Opera in the Rock pays tribute to memory of Jessye Norman today

Opera In The Rock’s popular concert series “Divas in the Rock” will present a Jessye Norman Memorial Recital on Sunday, November 17th, at 4:00 pm in the sanctuary of Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Dr., Little Rock, 72205.

Norman was a dramatic soprano, singing a broad range of repertoire across opera, concert and recital stages. She was a towering figure in the world of opera with a cavernous, rich voice who also performed in Little Rock in 2003 at Pulaski Heights UMC as a benefit concert for Philander Smith College.

This concert event will feature music from her repertoire including traditional African-American spirituals such as “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” and “Amazing Grace” alongside art song and opera arias from her signature roles in operas such as Bizet’s Carmen and Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. Featured local performers include LaSheena Gordon, Shannon Rookey, Christine Donahue, Deidra Jones, Sarah Stankiewicz-Dailey, Victoria Mantooth and Kate Sain among others accompanied by singer-songwriter John Willis.

Free Admission with a $10 suggested donation at the door. All proceeds benefit Opera In The Rock’s mission to produce professional opera emphasizing collaboration and diversity. No advance ticket purchase required.

One final chance to see SOUVENIR with Christine Donahue and Timothy Smith presented by Opera in the Rock

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Opera in the Rock presents the Tony-nominated play Souvenir: a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins as a one-night only benefit encore performance of their smash hit!

The performance starts at 7:30pm on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre stage.

1964: Greenwich Village. Cosmé McMoon flashes back to the musical career of Florence Foster Jenkins, a wealthy New York socialite with an infamous prestige for singing out of tune. In 1932, she met McMoon and the two teamed up to foster Jenkins’ love for singing in the hopes of achieving success. Over the next dozen years, their bizarre partnership yielded hilariously off-key recitals that became the talk of the town and earned them cultish fame.

Christine Donahue and Timothy Smith take on these two spectacular characters for the last time one night only as a benefit performance for Opera In The Rock at The Rep.

Christine Donahue, soprano, has performed with numerous opera companies throughout the United States, Canada and abroad including New York City Opera, Cleveland Opera and Houston Grand Opera. She is presently Assistant Professor of Voice at University of Central Arkansas.

Mr. Smith is a professor of piano and music theory at Arkansas Tech University and has performed in numerous community musicals throughout the country. As an accomplished pianist, he has also played in orchestras for shows including Anything Goes, West Side Story, The King and I, and South Pacific.

THE OLD MAID & THE THIEF – A 1939 Radio Hour presented by Opera in the Rock this weekend

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Step back to 1939! This one-act opera described by the composer Gian Carlo Menotti as “an opera-buffa for radio in fourteen scenes” tells a twisted tale of morals amongst a gaggle of nosy women and an unsuspecting man. Commissioned by NBC Radio in 1939, it was one of the earliest operatic works composed specifically for live radio.

In what’s sure to be a fun-filled evening of laughs and spectacle, Opera In The Rock will be presenting the work as a live radio play, complete with larger-than-life actors, on stage music, live sound effects, and comical commercial breaks. Starring Metropolitan Opera singer Diane Kesling alongside local soprano favorite Christine Donahue, the cast also includes Shannon Rookey, Ron Jensen-McDaniel, Sarah Stankiewicz Dailey, and Kevin Lambert of Lancaster, PA.

“The Old Maid and The Thief: A 1939 Radio Hour” will be sung in English with music direction and piano accompaniment by John Willis.

Performances are August 23 and 24 at 7:30pm and August 25 at 2:30pm.

Ticket Types:
General Admission, $35
Student Ticket, $25
VIP Ticket, $50 (Includes Drink Voucher & Prime Reserved Seating)

Venue Information:
The Studio Theatre
320 W 7th Street

The Little Rock Wind Symphony Christmas Concert is tonight

‘Tis the season to be jolly and the Little Rock Wind Symphony offers a concert of musical merriment with a twist of folly.

This child-friendly concert includes other holiday favorites featuring the musicians of the Little Rock Wind Symphony joined by Christine Donahue, soprano; McAfferty School of Irish Dance; combined children’s choirs from Roberts Elementary School and Second Presbyterian Church. The concert will conclude with the audience sing-along.  Music Director Israel Getzov conducts.

There will be a silent auction before the concert, offering lots of items to fill those Christmas stockings. The auction opens at 6:30 p.m. and bidding will conclude at the end of the concert intermission.

Tickets are available at the door and are $10 for adults, $8 for adults 65 and over, and free for students.