Nashville, Tennessee is home to a thriving performing arts community today, but it hasn't always been that way. What has happened in Nashville's performing arts history over time? Why should a community that welcomed performers such as Enrico Caruso, Sarah Bernhardt, Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Metropolitan Opera Company, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre have struggled to support the arts? And today, with professional theater, ballet, and opera companies, and a world-class symphony playing integral parts of Nashville's cultural scene, what does it take to create and maintain a healthy arts environment?
Apollo's Struggle: A Performing Arts Odyssey in the Athens of the South explores these and other questions related to the classical performing arts from the early 1800s to the present.
In lively and fascinating narratives, Apollo's Struggle uncovers stories and information about various performing arts venues, ranging from an early theater located in a converted salt house to the new home of the Nashville Symphony, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
In delightful detail, the book captures the words of performers ranging from the nineteenth century's Edwin Booth and Emma Abbott to the twenty-first century's David Alford and Odessa Settles (and scores in-between). It reveals little-known facts about legendary figures such as Sam Houston, who acted in Nashville before becoming a statesman, and Helen Hayes, who graced the Ryman stage. Meticulously researched, this journey into Nashville's arts past, present, and future also features rare and striking illustrations depicting hometown artists, visiting performers, a chariot race on the grounds of the Parthenon, and thelong-gone but legendary Adelphi Theatre.
Apollo's Struggle reveals stories never before told and captures Nashville's arts history from beginning steps to its future steps, and celebrates the performing arts odyssey of this Athens of the South.