Monday, January 26, 2009

Lincoln Center Series 'exploring contributions of African-American artists to New York City Opera'

[Canvas rendering of the Troubled Island mural created by Noni Olabisi on the William Grant Still Art Center in Los Angeles. All rights reserved by the artist.]

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts will mark Black History Month 2009 and celebrate the contributions of African-Americans to the arts with a variety of programs. For the complete listing, visit
New York City Opera in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture presents A three-part series exploring contributions of American-American artists to New York City Opera.
January 28 at 7 p.m.
I’m on My Way”: Black History at City Opera
City Opera partners with Harlem’s Opera Noire to spotlight the company’s proud history of nurturing African-American artists and works. The evening features live performances of excerpts from Anthony Davis’s The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Leroy Jenkins’s The Mother of Three Sons, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, and Richard Danielpour and Toni Morrison’s Margaret Garner, as well as historical slides and recordings and commentary.
February 11 at 7 p.m.
One Fine Day”: A Tribute to Camilla Williams
The trailblazing soprano Camilla Williams made her debut at City Opera in 1946, becoming the first African-American female singer to perform in a major American opera house. This special evening celebrate Miss Williams, a distinguished singing teacher and a favorite artist of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The 88-year-old diva will offer warm and witty observations on her illustrious career and memorable life. The tribute includes audio and video clips, spoken and sung tributes, and the world premiere of a film specially created for this occasion by musician and filmmaker Richard Glazier.
March 31 at 7 p.m.
Troubled Island”: 60th Anniversary Celebration
First performed at City Opera on March 31, 1949 William Grant Still’s Troubled Island, about the 1791 rebellion by Haitian slaves, (the libretto was by poet Langston Hughes), was the first work by an African-American composer to be presented by a major American opera company; it was also the first world premiere ever presented by City Opera. Soloists from Harlem’s Opera Noire will offer a condensed concert performance of this American masterwork.
All events take place at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard. Tickets for each evening: $10; Call 212-491-2206 or go to:
[William Grant Still (1895-1978) is profiled at]

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