OperaSoul Experience Hits Detroit  

Music lovers, get ready to enjoy some smooth sounds this summer season.  Detroit opera singer Kisma Jordan will be performing at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Sosnick Courtyard in Midtown Detroit. Introducing locals to opera through notable soulful sounds. The songstress is bringing her original idea, the OperaSoul Experience, to life with both original and cover songs.  


Fusing classic notes of opera with soul, R&B, jazz and gospel, the show promises to introduce opera to new listeners while keeping fans engaged. A 2014 Kresge Foundation Artist Fellow, Jordan has received praise from the The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun and other notable publications. The Detroit native has received numerous recognitions and accolades.  


Although singing has always been a large part of her life, it was at Kentucky State University where Jordan would begin to take singing seriously. The university’s choir director encouraged the budding singer to continue the private lesson she began in high school.  


“I was singing in middle school and high school choir, but when I was in high school, the choir director pulled me to the side and told me she thought I should take voice lessons,” says Jordan. “I started taking voice lessons at her prompting. When I got to college, even though I wasn’t a music major, the choir director at Kentucky State knew I had been taking private lessons.” 


The art of operatic singing requires intensive training and comes with its own set of techniques and limitations. However, the singer has found a way to marry popular genres of music and create a unique sound. A strong soprano voice, the performer also composes music. The upcoming show will feature musical arrangements written and composed by Jordan.  


No stranger to the DSO, this songstress has performed not only in their venue, but several stages across the country including features with Michigan Opera, Annapolis Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago in Porgy and Bess (Clara cover), and the Modell Performing Arts Center at the Lyric in The Rake’s Progress as Anne Trulove.  


While OperaSoul will showcase aspects of several genres of music, the show will still feature traditional opera. Keeping in mind the pace, length and feel of the performance, when stacking the show, choosing the right musical lineup is key.  


“Usually in classical music you do all the early stuff first and then the more contemporary or later music is done towards the end. That’s how you start with some Bach on the program and end up with Kirk Franklin,” says Jordan. “I’m trying to program it right so that I can do the classical stuff I need to and be able to voice some of the other things without overextending yourself.” 


More than enjoying the music, the artist hopes Detroiters will grow to appreciate arts spanning all genres. Known for its musical roots, the city’s art scene is in need of community support to continue to thrive and grow. In schools, art programs are typically underfunded and sometimes cut from budgets altogether. However, the importance of art and artists to not only Detroit, but globally, continues to impact those who are creating art.  


“It’s something I have had to deal with and a lot of other artists have had to deal with and it’s the lack of respect for the arts. In our city, the budget for the arts sometimes is not there. But it really is. It’s just that they’ve allocated the funds in the wrong place,” says Jordan. “They want the arts though. They want us there and they want us selling it out, but they don’t respect us enough to pay us properly.”  


In addition to the OperaSoul Experience, the singer will also release a special treat for fans. Featuring the song “Fighting,” the OperaSoul EP will be released September 1, just in time for the first of two performances at the DSO. This EP will bring pop and soul music together with opera vocals for a sound true to the artist.  


The OperaSoul Experience will be at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra September 1 and 2. Tickets are $20.  



From the Web