Augusta Read Thomas’s opera with beatboxer Nicole Paris

Posted on: December 5, 2019

“When composer and University of Chicago professor Augusta Read Thomas had the idea to incorporate nontraditional sounds into her opera, ‘Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun,’ she knew just who to reach out to: beatboxer Nicole Paris,” writes Angel Idowu on Monday (12/2) at Chicago radio station WTTW. “The two began to form a relationship and realized they’d be able to combine their sounds to create an opera featuring beatboxing. ‘We start the show with a famous beatboxer giving her show—Nicole Paris,’ Thomas said. ‘And she comes out and the audience goes crazy and she’s doing her beatboxing… Then all of a sudden, behind her an opera starts.’… With Thomas as the composer and Leslie Dunton-Downer as the librettist, the show-within-a-show is described as having a musical dynamic for all ages…. ‘Sweet Potato Kicks the Sun’ had a one-night run in Santa Fe in October, and Thomas says she’s currently in talks to have the show be picked up by several opera companies. As for Paris, she says this project has been so encouraging she’s started to work on a musical piece of her own.”

Posted December 5, 2019