MET OPERA SOPRANO JANINAH BURNETT LEADS CAST TO FREEDOM IN HARRIET TUBMAN FOLK OPERA PREMIERE
PART OF ‘LINES OF FREEDOM’ FEST CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH AT IRONDALE CENTER IN BROOKLYN
New York, NY—Soprano Janinah Burnett (Metropolitan Opera, La Bohème on Broadway) will portray American icon Harriet Tubman in a new folk opera with music and lyrics by Nigerian-American composer Nkeiru Okoye. Produced by AOP (American Opera Projects), Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom will premiere in a chamber version as one half of the Lines of Freedom festival running February 20 – March 1 at Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, NY. Tickets start at $15 and can be purchased at www.irondale.org or by telephone at Ovationtix, 866 811-4111. Tickets are also available at the TKTS Booth.
Using a mixture of opera and vernacular folk music, featuring gospel spirituals, ragtime, early blues, minstrel songs, work songs, call and responses, and field hollers, Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom tells this important chapter of American history in the context of Tubman’s tight-knit family and the slavery threatening to tear them apart.
The folk opera will also include vocal performances by Marsha Thompson (New York City Opera), Nicole Mitchell (Lincoln Center Festival), Clinton Ingram (Metropolitan Opera), Briana Elyse Hunter, Damian Norfleet, Patrice P. Eaton, Ernest Jackson, Kyle Guglielmo, and Anthony P. McGlaun and feature members of The Harlem Chamber Players, conducted by Leslie B. Dunner, with stage direction by Lemuel Wade (L’Opera de Montreal).
Lines of Freedom brings two works of exciting musical theater and opera to the stage in celebration of the rich heritage of abolitionism and the Underground Railroad. The shows are presented during Black History Month by The Irondale Ensemble Project and AOP (American Opera Projects), two arts organizations based in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. In addition to AOP’s Tubman opera, The Irondale Ensemble Project will present Color Between the Lines: The Abolitionist Struggle in Brooklyn, a work created in collaboration with Brooklyn Historical Society and Weeksville Heritage Center as part of In Pursuit of Freedom, the first public history project to explore abolition and the anti-slavery movement in Brooklyn.
Presentations of Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line to Freedom are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works.
Complete production credits and bios available at http://operaprojects.org/events/TubmanIrondale2014
HARRIET TUBMAN: WHEN I CROSSED THAT LINE TO FREEDOM Music and libretto by Nkeiru Okoye
LINES OF FREEDOM Festival Feb 20 – March 1, 2014
Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street Brooklyn, NY 11217
TICKET PRICE: General Admission $25; Senior/Students $15; Matinees $15 Freedom Package - See both shows for $40 Freedom Matinee Package - See both matinees for $25 For tix: www.irondale.org, 866-811-4111
RUNNING TIME: 120 Minutes with intermission
Co-presented by AOP and the Irondale Ensemble Project