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Library Of Congress Hosts Preview Of Spears/Smith's Opera CASTOR AND PATIENCE

The performance is on Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm.

Library Of Congress Hosts Preview Of Spears/Smith's Opera CASTOR AND PATIENCE

In anticipation of its world premiere this July at Cincinnati Opera, former U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith and composer Gregory Spears (Fellow Travelers) will discuss their new opera Castor and Patience in a free performance preview event at the Library of Congress's Coolidge Auditorium, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington DC, on Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm. The opera, which will premiere on July 21, centers on two cousins from an African American family who find themselves at odds over the fate of a historic parcel of land they have inherited in the American South. Deeply relevant to ongoing calls for racial justice, Castor and Patience probes historical and continuing obstacles to Black land ownership in the United States.

Joining the composer and librettist are Castor and Patience conductor Kazem Abdullah; singers Amber Monroe, Reginald Smith Jr., Jennifer Johnson Cano, and Benjamin Taylor; and pianist Michael Lewis, who will perform excepts from the opera.

The Castor and Patience preview is part of "Live at the Library," a new ongoing series. Free tickets must be reserved prior to the performance.

At the podium for the five performances (July 21,23, 24, 28, and 30) of Castor and Patience will be conductor Kazem Abdullah. Kevin Newbury directs. The new production will be created by Vita Tzykun (scenic design), Jessica Jahn (costume design), Rachel Eliza Griffiths (image design), S. Katy Tucker (projection design), Thomas C. Hase (lighting design), and James Geier (wig and makeup design). A renowned interpreter of contemporary opera, soprano Talise Trevigne is Patience, and baritone Reginald Smith Jr., last year's U.S. representative at the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, is Castor. They're joined by a stellar supporting cast: mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano (Celeste), soprano Victoria Okafor (Willie), baritone Benjamin Taylor (West), tenor Frederick Ballentine (Judah), and soprano Raven McMillon (Ruthie). Soprano Amber Monroe, mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams, tenor Victor Ryan Robertson, baritone Phillip Bullock, and bass Earl Hazell make up the opera's ensemble. More information can be found at

Library Of Congress Hosts Preview Of Spears/Smith's Opera CASTOR AND PATIENCE

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