The well-known Fox television series "Empire" is certainly stepping out of its comfort zone as it features a prominent international opera diva in an episode airing at 8:00 p.m. on WFLD-Channel 32 locally and Fox affiliates nationwide.
With the help of one of "Empire's" stars Jussie Smollet, opera singer Lauren Michelle has been included into tonight's episode of a show which usually traffics in material connected to the hip-hop music industry.
This was also made possible when Smollet went to "Empire's" co-creator Lee Daniels and requested him to consider writing in a part for Michelle in a particular episode of the show.
According to Chicago Business Journals, both Smollet and Michelle became friends when they were both kids, and since then, their friendship has lasted. Because of that, it was only natural that Smollet would like to help Michelle's considerable operatic talent get wider exposure in a country where opera absolutely is not a household art form for many.
Among opera fans, Michelle already is recognized as a known entity. In fact, she placed third last year in the British Broadcasting Corp.'s prestigious Cardiff World Singer competition. She was able to outdo other 350 classical singers for top honors. Currently, Michelle is in demand at opera houses around the world.
Whether or not the viewers can readily relate to Michelle's talent, it's not the opera singer's main concern. Instead, she hopes her appearance might be an inspiration to other young girls watching the show.
Moreover, Michelle is excited about her debut on "Empire" and considers it an opportunity to share her talent with a new audience, specifically to young black girls. She told Broadway World, "I've known Jussie ½ my life. As teenagers we dreamed about doing what we are doing now,"
"And I'm so grateful to him for giving me this opportunity to share my talent with a young american audience," she added.