A funeral Mass for Thomson Smillie, director of Kentucky Opera from 1982-1997, is planned for Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Assumption, 433 S. Fifth Street. A Memorial Concert will follow at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway. A reception will follow the concert in the adjacent Fifth/Third Conference Center.
Smillie died Saturday at his home. He was 71.
Participants in the concert will include sopranos Edith Davis Tidwell and Emily Albrink Katz, baritones John Arnold and Chad Sloane, pianists Andrew Fleischman and David George, and violinist Peter McHugh. Bob Bernhardt will serve as master of ceremonies, and remarks will be made by Thomson Smillie’s elder son, Jonathan, and by Owsley Brown III. Actress Jane Welch will read a poem.
Arts leaders Barbara Sexton Smith, Allan Cowen and David Roth will rededicate the stage of the Brown Theater in Smillie’s memory at the memorial concert. Roth is the current director of Kentucky Opera. He announced on Monday the creation of a Thomson Smillie Campaign for Artistic Excellent, which will support future development of new works and new productions. The family requests that contributions in his memory take the form of gifts to that campaign, c/o The Kentucky Opera, 323 W. Broadway, Louisville 40202; or to Hosparus of Louisville, 3532 Ephraim McDowell Drive, Louisville 40205.