Cincinnati Opera & CCM Announces Two Workshops for ‘Robeson’ & ‘The Righteous’

By David Salazar

Cincinnati Opera and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music are set to present workshops for operas in progress this Spring.

First up will be “Opera Fusion: New Works Presents ‘Robeson.’” The work is by composer Scott Davenport Richards with a libretto by the composer and David Cote. The work will be staged by Robin Guarino and is set to take place at Music Hall’s Wilks Studio. “Robeson” explores the life of Black icon Paul Robeson.

“A global superstar, Robeson leveraged his fame to fight on the frontlines for equality. His heroic and uncompromising efforts against fascism and racism worldwide led Robeson to be entangled in the tragic power struggle between the two superpowers of the twentieth century—the United States and the USSR—with his own life and career hanging in the balance. Inspired by historical events, Robeson also resonates with today’s ongoing fights for social justice,” said the company’s official press release regarding the work.

Performance Date: April 13, 2023

Next up is “Opera Fusion: New Works Present ‘The Righteous’” by Gregory Spears and Tracy K. Smith. Kevin Newbury directs the workshop, which will be presented at Cohen Family Studio Theater.

’The Righteous” follows a preacher and leader of a growing church in the 1980s American Southwest, who finds himself caught up in the confluence of religion and politics. Slowly his connection to God is weakened as he becomes drawn to public office alongside contemporary events, including the rise of feminism, the war on drugs, conflict in the Middle East, and the AIDS epidemic. Along the way, those closest to him grapple with their own understanding of faith and truth. ‘The Righteous’ explores the timeless struggle to reconcile spiritual humility with ambition in our modern world,” the company said in an official press statement.

Performance Date: May 15, 2023