Honoring new inductees into the Knoxville Opera Hall of Fame!
Come celebrate Knoxville Opera’s 40 fabulous years with a grand gala concert featuring dazzling performances by Rochelle Bard, Catherine Daniel, and Scott Bearden, all of whom triumphed in Knoxville Opera’s 2017 production of Mary Queen of Scots. Returning to the Bijou Theatre, Knoxville Opera’s inaugural venue, this riveting program includes operatic favorites from Don Giovanni, Mary Queen of Scots, The Merry Widow, Norma, The Pearl Fishers, and Wagner’s The Valkyrie, along with thrilling music from rarely performed works Adriana Lecouvreur, Esclarmonde, La Fille du Tambour-Major, La Gioconda, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Semiramide, and Il Tabarro. Don’t miss the vocal fireworks!
Meet the Director
Brian Salesky (Music Director and Conductor)
This marks Maestro Brian Salesky’s 13th season as Knoxville Opera’s Executive Director and Conductor. His administration has been marked by great artistic growth, a tremendous expansion of the company’s Education/Outreach Program, and twelve consecutive years of debt-free, in-the-black operations. He has conducted 67 performances, produced 35 operas and concerts, a Mostly Mozart Festival, 12 Rossini Festivals, 8 Knoxville Opera Goes to Church concerts, an ongoing African- American Voices Series, and appeared in 850 Education/Outreach programs including five in-school operas for over 45,000 students. His tenure has been highlighted by significant new company repertoire (La Forza del Destino, The Girl of the Golden West, Manon, Mefistofele, Norma, I Puritani, Maria Stuarda) and the company debuts of many exciting artists such as Joyce El-Khoury, Rachele Gilmore, Donovan Singletary, Noah Stewart, Daniel Sumegi, and Talise Trevigne, who have gone on to international success.
Mr. Salesky has enjoyed a versatile, international career as a conductor of symphonic and chamber orchestras, opera and operetta, ballet and modern dance, Broadway musicals and popular music. During his four decades in the performing arts, he has also engaged in a wide variety of work as a producer/manager of concerts, opera, television, radio, and videos, and has distinguished himself as an accompanist, music arranger, fund-raiser, educator, lecturer, author, and consultant. Mr. Salesky first won critical plaudits during his six-year tenure as a resident conductor and administrator with the NYC Opera. With the company in NYC and on tour in Los Angeles, Washington, and Mexico, his twenty-five-opera repertoire included the “Live From Lincoln Center” telecast of La Cenerentola. He also served as the director of the NYC Opera National Company, conducting Carmen and La Traviata in 45 cities. The conductor has also appeared with the opera companies of Barcelona, Sydney, Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Dayton, Central City, and Montana. Maestro Salesky has performed with the leading symphony orchestras of Chicago, Madrid, Winnipeg, Peru, Denver, San Diego, Syracuse, the Kennedy Center, Grant Park (Chicago), Napa, South Bend, Greensboro, Utica, and Greeley, and the chamber of orchestras of Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Woodstock. In his native NYC, Mr. Salesky has served as Music Director for the Congress of Strings, the Jamaica Symphony Orchestra, the Broadway revival of Man of La Mancha (starring Raúl Juliá) and as Resident Conductor of the Tony Award production of On Your Toes. During his career he has conducted for legendary artists Catherine Malfitano, Renata Scotto, and Alfredo Kraus and has accompanied hundreds of singers including Joan Sutherland, Richard Tucker, Sherrill Milnes, Robert Merrill, Marcello Giordani, and Patrice Racette.
The Indiana University Phi Beta Kappa graduate’s range of activities have included positions with the Colorado Symphony, Utica Symphony, American Guild of Musical Artists, Walt Disney Studios, Indiana University, Hunter College, Israel Vocal Arts Institute, and the NYC Performing Arts Education Advisory Commission. From 1996 to 2001 he served as Co-founder, Executive Producer, and fund-raiser for the Raúl Juliá Ending Hunger Fund.
Rochelle Bard (Soprano)
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts
Foreign Opera Company: Opera Lirica (Orvieto)
Foreign Festivals: Seoul International Music Festival, Toulouse International Festival
U.S. Opera Companies: Knoxville Opera (Norma, Il Trovatore, Maria Stuarda), Utah Festival Opera, Baltimore Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Shreveport Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera Tampa, Opera San José, Opera Idaho, Ash Lawn Opera, Opera Providence, Maine Grand Opera, Opera Theatre of Connecticut, Opera Theatre of Middlebury (CT), MidAtlantic Opera (NJ), Cape Cod Opera, St. Petersburg Opera (FL), Longwood Opera (MA), New England Light Opera (MA), West Bay Opera (CA), Sugar Creek Opera (IL), Chautauqua Opera (NY)
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Opera Orchestra of New York, Hartford Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Wilmington Symphony, MidAmerica Productions (NY), Cambridge Symphony (MA), Pioneer Valley Symphony (MA), Cadenza Orchestra (CA), Farmington Valley Chorale (CT), North Shore Chorus and Orchestra (MA); Tanglewood Festival, Music by the Lake (WI)
Catherine Daniel (Mezzosoprano)
Birthplace: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Foreign Opera Companies: Opéra de Montréal, Edmonton Opera, Manitoba Opera, Opera Studio Nederland, Porgy and Bess Europe tour
Foreign Orchestras: : Orchestre Métropolitain (Montréal), Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Magogo Kamerorkest (Netherlands), Orchestre Symphonique de Sherbrooke (Québec)
U.S. Opera Companies: Knoxville Opera (Maria Stuarda)
Aaron Short (Tenor)
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri
Foreign Opera Company: Lyric Opera Studio Welmar
U.S. Opera Companies: Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Nashville Opera, Portland Opera, Florentine Opera (WI), Chautauqua Opera (NY), Opera Theatre Oregon, Portland Concert Opera, DuPage Opera Theatre, Manhattan School of Music, Wichita State University
Scott Bearden (Baritone)
Birthplace: Flint, Michigan
Foreign Opera Company: International Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv)
U.S. Opera Companies: Knoxville Opera (Pagliacci, Otello, La Fanciulla del West, Hansel and Gretel, Tosca, Maria Stuarda), San Francisco Opera, Opera Boston, Opera New Jersey, Toledo Opera, Mississippi Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera Memphis, Opera San Jose, Opera Grand Rapids, Eugene Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera, West Bay Opera, Mercury Opera, Rockland (NY), California Festival Opera
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Knoxville Symphony, Monterey Symphony, Oakland East Bay Symphony, Midland Symphony, Symphony Silicon Valley, Tanglewood Music Festival, Caramoor Music Festival, Sanibel Music Festival, Mendocino Music Festival