Knoxville Opera, Walters State Community College, and major sponsor Jefferson Federal Charitable Foundation, will present The Magic of Musical Theater for Lakeway Area 3rd through 8th grade students at 10:30 a.m. on May 8 at the Walters State Great Smoky Mountain Pavilion.

The one-hour performance will feature opera singers Catherine Daniel, Scott Bearden, and Wayd Odle, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, and Knoxville Opera Maestro Brian Salesky in an intriguing program of music from Disney movie classics, Broadway musicals, and famous operas. From Beauty and the Beast to West Side Story to Carmen and The Barber of Seville, the students will be treated to a rare local experience of the magical, inspiring music of some of the most popular works of musical theater.

Highlighting the students’ experience will be the thrilling vocalism of Knoxville Opera’s three guest artists: Canadian mezzosoprano Catherine Daniel has performed leading roles with Opera de Montreal, Edmonton Opera, Canadian Opera, Knoxville Opera, as well as a European Tour of Porgy and Bess.

She has also appeared with symphony orchestras in Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States.

American baritone Scott Bearden has performed leading roles with San Francisco Opera, Opera Boston, Opera New Jersey, Opera Memphis, Knoxville Opera, Toledo Opera, Mississippi Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera San Jose, and Opera Grand Rapids. Bearden has also performed as a soloist with many American symphony orchestras and summer music festivals.

Tenor Wayd Odle, tenor, is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in opera performance at the University of Tennessee. He has performed with the Knoxville and Utah Opera Companies and as a soloist with the Utah Philharmonic Orchestra and Atlantic Music Festival.

Serving as host and conductor will be Brian Salesky, Knoxville Opera’s Executive and Artistic Director. Salesky has enjoyed an international career as a conductor of symphony and chamber music, opera and operetta, ballet and modern dance, Broadway musicals and popular music.

During his 50 years in the performing arts, he has also engaged in a wide variety of work as a manager/producer of opera, concerts, television, radio and videos. Salesky has also distinguished himself as an accompanist, music arranger, fund-raiser, and teacher.

All Lakeway area elementary and middle school students grades 3-8 have been invited to enjoy this unique musical opportunity free of charge. Parents check with your child to see if their school is attending. Schools that have not registered and would like to have their students attend can do so by contacting Tish Jones at or (423) 587-9278.

In addition to the major sponsor, Jefferson Federal Charitable Foundation, corporate sponsors are Colortech, Inc., KaTom Restaurant Supply, Morristown-Hamblen Healthcare Systems and Rogers Petroleum. Inc. Non-profit sponsors are HC*EXCELL, HomeTrust Bank, Rotary Club of Morristown A.M. and the Walters State Foundation.