A new attraction at Knoxville Opera’s 2007 Rossini Festival is the addition of the Rossini Festival Funland on Market Square featuring attractions, games, and concessions for children of all ages. Funland attractions include Euro-Bungee, Climbing Wall, Train Rides, Pony Rides, Arcade Games, Hot-Shot Basketball, Prizes and more.

The Rossini Festival Funland is open Saturday, May 5, 12-9 p.m. and Sunday, May 6, 12-5 p.m. on Market Square. The event is sponsored by Knoxville Opera, All-Occasion Party Rentals, City of Knoxville and the Market Square Business Association. 

"We are excited to be introducing a new area specifically designed for children,” says Melissa Nance, director of development, marketing and PR at Knoxville Opera.  “Through our arrangement with All-Occasion Party Rentals a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Knoxville Opera.”

Knoxville Opera’s Rossini Festival, deemed “Knoxville’s best all-around festival” by the weekly Knoxville newspaper Metropulse, will take place May 4-6, including performances of Bizet’s ever-popular opera Carmen and the Italian Street Fair, on Gay Street, right in the heart of downtown Knoxville.

The infusion of explosive Spanish flamenco and the captivating rhythms of gypsy guitars into both Carmen and the Street Fair will transform Knoxville into a weekend paradise as the 2007 Rossini Festival celebrates Mediterranean culture, cuisine and crafts. At the Italian Street Fair, which takes place on May 5 from noon to 9 p.m., there will be over 26 different entertainment acts taking place on three stages as well as numerous other activities for the entire family.  

Besides the rhythms and melodies that fill the air, the Street Fair features various retailers and artisans showcasing and selling their works of fine art, pottery, jewelry, painting and stained glass. Along with the artisans, vendors will be offering some of the area’s finest food and beverages.

Bizet’s Carmen is the perfect opera to bookend this year’s festival as it embodies the passion and culture customarily associated with the Festival.  Carmen will be lighting up the stage with two performances on Friday, May 4, at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, May 6, at 2:30 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre.

Another new addition this year will be the Comcastic Raffle presented by Comcast and Knoxville Opera.  For just $2 a ticket you can enter the drawing for a chance to win a 26" Flat Panel LCD Television donated by At Home Audiovideo or a tanzanite and diamond bracelet valued at $1,600 donated by Jewelry Television. All proceeds benefit Knoxville Opera.

In order to make the commute to downtown for the Italian Street Fair simple and convenient for everyone, Knoxville Area Transit will be running buses from various routes including the West Town Express, which travels from West Town Mall straight to the entrance of the festival. Cost is only $1.25 each way, with children five and under and adults over 65 admitted free.

For further information about the Rossini Festival Funland or other 2007 Rossini Festival events, visit the Knoxville Opera website at www.knoxvilleopera.com

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

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