Rossini Festival brings international sounds and flavors to downtown Knoxville

Apr 13, 2018 601

BY: Randall Brown

The 17th annual Rossini Festival International Street Fair will take over downtown Knoxville on April 14 as the Knoxville Opera celebrates its 40th season with this signature event. “This thing has taken on a life of its own,” says Michael Torano, Knoxville Opera marketing director. “It is nothing, really, compared to what the original organizers of this festival had intended for it to be or for it to become. It started out as an opera festival, and it has become a celebration of all the arts.”

One big evolution of the festival is in its name. It was originally imagined as an “Italian street fair,” but its logistics and scope have grown it into a more fully international affair. “We determined that this wasn’t just an Italian opera festival anymore,” says Torano. “We have visual arts, we have musical arts, we have vocal, we have dance. We have all these wonderful things, and that’s international. Celebrating all of the cultures, all of the art and all of the cuisine at the same time, it made sense.”

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