Hops & Opera
Chattanooga’s history is full of melodies, but we also know the value of dissidence, of pairing unlikely things and making something new, strange, and spectacular. Our local musicians and performing artists hail from a diversity of genres, including opera. Though typically reserved for opulent productions, opera at its heart is about storytelling.
Hops and Opera was an experiment in bringing the stories of opera to a wider audience. By pairing some of the city’s leading operatic voices with one of our favorite products, artisan beer, we wanted to create a new environment for all artistic endeavors.
Hops and Opera was May 1, 2009, and featured brew from the Southside’s own Terminal Brewhouse, sausages from local Appalachian Dog Company and an evening filled with the talent of local vocalists, including soprano Desirée Soteres, mezzo-soprano Andrea Dismukes, tenor Michael Mays, and baritone Ron Ulen, with piano accompaniment from Jenny Parker.
Featured arias and duets were pulled from operas by Puccini, Bizet, Bernstein, and many others, from stories full of betrayal, infidelity, murder, and seduction. Sourcing local talent for some of the world’s best loved operatic masterpieces is a feat indeed, but one with real possibilities in Chattanooga, a town with a long and rich history of opera.
Hops and Opera featured some timeless concert swag: t-shirts and posters for the event, made by Young Monster, a local screen-printing shop.