A Busy January at NOA and OA

Not even halfway through the month, and it’s already been a busy January!  First we had a presentation at the National Opera Association convention down in New Orleans on January 4, with Dara Rahming, Valerie Francis, and Ivan Griffin.

Now we’re off to New York for the Opera America New Works Forum for a showcase on January 15.  In addition to Dara Rahming, Valerie Francis, and Tyrone Chambers–who’s flying in from Germany to sing!–we’ll be working with our new friend Justin Hopkins, a baritone from Philadelphia.   Special thanks to Lidiya Yankovskaya, Charlotte McKechnie, and Juventas New Music Ensemble for arranging this presentation.

We will be trying to attract some interest in a production from a professional company, so please wish us “Toi toi” as we try to bring Freedom Ride to a theater near you!


Boston New Music Festival

As part of the Boston New Music Festival, Juventas will be presenting a few scenes from Freedom Ride Sunday night, September 24 with soprano Kristin Young and baritone Robert Honeysucker.  Artistic Director Lidiya Yankovskaya will accompany on the piano.

The performance will take place at 7:30pm at Killian Hall, on the MIT campus.  Tickets are $12, or $8 for students.

Composer and librettist Dan Shore will also participate in a panel discussion on opera and new music at 1:30pm that afternoon, part of the Boston New Music Festival Symposium, which runs from 11:30am to 6:00pm, also at Killian Hall.

Details of Juventas’s spring 2018 production of Freedom Ride are coming soon, so watch this space for more information!

Freedom Ride comes to Boston!

I am absolutely thrilled to share with all of you that Freedom Ride will have its full premiere next spring in Boston, produced by Lidiya Yankovskaya and Juventas New Music Ensemble.

As a preview, this week, on March 22 and 23, Juventas is presenting short excerpts from the opera on their Music in Flight program at Club Oberon in Harvard Square, with soprano Kristin Young as Sylvie and tenor Davron Monroe as Russell.

The dates for the premiere are still being finalized with the theater, so please watch this space for more information!

As always, thank you all for your support and interest in this project over the last five and a half years.

And if you would like to contribute financially to the production, please visit http://www.juventasmusic.com/contribute.html.


Very excited to announce an upcoming weekend of performances in Mexico City, August 26-28!  We will be presented four excerpts from Freedom Ride in concert with la Orquesta Sinfónica de Minería, the New Orleans Black Chorale, and soloists Dara Rahming, Chauncey Packer, and Ivan Griffin, all under the direction of Carlos Miguel Prieto.

It’s been a breathless summer of preparing the parts and score from Boston while conductor John Ware rehearses the singers down in New Orleans, but we are all looking forward to a terrific experience together.

Thank you as always for supporting our work, and if you happen to be in Mexico City at the end of the month, please stop by la Sala Nezahualcóyotl and say hello!


Upcoming performance at Xavier University of Louisiana

I’m very happy to announce that the Freedom Ride presentation at the Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts annual convention will indeed be open to the public, and no admission will be charged.

The performance will take place Saturday, September 27 at 1:00pm, in the Administration Building Auditorium of Xavier University of Louisiana.  The cast features Dara Rahming, Valerie Anne Jones Francis, Chauncey Packer, Ivan Griffin, and the Xavier University of Louisiana Concert Choir.  Directed and conducted by John Ware, and with Wilfred Delphin, piano.  More information on the conference can be found here: http://www.xula.edu/lillyconference/index.php

Act I Trio

Here is the trio from the end of Act I.  Sylvie’s mother, Georgia, has just found out that Sylvie plans on leaving on a bus to Jackson the following morning, and accosts her at the end of an intimate exchange with Clayton.

Sylvie: Dara Rahming
Georgia: Valerie Jones Francis
Clayton: Ivan Griffin

Wilfred Delphin, piano

John Ware, stage director

Recorded live, Friday, March 22, 8:00pm

Twitter and Facebook

The rumors are true: Freedom Ride is now on Twitter!  You can follow us at https://twitter.com/FreedomRideNews, where I’ll be posting news, updates, and photographs from our rehearsals.

Also, there is now an official Facebook invitation for our upcoming performances at the Marigny Opera House on March 22 and 23, so please feel free to join, RSVP, like, comment, and share with your friends:


Best wishes, and thank you again for your support!

Showcase performances at the Marigny Opera House

On Friday, March 22 and Saturday, March 23, we will offer two showcase performances at the beautiful Marigny Opera House, featuring some brand-new scenes from the opera.  The cast includes Dara Rahming, Valerie Francis, Tyrone Chambers II, and Ivan Griffin, with a number of student soloists from Xavier University of Louisiana, the entire concert choir directed by John Ware, and Wilfred Delphin on piano.

We will be opening our dress rehearsal on Wednesday night, March 20, to students, so please talk to your school or university if you are a student and would like to attend this rehearsal for free!


“Freedom Ride” at French Quarter Festival

Freedom Ride at French Quarter Festival

We will be presenting a free showchase of music and scenes from Freedom Ride at the French Quarter Festival this year in New Orleans.  The performance is at 3:30pm on Saturday, April 14 at the historic St. Mary’s Church (the old Ursulines Convent), at 1116 Chartres St., on the corner of Ursulines.

Sylvie: Dara Rahming
Russell: Chauncey Packer
Clayton: Rev. Mitchell Stevens

Xavier University of Louisiana Concert Choir, directed by John Ware

This presentation is free and open to the public.  No tickets are required!