J. Rosalynn Smith-Clark
J. Rosalynn Smith-Clark, Founder and Managing/Artistic Director of Opera Noir, was named an “Unsung Hero” in 2005 by KCET Television, a PBS Station in Los Angeles, California for her work with Opera Noir. The classical soprano, who once headed a full-service advertising and a corporate event-planning firm, founded Opera Noir in July of 1999. Concerned by the lack of performing opportunities for classical artists of color, she founded Opera Noir 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”.
Through her visionary leadership of Opera Noir, Rosalynn has enjoyed both artistic and production sponsorship and collaboration with such notable artists as Quincy Jones, Angela Bassett, Courtney Vance, Donald McKayle and Jubilant Sykes.
Ms. Smith-Clark possesses a full and rich, lyric soprano voice with simmering high notes and a lovely floating pianissimo that delights audiences. J. Rosalynn Smith-Clark possesses an interesting balance between artist and entrepreneur. In addition to being blessed with a beautiful voice, Ms. Smith-Clark possesses a beautiful and commanding stage presence as well. Her recital program of Sacred Music and Spiritual entitled "Soul Songs" has received numerous accolades.
The program includes traditional Gospel favorites such as "The Old Rugged Cross"; the powerful Oratorio Soprano solo "Inflammatus et accensus" from Rossini’s "Stabat Mater"; and Negro Spiritual favorites that include Hal Johnson’s rousing "Witness", and the beautiful "He's Got The Whole World In His Hands" arranged by Margaret Bonds.
Ms. Smith-Clark’s more traditional recital program of Arias, Arts Songs, and, again Spirituals, include audience favorites: "Io son l'umile ancella" from "Adriana Lecouvreur"; "Vissi d'arte" from "Tosca"; and "My Man's Gone Now" from Gershwin’s "Porgy and Bess".
J. Rosalynn Smith-Clark is a respected artist, entrepreneur, evangelist, and advocate for special needs children. Of her many accomplishments and accolades, she is grateful for the blessing of being a wife and a mother. Rosalynn is married to San Francisco Television News Anchor, Dave Clark. She and Dave have two children, Simonne Gabrielle age 19 currently attending The University of The Arts in Philadelphia as a Dance Major, and David Emmanuel, age 17.
“I owe all that I have, and all that I am to the love of the Lord”
J. Rosalynn Smith-Clark