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International Contemporary Ensemble Hosts Afro-Diasporic Opera Forum

Featuring George Lewis, Julia Bullock, Courtney Bryan, Tyshawn Sorey and more.

The International Contemporary Ensemble, in partnership with Opera Omaha and FringeArts, presents the Afro-Diasporic Opera Forum online from May 26-28, 2021.

The Forum is a free, three-day series of online events produced by colleagues and collaborators of the International Contemporary Ensemble in order to celebrate, share, and reflect on four operas that have had a major impact on the organization and collaborators. They include: George Lewis' Afterword (2015), Tyshawn Sorey's Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine Baker (2016), Pauline Oliveros and IONE's The Nubian Word for Flowers: A Phantom Opera (2017), and a new work-in-development, Awakening (to be premiered in 2022), by Courtney Bryan with Charlotte Brathwaite, Sharan Strange, Cauleen Smith, and Helga Davis.

In order to cultivate awareness among presenters, producers, ensembles, and audiences, the Ensemble will bring these works into conversation with one another and with leading scholars in the field. Renowned musicologist Dr. Naomi André is the lead scholar and conversation partner for this three-day series featuring presenters and panelists such as Julia Bullock, IONE, George Lewis, Tyshawn Sorey, and many others (see below for full list).

Throughout this Forum, attendees, presenters, and panelists are guided by the following questions:

- What impact do these works have for opera today?
- What is the role of composer, librettist, and performer?
- How do these operas give us new ways to reimagine and expand what the genre is and meant to be?

More details about the schedule of events will be announced at the beginning of May at

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