Maestro Brian Salesky, executive director and conductor of Knoxville Opera, will present a dynamic program illustrating the history of opera and musical theater at Lunch with the League on Tuesday, May 17. The program starts at noon Tuesday in the sanctuary of Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, which is located at 309 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
Salesky will be joined by two opera singers in his exposition of Opera 101, soprano Sarah Fitch and baritone Kevin Doherty. Both have performed roles in Knoxville Opera’s productions at the Tennessee Theatre and are graduates of the University of Tennessee, a press release said.
Opera 101, which can be adapted for different age groups, is one of several in the Knoxville Opera Education Program. In information provided for the upcoming program, Salesky said Knoxville Opera annually presents 75-100 education events for the community, including the recent Rossini Festival, Knoxville Opera Goes to Church, African-American Voices Series, and in-school operas, reaching up to 100,000 people.
“The program for the League of Women Voters of Oak Ridge is an ‘adult version’ of our Opera 101, a fast-paced history of the 400 years of opera and musical theater highlighted by selections from 10 popular works in English, Italian and French,” Salesky said.
Salesky is in his 11th year as executive director and conductor of Knoxville Opera. His tenure has been marked by great artistic growth, seven years of debt-free operations, and substantial build-out of the company’s Education/Outreach Program, the press release said.
It said Salesky has enjoyed a highly versatile career as a conductor of symphony and chamber music, opera and operetta, ballet and modern dance, Broadway musicals, and popular music. He has also engaged in a wide variety of work as a manager/producer of opera, concerts, television, radio, and videos and distinguished himself as an accompanist, music arranger, fundraiser, teacher, lecturer, and consultant.
He made his European debut in Barcelona conducting “The Elixir of Love” and appeared with Opera Australia, the Spoleto Festival, and symphony orchestras in Canada and Brazil. U.S. engagements have included acclaimed symphonies such as Chicago and San Diego and major operas such as Chicago, Cincinnati, Atlanta, and The Kennedy Center. He first won critical plaudits during his six-year tenure as a resident conductor and administrator with the New York City Opera, the press release said.
The informal luncheon will be held in the ORUUC social hall, beginning at 11:15 a.m. Box lunches will be available for $8, first come, first served. Coffee, tea, and water will be provided. Upon finishing lunch, members and guests may proceed to the sanctuary. No food or beverages are allowed in the sanctuary.
The program is free and open to the public is. For more information, call (865) 693-6286.
This press release was submitted by Cleva Marrow.