Cincinnati Opera to World Premiere ‘Castor and Patience’

By Francisco Salazar

The Cincinnati Opera has announced the world premiere of “Castor and Patience” by Gregory Spears in July 2022.

The opera, written by librettist Tracy K. Smith, 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.

The opera will be conducted by Kazem Abdullah and directed by Kevin Newbury. Talise Trevigne and Reginald Smith Jr. will star in the title roles alongside mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano (Celeste), soprano Victoria Okafor (Willie), baritone Benjamin Taylor (West), tenor Frederick Ballentine (Judah), and soprano Raven McMillon (Ruthie). The cast will be rounded out by Mezzo-soprano Zoie Reams, tenor Victor Ryan Robertson, and baritone Phillip Bullock.

The two-act work running more than two hours will feature a cast of 12 and a 36-piece orchestra and will mark Spears’ second work for Cincinnati Opera, following the the success of “Fellow Travelers.”

“Castor and Patience” will premiere at the Corbett Theater for five performances beginning on July 22 and running through July 30, 2022.