International Opera Star Returns Home to Perform

Big Stone Gap, VA – Big Stone Gap’s own Roy Cornelius Smith has established himself among the ranks of the finest tenors of his generation with a voice of exceptional color and beauty. He and Soprano Sofi Rohlman will join Symphony of the Mountains in a concert co-sponsored by Pro-Art showcasing favorites from opera, musical theater, and country music on Sunday, October 8th at 4 p.m. at Union High School in Big Stone Gap. Roy Cornelius Smith now resides in Vienna, Austria, and is returning to his hometown to sing for one night only.

“I am thrilled to do these concerts with Cornelia and the symphony,” Smith said. “It will be the first time many in the area have heard me sing. I only wish my father was alive to see this. I know he’s looking down and is as proud of me as I am of him. He was a huge inspiration to me and many others in the area.”

Smith has performed leading tenor roles at opera houses and festivals around the world including the Salzburg Festival, Spoleto Festival, Metropolitan Opera, Vienna Volksoper, Deutsche Oper Berlin, New York City Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has also performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice, Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, and with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Among other favorites, this “Homecoming” concert will include “La donna è mobile” from Rigoletto, “Granada”, “O sole mio”, and “The Impossible Dream” from Man of La Mancha.

Soprano Sofi Rohlman will perform alongside Cornelius Smith. Last year Rohlman won the Hayes School of Music Concerto Aria Competition at Appalachian State University and was also a winner of the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition.

Tickets to the event are $20 and are available onsite, or in advance online at, or by phone at (423) 392-8423. Proceeds from ticket sales support Symphony of the Mountains. Children, students, and Pro-Art season ticket holders will be admitted free. Pro-Art season ticket holders may make reservations at

Tickets to the 47th Pro-Art season are on sale now. Explore the complete schedule of events, purchase season tickets, and make reservations at Individual shows over the course of the season range in price up to $20, while a season ticket to 30 performances can be purchased for $40—less than $2 per show! Season tickets are valid for all performances of the 47th season and can be purchased online, in person at any show, or by calling (276) 376-4520.

Pro-Art partners with a variety of venues, therefore individuals with mobility issues or general questions are encouraged to call (276) 376-4520 or email the Pro-Art office at For evolving conditions related to weather cancellations, or similar unforeseen circumstances, patrons are encouraged to check for up-to-date information.

Pro-Art is supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Mountain Empire Community College, the Columbus Phipps Foundation, and the Lee County Community Foundation.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.