Voices of Inspiration

The Monroe Council for the Arts is delighted to present a celebration of Black History with a unique concert presented by artists from Knoxville Opera.  The event, on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 7:00 p.m., will take place in the auditorium of Sweetwater Elementary School located at 301 Broad Street in Sweetwater, TN. Knoxville Opera Artistic Director Brian Salesky will host and accompany the soloists: soprano Maria Clark and baritone Michael Rodgers.  The program is designed as a series of tributes to legendary Black singers, composers, and lyricists of the 20th Century.  In addition to spirituals and gospel music, the program includes highlights from Porgy and Bess and The Color Purple along with popular music associated with Scott Joplin, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, and Louie Armstrong.

Maria Clark

Statuesque Soprano, Maria Clark, has been acclaimed for her virtuosic skills of expressive singing across the idioms of Opera, Oratorio, and Art Song, and has been critiqued as possessing “The Voice of An Angel”. One of the most important aspects of her vocal abilities is her superb control of a very large instrument, all the while presenting a beautiful, rich, and layered voice.

Michael Rodgers

Baritone, Michael Rodgers is a well-known and much sought-after soloist throughout East Tennessee. His remarkable solo voice has been featured with the Knoxville Opera, the Knoxville Choral Society, and the Knoxville Symphony, and he sings regularly at his home church, Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville. Michael is a special education teacher in Knox County schools who graduated from Knoxville College and completed post-graduate work at UT. He has performed for President George W. Bush, TN Governors Bredeson and Haslam, and numerous elected officials.

Missoula Children’s Theatre Rumpelstiltskin

This year’s production will be… RUMPELSTILTSKIN

A strange little gnome appears from here, there and everywhere. He will spin your straw into gold…for a price. If his price is too steep, you must guess his name…RUMPELSTILTSKIN! Join in the fun of Festival Time and help Clara guess the mischievous little gnome’s name. You will also encounter a Jester, Villagers, Wizards, a Queen, a King, Knights and a band of busy little Bees. This heart-warming tale of mischief and friendship answers more questions than just “What is that little man’s name?”

This production is part of the Missoula Children’s Theatre’s unique international touring project and is presented locally by MACA for the 23rd year, thanks to the Arts Build Communities grant from Tennessee Arts Commission, fundraisers & contributions MACA Supporters.