Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Longue Vue and the Marigny Opera House present Freedom Ride opera March 22 and 23, 2013

Following Civil Rights Landmark Anniversary, Historic Struggle becomes Artistic Triumph as Opera Freedom Ride Performed at Marigny Opera House in March 2013

Vignettes from the Longue Vue-commissioned opera Freedom Ride, twice nominated for Big Easy Awards, will be performed at the Marigny Opera House in late March 2013. Composer Dan Shore will debut new material for the opera, which has been previewed at Longue Vue, Xavier University of Louisiana, the 2012 French Quarter Festival, and the 2013 Tribute to the Classical Arts. The Marigny Opera House shows take place on March 22 and 23, 2013 at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $15/general admission and $10/students and seniors.

Longue Vue debuted three vignettes from Freedom Ride on October 20 and 22, 2011, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights freedom rides. Additional selections were performed at Xavier University on March 13, 2012, to complement a lecture and conversation with original Freedom Riders. Shore, a composer and librettist who is also on the faculty at Xavier University, wrote new music for the French Quarter Festival as well, leading to the second Big Easy Award nomination. “Experience the turmoil and triumph as a young woman from New Orleans must decide whether or not to risk everything she has to join the Freedom Riders and the civil rights movement in 1961,” says Shore.

The performance at the Marigny Opera House, an unaffiliated, non-denominational, neighborhood church and performance venue offering community-based arts programs, recovery group space and writers workshops, will feature the Xavier University of Louisiana Concert Choir and soloists Dara Rahming, Tyrone Chambers, Ivan Griffin, and Valerie Francis.

Freedom Ride came about as a result of a meeting between Shore and former Longue Vue Executive Director Joe Baker, who envisioned a musical work that would celebrate both New Orleans and the Civil Rights Movement. “Longue Vue is thrilled to be a center for commissioning new works and enlivening civil discourse in New Orleans, in the tradition of Longue Vue founders Edith and Edgar Stern,” says Baker. Bringing that discourse to young people, New Orleans-area students will be invited to rehearsals in order to observe the overall process of staging a professional theatrical production.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council and in part by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans. These grants are administered through the Arts Council of New Orleans.

The Marigny Opera House’s performances of Freedom Ride will take place Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, at 8 p.m. at 725 St. Ferdinand Street. Tickets will be sold at the door; no advance tickets or reservations. For more information, contact Christopher Bowers at 504.293.4719 or

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