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Gospel and Opera to unify the Knoxville community


michael rodgers
Knoxville Opera guest soloist, Michael Rodgers.

What do you get when you combine the glorious sounds of gospel, spirituals, and the magnificence of opera?

Multiple standing ovations by large crowds who have shouted “hallelujah” at the 7 previous performances of Knoxville Opera Goes to Church . . . A Celebration of Talent! The 8th annual concert, sponsored by Home Federal Bank and The 5th Commandment Fund, will feature the Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir, local soloists, and international Knoxville Opera guest artists. The free-admission concert, one of Knoxville Opera’s 85 annual community-education activities, will take place on Sunday, October 2, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. at Overcoming Believers Church, 120 South Bell Street in East Knoxville.

“We are the only opera company in the world that has its own Gospel Choir and we are proud to present our eclectic repertoire featuring outstanding local and visiting guest artists. Our performances are an inspiration to both the performers and our very enthusiastic audience. We always make sure to give them something to cheer about!” said Jeanie Turner Melton who will conduct the 40-voice Choir. Knoxville Opera Maestro Brian Salesky will host the concert and accompany the opera artists.

The outstanding lineup of soloists includes Knoxville Opera’s international guest artists Claire Coolen, Jenni Bank, Joshua Kohl, Sean Anderson, and Robert Orth along with local soloists Evelyn Jack, Yolanda Johnson, Michael Rodgers, and Ernest Woods. “We are privileged to contribute to our community with this unique event that unites patrons and fans who appreciate diverse musical cultures” said Salesky, “and we are most grateful for the support of our generous sponsors who make this concert possible.”

The inspiring, humorous, and ravishing program will include Let us go, How far we’ve come, Free at last, There’s a balm in Gilead, Ezekiel saw de wheel, My soul has been anchored in the Lord, He’s done enough, We’re blessed, and excerpts from The Wiz and Knoxville Opera’s 2016-2017 productions of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, Puccini’s La Bohème, and Donizetti’s Mary Queen of Scots.

Published September 25, 2016

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