For three seasons, HBO viewers have loyally followed the series Boardwalk Empire--the Prohibition Era story of Enoch "Nucky" Thompson (Steve Buscemi) and his devoted valet Eddy Kessler--a story that has its roots in real Prohibition history and real historical characters. Some may not realize, though, that the actor playing Eddy Kessler, Anthony Laciura, is now in his second and third major careers. Laciura was a face and a voice seen and heard in comprimario tenor roles at the Metropolitan Opera for 25 years. Laciura has retired as an operatic performer, but he certainly hasn't retired from performing...or opera. He now divides his time between acting, teaching, and stage directing regional opera.
Knoxville Opera audiences can see his directorial work next week in the company's production of Puccini's La fanciulla del West (Girl of the Golden West). The performances are Friday evening, February 8, at 8 pm, and Sunday afternoon, February 10, at 2:30 pm, in the Tennessee Theatre.
If you claim that wild horses couldn't drag you to an opera, you might want to rethink that--the production will have real horses on the stage of the Tennessee--a first since silent film star Tom Mix appeared here, or so I am told.
And check out next week's Metro Pulse for my complete preview of the opera and stage director Anthony Laciura.