Minutes of the July 17, 2000 Meeting
Smoky Mountain AMS Chapter

Meeting was held at Red Lobster Restaurant (8040 Kingston Pike, Knoxville) from 6:00-9:00 p.m. Main speaker for the evening was Mr. Frank Graffeo, General Director and Conductor of the Knoxville Opera Company. Mr. Graffeo gave a talk about famous weather events in opera and also brought along a singer and accompanist for a live vocal performance. Mr. Raffeo pointed out that musical depiction of weather events can act in a variety of ways - as transition cover between settings, suggests eminent change, emphasizes tension and/or anxiety. Stormy depictions can build the climax of a particularly unpleasant scenario. Rainfall provides comedic relief and the glory of a particularly colorful sunrise or sunset reflected on clouds inspires heroes. Here is a play-list for the excepts presented as part of the talk:

Verde “Othello” and “Rigoletto”
Rossini “The Barber of Seville”and “La Cenerentola”
Wagner  “The Flying Dutchman”
Puccini “La Boheme”
Gershwin “Porgy and Bess”
Mozart “Cosi Fan Tutti”
Donizetti “Elixir of Love”

Soprano Tammy Calder-Welter and accompanist Yuiko Asana, both UT students, performed the aria “Ain’t it a pretty evening” from American composer Afleut’s folk opera “Susannah”. This piece reminded us of the beauty of an Appalachian sunset reflected in a peaceful sky. Mr. Graffeo also demonstrated an old-fashioned wind machine used to generate the sounds of breezes whistling through trees.

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