January 16th, 2015 11:39 AM

For the next three weekends, you can see me in the musical Ragtime at Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga. I’ll be playing the role of real-life anarchist Emma Goldman. It has been an honor to take on the challenge of bringing a historical figure to life.

Ragtime tells the story of America in the early years of the 20th century. It introduces us to three groups of people: the rich white people of New Rochelle, the African Americans of Harlem, and the poor immigrants searching for a new home and new opportunities. As each group’s story unfolds, we see how three separate Americas turn into a cultural melting pot. Real historical figures and events add depth and help weave the stories together.

While the overall message of Ragtime is one of hope, it goes to some very dark places along the way. These moments call attention to the inequalities suffered by less privileged segments of the American population (specifically, immigrants and African Americans), a theme that is still very much relevant today.

Don’t miss your opportunity to see this amazing show in Chattanooga!


Performances run January 16th through February 1st
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Sundays at 2:30 PM

Tickets Prices:
$20 General Admission
$15 Students

Tickets can be purchased here.

Here We Come A-Caroling

November 21st, 2014 11:50 AM

It’s that time of year again! The Artisti Affamati carolers are gearing up for the holiday season. Our first performance is tonight at the Chattanooga Music Club’s Holiday Spectacular. Join us at 7:00 PM at the Memorial Auditorium in downtown Chattanooga. Admission is free. There will also be performances by the Metropolitan Bells and organist Jonathan Ortloff.

If you would like to book the A2 carolers for your holiday event, check out Artisti Affamati‘s website for more information.

Take Me Out to the Opera!

April 24th, 2014 12:20 AM


The project I’m currently involved in is finally opening! This weekend only, you can hear me sing the role of Merry in William Schuman’s The Mighty Casey, an operatic treatment of the classic poem “Casey at the Bat.” This production is being done by the always wonderful Artisti Affamati at historic Engel Stadium in downtown Chattanooga. In addition to the opera itself, the evening will include music on the stadium’s organ, a performance of the classic “Who’s On First” comedy routine, and full ballpark concessions.

Performances will be held on Thursday, April 24, and Saturday, April 26, 2014, at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students, and $5 for kids ages 5-12, and they can be purchased online through Artisti Affamati’s website. Hope to see you at the opera!

Now Playing – Jekyll & Hyde

June 13th, 2013 2:04 PM


Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga‘s production of Jekyll & Hyde is currently in full swing! I have the pleasure and privilege of playing Emma in this fun production. We opened last weekend to some excellent houses, and we’ve been getting lots of positive feedback. One review by a student at Chattanooga State Community college said:

“What truly blew me away, though, were the voices of Marianna Allen and Jennifer Arbogast. Aside from their great acting skills, I did not want them to stop singing. Their voices alone make the show worth attending.”

We run through June 23, 2013. Performances are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 PM. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and can be purchased online through ETC’s website or at the door (if not sold out). ETC’s theater space is located inside Eastgate Town Center at 5600 Brainerd Rd, Chattanooga, TN.

Hope to see you at the theater!

Italian Night at the Chattanoogan

March 21st, 2013 3:51 PM

Join me tonight at the Chattanoogan hotel for Italian Night! I’ll be singing some lovely Italian arias and art songs, along with my Artisti Affamati colleagues Beth DuRoy, Lucia Sanchez, Sara Snider Schone, and Ted Long. The Chattanoogan’s Broad Street Grille will be serving an Italian buffet. Prices are $18.95 for adults and $8.00 for children. We’ll be there from 6:00 to 9:00 PM.


Opera-tunities in Chattanooga

February 28th, 2013 10:13 AM

Big things are happening with Chattanooga’s opera scene! First off, there’s Divas and Drinks, a sort of open mic night for classical singers that happens about every six weeks or so. The next event is happening this Sunday, March 3rd, and the theme is Operetta Madness. I’ll be singing in trios from Die Fledermaus and The Mikado, as well as probably doing a solo or two. If you want to sing or just listen to some wonderful music, come join us!

Second, Divas and Drinks has spun off Artisti Affamati, Chattanooga’s newest opera company. They will be presenting the American opera Shanewis: The Robin Woman on April 19 and 20, 2013, as part of the spark arts festival. In this production, I will be singing the role of Mrs. Everton. The opera is short – it runs about an hour in length – and the music is beautiful. I hope you’ll join us for this exciting event! The performances will be free, but if you’d like to help us out financially, you can send donations through our kickstarter campaign.

It’s an exciting time to be an opera aficionado in Chattanooga!

Officially a Twit

February 21st, 2011 5:05 PM

I finally broke down and got a Twitter account. As of right now, I plan to use it to document my thoughts and experiences in the performing arts world. It should be an interesting experiment, seeing as I have a tendency to use big words and complete sentences when I write.

If you’d like to follow me on twitter, my handle is @musicbymarianna .

Singer vs. Musician

February 15th, 2011 3:58 PM

One of my pet peeves has popped up again. In an article about a production that I’m currently involved with, our director stated that, as we sing with backing tracks, “there are no live musicians.” As a vocal musician who has put in countless hours working on this show, I beg to differ.

Why is it that so many people, even those in the music world, feel compelled to differentiate between “musicians” and “singers”? I have heard that distinction come up even when working with professional-quality ensembles, sometimes from the singers themselves. It always grates on my nerves. Why should the title of “musician” be reserved only for those who play an instrument? Are the singers on stage in an opera somehow worth less than their counterparts in the orchestra pit?

As a voice major in college, I had to take the same music theory and history classes as my instrument-playing friends. Just as they did, I worked on technique in my lessons and in the practice room. In the conservatory setting, we were all musicians, and we were all held to the same standards. There, the voice was considered an instrument in its own right, just as worthy of study as the violin or the oboe.

Sadly, the outside world doesn’t always see things the same way. Maybe people think that singing doesn’t require as much work as playing an instrument. The fact that everyone is born with a voice doesn’t make everyone a singer. If everyone were issued a violin at birth, the world wouldn’t suddenly be full of violinists, only people who owned violins.

So why make such a big deal out of the issue? Largely, it’s a matter of professional pride. But there’s also the issue of perception. The overwhelming current perception (as I see it) is that singing is somehow separate from musicianship, that it doesn’t require the same amount of skill and practice as playing an instrument. As such, singers are often devalued and expected to perform for free, while their instrumental counterparts are paid for their services. Sadly, until singers are recognized as musicians, that disparity will likely continue to exist.

As a vocal musician, I take my work seriously, whether or not I’m being paid for it. I urge my fellow singers to do the same. Others will only respect us as musicians if we first extend that same courtesy to ourselves.

Threepenny Opera

February 4th, 2011 1:01 PM

It’s been a long month or so of rehearsals, but The Threepenny Opera finally opens tonight at Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga. I play the role of Jenny, Macheath’s former lover who sells him out to the authorities.

Performances run Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2:00 PM, and Sundays at 6:30 PM through February 20, 2010. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and are available at the door or by calling or emailing the theater.

Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga is located in the St. Andrews Center on the campus of Tennessee Temple University. The physical address is: 1918 Union Ave., Chattanooga, TN.

Hope to see you at the show!

Short Attention Span Theater

June 7th, 2010 12:35 AM

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been hard at work with my colleagues over at Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga as a part of their second annual festival of ten-minute plays, known at Short Attention Span Theater. In less than two weeks, we have managed to rehearse and put up an evening of eight ten-minute plays with seven actors and two directors. Four of the plays presented in this year’s festival are world premieres, and two of those are by local playwrights. We opened this weekend to very appreciative audiences. There are still two weekends of performances left, so don’t miss this opportunity to check out the professional theater scene in Chattanooga!

Performances run through June 20, 2010, at the following times:
Fridays at 7:30 PM
Saturdays at 2:00 PM
Sundays at 3:00 PM

All performances are held at Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga, located in the St. Andrew’s Center:
1918 Union Ave
Chattanooga, TN 37404

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students.
Please be advised that some of the plays involve adult language and situations and therefore may not be suitable for children.