When & Where
Rosalynn Smith-Clark founded Opera Noir in July of 1999 out of concern by the lack of performing opportunities for classical artists of color. The organization was organized to “promote cultural diversity in the classical arts”. Mrs. Smith-Clark believes that “the stage should reflect the world in which we live”.
It is Rosalynn’s dream that Opera Noir become to classical music, what Dance Theatre of Harlem has become to ballet. Her artistic vision, and commitment to excellence, has allowed her to entertain, educate, and introduce new and gifted artists to a larger audience. Ms. Smith-Clark brings and ethnocentric approach to classical music. She embraces the musical influences of her upbringing in the African America church, and her experience as a much sought after Jazz Vocalist early in her career. As a result of Rosalynn's passionate advocacy for multiculturalism in the Arts, Opera Noir has been critically acclaimed, and has been embraced and encouraged by the funding community.
Under Ms. Smith-Clark’s artistic guidance, legendary producer Clive Davis honored Opera Noir when Mr. Davis was the Honorary Chairperson for the Opera Noir 2003 Juneteenth Gala “Tribute To Luther Vandross”. J Records was also a sponsor for this concert performance that weaved classical music with the classic R & B that has garnered the late, Luther Vandross accolades as one of the greatest balladeers of our generation. For this Gala Tribute, once again, under the artistic guidance of Ms. Smith-Clark as both Director and Soloists, Opera Noir commissioned a ballet tribute choreographed by legendary choreographer Donald McKayle to Mr. Vandross’ mega hit “A House Is Not A Home”.