Friday, January 29, 2016

Cleveland Opera Theater: "Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line To Freedom" Jan. 29-Feb. 7; Opens Christ Temple Apostolic Church, Oberlin 7 PM Jan. 29

Nkeiru Okoye, Ph.D.

An exciting new operatic work that tells of how a young girl born in slavery, becomes Harriet Tubman, the legendary Underground Railroad conductor.

Experience this heartwarming tale of two sisters vowing that nothing but death will separate them, despite the slavery threatening to tear them apart. The music is richly textured, drawing from the musical traditions of opera, gospel, American spirituals, ragtime and minstrel songs.

Based on recent Tubman biographies, the story is narrated and told in the context of Tubman’s tight-knit family of lively characters. Harriet Tubman carries the universal themes of sisterhood, courage, sacrifice and doing what is necessary to keep a family together.

This touring co-production with the Oberlin Opera Theater is the Midwest premiere of the opera following the New York City World Premiere production in February 2014.  The production features internationally renowned artists including Oberlin alumna Nkeiru Okoye - librettist and composer of the opera, Julius Williams, conductor, and Jonathon Field, stage director.

Singing actors from the Oberlin Opera Theater perform along side professional artists including Brian Keith Johnson, baritone of strong regional renown (and regular Cleveland Opera Theater company member) portraying the role of John Tubman, Cleveland-based actress Debra Rose in the role of Rittia Ross, and Oberlin alumnus David Hughey, tenor portraying the roles of Ben Ross and William Still - Mr. Hughey made his Broadway debut in the Tony Award winning revival of the Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess, he later joined the Broadway First National Tour in the role of Jake, and was recently featured on the soundtrack to the Oscar Award winning feature film, 12 Years A Slave.

When I crossed that line to freedom is presented as part of Cleveland Opera Theater's New Opera Works {NOW}.  NOW features productions of new and recently composed opera, and workshops and readings of other new works in development  More about NOW

Production Tour Dates and Locations
Friday, January 29, 7:00pm Christ Temple Apostolic Church 370 West Lincoln Street Oberlin, Ohio 44074
Sunday, January 31, 2:00pm Mt. Zion Baptist Church 81 Locust Street Oberlin, Ohio 44074
Friday, February 5, 7:00pm St. Paul A.M.E. Church  4118 Brookside Blvd. Cleveland, Ohio 44135
Saturday, February 6, 6:30pm Finney Chapel 70 N. Professor St. Oberlin, Ohio 44074
Sunday, February 7, 2:00pm  First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Ohio 44118 
A pre-show introduction to the opera will be offered at the First Baptist Church Location only
Pre-Show intro 1:15 - 1:45pm in the Spahr Center on-site at First Baptist Church.
These are non-ticketed performances with FREE admission.
Free On-Site Parking is available at each location
You may make a tax-deductible donation to Cleveland Opera Theaterto support this co-production and future New Opera Works (NOW) Productions
Comments by email:

1) Hi Bill,  Thank you so much for advertising this and keeping your amazing blog of events.  It is wonderful! Best wishes and thank you again, Nkeiru [Nkeiru Okoye]
2) Congratulations-worthy and highly needed production. Sankofa John Malveux

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