Join Michigan Opera Theatre for “Take Me Out to the Opera”, a programming series which celebrates groundbreaking African American artists and athletes who paved the way for integration in their fields. Inspired by MOT’s upcoming opera The Summer King, these concerts, lectures, films and discussions will connect the history behind the opera to current issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Opera & Jazz: The Summer King

Michigan Opera Theatre is thrilled to return to Cliff Bell’s for an evening of opera and jazz. The evening is in anticipation of MOT’s upcoming production of “The Summer King” which tells the story of Negro Leagues baseball legend Josh Gibson, considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Artists from Michigan Opera Theatre and area musicians will offer an evening of jazz and opera from the 1920s-40s that highlight the soundscape of Josh Gibson’s world and celebrate trailblazing African American artists like Marian Anderson and Florence Price. Artists from Michigan Opera Theatre will be accompanied by Sonya Belaya and joined by the Tbone Paxton Trio.

Wednesday, April 18  • 7:00-10:00 PM – $10 cover
Cliff Bell’s | 2030 Park Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
For reservations: 313-961-2543

A Take Me Out to the Opera event

I, Too, Sing America: A Celebration of African American Artists & Athletes

An afternoon of beautiful music and compelling conversation in Rosedale Park 

Join Michigan Opera Theatre at the Rosedale Park Community House for I, Too, Sing America: A Celebration of African American Artists & Athletes. Through live music, poetry, narrative, and video, this innovative performance highlights the stories and achievements of African American artists and athletes who defied limitations and paved the way for integration in their fields. An engaging panel discussion will follow the performance where speakers, performers, and audience will consider: What has classical music traditionally meant for African American individuals and communities? How has it played a role in bridging racial divides and promoting healing? And how do we, today, move toward a fuller incorporation of those pursuits in our world?

Sunday, April 22
3:00 p.m. – Performance & Panel Discussion
4:30 p.m. – Reception & Opportunity to meet artists and speakers

Rosedale Park Community House
18445 Scarsdale St, Detroit, MI 48223

FREE – Ticket required – CLICK HERE

A Take Me Out to the Opera event

The Sun Was Always Shining Somewhere: Life in the Negro Leagues

Film Screening and Q&A with Director Donn Rogosin

Join us for a free film screening of “There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace: Life in the Negro Baseball Leagues.” Q&A with director Donn Rogosin will follow.

Winner of national and international awards, this documentary features interviews with baseball Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, James ‘Cool Papa’ Bell, Buck Leonard, Judy Johnson, Monte Irvin and Ray Dandridge. Praised by the national press, this compelling film chronicles the rich history of the Negro Baseball Leagues that flourished before Jackie Robinson integrated the major leagues in 1947. The exploits of these talented athletes and the times when baseball was a segregated sport are vividly brought to life. There Was Always Sun Shining Someplace contains rare historical footage showing the ballplayers as they traveled the back roads of America, The Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America. It is an unforgettable journey.

Thursday, April 26  • 7:00 p.m. 
Detroit Opera House – Chrysler Black Box Theater
Please RSVP to cknapp@motopera.org

A Take Me Out to the Opera event


Negro Leagues Exhibit at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

An exhibit on the Negro Leagues will open at the Charles Wright Museum in partnership with the Josh Gibson Foundation and the Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium. Items will be on display through June.

Beginning May 1 


Take Me Out to the Opera: An Evening with Michigan Opera Theatre

A free concert inspired by The Summer King featuring selections from the opera, and music from Josh Gibson’s era. MOT singers will be joined by members of Hamtramck High School’s Choir and Band in celebration of the school’s R.I.S.E Grant, given by NBC to select schools nationwide.

Saturday, May 5 • 6:00 PM 
Hamtramck High School
11410 Charest St, Hamtramck, MI 48212 


Arts and Sports Youth Clinics

In celebration of Hamtramck Stadium, one of only a handful of historic Negro Leagues stadiums still in existence, and a location where Josh Gibson played, MOT is partnering with Friends of Historic Hamtramck Stadium and the Detroit City Football Club to bring baseball, softball, soccer, cricket, and dance clinics to young people.

Saturday, May 12 • 10:30 AM   
Hamtramck Stadium
3201 Dan St, Hamtramck, MI 48212



For more information on community events, please contact
Andrea Scobie
Manager of Education and Community Programs