Knoxville Opera’s 40th Anniversary Season celebration commences in grand style with a Gala Concert, sponsored by Dr. Sharon Lord, honoring eight new members of the Knoxville Opera Hall of Fame.  The event will take place at the Bijou Theatre, location of the company’s first performance on November 3, 1978 (La Traviata starring Mary Costa), on Friday, October 27, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.  The concert will feature opera stars Rochelle Bard, Catherine Daniel, Aaron Short, and Scott Bearden along with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Brian Salesky.  Program highlights include Wagner’s exciting Ride of the Valkyries, the extraordinary Confrontation Scene from Mary Queen of Scots, and twelve additional selections including works by Puccini, Rossini, Verdi, Mozart, Bizet, Lehar, Offenbach and others.


“Our 40th Anniversary Gala Concert will offer the “greatest hits” of the opera world – selections from operas so tremendous that we may never see them produced locally,” said Bryan Salesky, Executive Director and Conductor of Knoxville Opera. “It will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience in person locally these outstanding selections from some of the most famous and followed operas of all time.”


“Opera is one of the most culturally rich art forms but also is incredibly accessible across our community, from Knoxville Opera’s free offerings to ticketed events,” continued Salesky. “Our 40th Anniversary Gala Concert tickets start at $23, making it one of the most affordable live entertainment offerings of the year in Knoxville.”


The Knoxville Opera Hall of Fame recognizes exceptional service and financial support to the company.  The eight new Hall of Fame inductees are The Aslan Foundation, Betsey Richards Bush, Dr. Michelle Lanter Brewer, Pilot Flying J, Peggy J. Sood, Dr. Monroe and Sandra Trout, Andrew Wentzel, and Jackie Wilson. Brief profiles of the honorees appear below. They join 32 existing members of the Hall of Fame, begun in 1993.


Tickets to the concert and reception may be purchased through Knoxville Opera at (865) 524-0795, ext. 1, or at