Boston Modern Opera Project and Odyssey Opera to present five-year series of operas by Black composers

Posted on: October 22, 2021

Boston Modern Orchestra Project and Artistic Director Gil Rose in Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts. Photo: Chuck Furlong/Boston Modern Orchestra Project


“The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP) and Odyssey Opera have unveiled plans for ‘As Told By: History, Race, and Justice on the Opera Stage,’ a five-year series of performances of operas by Black composers,” writes Taylor Grant in Thursday’s (10/21) Musical America (subscription required). “The five operas … written over an eight-decade span … will … include New England and world premiere performances and … recordings on the independent label BMOP/sound. The first in the series—X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X by … Anthony Davis—will receive its New England premiere at Boston’s Strand Theater on June 17, 2022 with … Davóne Tines in the title role…. Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom [by] Nkeiru Okoye will receive its full orchestra premiere … in 2023. The following year will include 75th-anniversary performances in Boston and New York of William Grant Still’s Troubled Island (with a libretto by Langston Hughes)…. Ulysses Kay’s 1991 Frederick Douglass will receive its New England premiere and first performance since 1991 in 2025…. The last in the series will be a world premiere of The Bridge, a BMOP commission by Boston-based composer Jonathan Bailey Holland that explores Martin Luther King Jr.’s years in Boston.”