March 26, 2022 8:00 pm
Observer EditorObserver Editor
“The Ties That Bind: Two One-Act Operas by African-American Composers”: U-M Opera Theater Department.

Mar. 24-27. Danielle Wright directs an ensemble of U-M voice students, accompanied by the University Symphony Orchestra. William Grant Still’s 1963 opera Highway 1, USA is a blend of Romanticism, blues, and musical theater with a libretto by the composer’s wife, Verna Avery. The story centers on the tension between the owner of a gas station, his wife, and a younger brother who comes to live with them after graduating college. Adolphus Hailstork’s contemporary opera Rise for Freedom: The John P. Parker Story incorporates elements of folk song and church music in a dramatic rendering of the life of this former slave who earned enough money to buy his freedom, went on to establish a foundry, and held patents as an inventor, all while working as a conductor on the Underground Railroad. 7:30 p.m. (Thurs.), 8 p.m. (Fri. & Sat.), and 2 p.m. (Sun.), Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre. Tickets $27-$33 in advance at and at the door. Mask & proof of vaccination (or negative Covid test within past 72 hours) required. 764-2538.