.
Gabriel Lefkowitz, the KSO’s recently acquired new Concertmaster, was one of the focuses of attention in last week’s final concerts of the 2010-11 season. The concerts offered Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade with its notable violin solos, Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with guest pianist Joel Fan, and Stravinsky’s Suite from The Firebird. My review of that concert can be found in the May 26 issue of METRO PULSE.
Miroslav Hristov, the KSO’s Associate Concertmaster and acting Concertmaster this season, has announced that he is stepping down from the orchestra to concentrate on his violin professorship at the UT School of Music–and to have more family time.