Connect with us

News

The composer of the Greenwood Massacre piece has been shot by the Tulsa Opera.

Published

on

The composer of the Greenwood Massacre piece has been shot by the Tulsa Opera.
google news
The composer of the Greenwood Massacre piece has been shot by the Tulsa Opera.

The composer of the Greenwood Massacre piece has been shot by the Tulsa Opera.

 

The Tulsa Opera has cancelled a piece written for a concert commemorating the city’s 1921 race massacre after the composer of one of the four pieces for the event declined to delete a curse on America.

New York composer Daniel Roumain revealed Sunday on social media that he had been commissioned to write one of four libretti for mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves for the Tulsa Opera’s “Greenwood Overcomes” concert on May 1.

Graves, who is Black, objected to the final line after “God Bless America” — “God Damn America” — in his “They Always Want To Kill Us” libretto, and Opera officials demanded it be revised. Roumain balked.

“I am a strong supporter of all Black lives, Black language, and Black creativity as a Black woman.” The Opera released a statement from Graves. “Strong lyrics don’t bother me, but I didn’t think they aligned with my personal beliefs. I couldn’t think of a genuine way to express the lyrics as they were presented.”

The Opera’s artistic director, Tobias Picker, “suggested I omit the word ‘Damn.'” In a Facebook post, Roumains said of Tulsa County, “I declined, explaining that is how I felt about this county.” “As a result, they shot me.”

“It is deeply disappointing that Mr. Roumain has turned an artistic dispute into a racial debate,” Picker said in a statement released by an Opera spokeswoman.

“All 22 Black composers and eight Black musicians, as well as our concert co-presenter, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, are dedicated to the spirit of the ‘Greenwood Overcomes’ concert,” Picker said.

Roumain will be paid his $1,500 fee, but the Opera will not perform his piece, according to Kelli Bruer, a spokeswoman for the company. Roumain retains ownership of the piece and may have it done elsewhere, according to her.

google news
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Trending