Saturday: Knoxville Opera Goes To Church

One of the more uplifting blendings of musical genres one is apt to ever encounter in Knoxville, or anywhere, is Knoxville Opera Goes To Church, A Celebration of Talent — a program that skillfully combines gospel music, spirituals, and opera on one musically diverse bill. The emphasis here is on talent, for it is this quality that has transcended musical genres and made the program wildly popular since its inaugural event in 2009. The sixth annual performance comes this Saturday afternoon, 5 p.m., at the Greater Warner Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church, 3800 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue. Admission is free.

This program, co-directed by Jeanie Turner Melton and Knoxville Opera Maestro Brian Salesky, will include the Knoxville Opera Gospel Choir along with soloists that includes KO guest artists Audrey Babcock, Briana Hunter, Brian Cheney, and Ryan Kuster, joined by local soloists Evelyn Jack, Sonia Roberts, and Michael Rodgers.

The program will include “Oh for a Thousand Tongues to Sing,” “You Must Have That True Religion,” “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” “Don’t Feel No-ways Tired,” “Hallelujah is the Highest Praise,” “Move on Up a Little Higher,” “Even Me,” “Amazing Grace,” “Walk With Me Lord,” and excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen, Knoxville Opera’s current production that runs at the Tennessee Theatre on February 13 and 15, 2015.

[Opera Goes to Church is a registered trademark of Cincinnati Opera]