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FirstWorks to Present Daniel Bernard Roumain's THE TELLING


A Town Hall dialogue will follow the live concert

FirstWorks to Present Daniel Bernard Roumain's THE TELLING

FirstWorks will present renowned composer, violinist and activist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) and "The Telling" at 8 p.m. on January 22, 2022 at WaterFire Arts Center. "The Telling" is a new collection of his original compositions with instrumental solos, dance and chamber music - each exploring the question: how can we, the living, honor the lost? A Town Hall dialogue will follow the live concert.

In "The Telling," artists will reflect upon and respond to the forces of crisis and communion in our lives, with performance stories of anger, anguish, and enduring hope. This convergence of artists will surround the audience with singers, dancers and strings at Providence's majestic WaterFire Arts Center in a new creative partnership between WaterFire Providence and FirstWorks. Featured collaborators are Melvin Chen (pianist), Dana Greenfield (director), MusicWorks Collective (string quartet), Becky Bass (soprano), Brandie Sutton (soprano), Albert Rudolph Lee (tenor), and Shura Baryshnikov (choreographer).

"Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae'Anna" is the centerpiece of the program, incorporating movement for the first time. This complex chamber work by Roumain, with libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph, is a cry for racial justice and a searing artistic response to the killing of Philando Castile who was fatally shot during a traffic stop by a police officer in 2016 while driving with his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, and her four-year-old daughter Dae'Anna.

"My brother Marc Bamuthi Joseph has found a way to look at the moment from the stars - the heavens - and in this, he elevated me above the fray, past the anger and rage, and into a space of healing and promise and empathy - most of all for Dae'Anna," said Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR). "The stage may be our last bastion of democracy - a place where every voice can be heard and our musical diplomacy thrives."

"This unique convergence of local-global creative forces promises to move our hearts and minds forward," said Kathleen Pletcher, FirstWorks Executive Artistic Director. "In the two years DBR has served as FirstWorks Artistic Ambassador, he has been a wellspring in furthering work that speaks to who we are as a society and our aspirations for a more just world."

The Telling: Original works performed by DBR and collaborators include

a-? "I Have Nothing to Do Except Love" - Premiere live performance

a-? "They Still Want to Kill Us"

a-? "Love is the Only Word Sweeter than Black"

a-? "Twin Stars: Diamond Variations for Dae'Anna," featuring MusicWorks Collective

Box Office Information

"The Telling" will premiere at the WaterFire Arts Center on January 22, 2022 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $35-$55 with a pay-what-you-can option, to offer equitable access. Tickets are available or by calling 401-421-4278.

A month-long video exhibition titled "The Seeing," produced through a creative partnership between FirstWorks and WaterFire Providence, will accompany the premiere performance of "The Telling," on view at the WaterFire Arts Center from January 12 through February 6, 2022. The exhibition will feature seven film works scored by Daniel Bernard Roumain and is open to the public.

Health and Safety

All attendees must show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with photo ID, or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance. Masks are required for all.

About FirstWorks

FirstWorks is a non-profit based in Providence, Rhode Island whose purpose is to build the cultural, educational and economic vitality of its community by engaging diverse audiences with world-class performing arts and education programs. Since 2004, FirstWorks festivals, performances and programs have attracted more than 600,000 participants. Last season, FirstWorks arts education programs reached over 5,500 students from public and charter schools across Rhode Island with transformative, arts-based learning experiences. FirstWorks is the founding partner of PVDFest, collaborating with the City of Providence to produce the City's free signature arts celebration since 2015. In 2019 PVDFest drew 130,000 visitors to Providence to experience music, art and spectacular performances. Embracing collaboration,

FirstWorks has fostered over 90 community partnerships across business, social service, government, arts, and education sectors. Visit to learn more.

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