Denyce Graves to Director World Premiere of ‘Loving v. Virginia’

By David Salazar

Denyce Graves is set to direct the world premiere production of “Loving v. Virginia” at the Virginia Opera.

The opera by Damien Geter and Jessica Murphy Moo will have its big premiere in April 2025 in collaboration with the Richmond Symphony.

“It is an honor to be asked to join a team that is developing a project around one of the most important moments of Social Justice in the history of our country.  I am confident Damien and Jessica will deliver a score and libretto worthy of the Lovings, and am eager to manifest their blueprint into a world-class production,” Graves said in an official press statement issued by the Virginia Opera and Richmond Symphony.

Graves, a renowned mezzo, has turned to directing in recent years, taking on productions at  Minnesota Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, and Portland Opera.

“The artistic integrity of our world premiere of ‘Loving v. Virginia’ is paramount,” added Adam Turner, Artistic Director of Virginia Opera. “Enlisting Denyce’s vision and leadership adds a critical voice to the Creative Team, augmenting Damien and Jessica’s talents, and allowing preparation for the 2025 premiere production to take form in earnest.”

The world premiere of “Loving v. Virginia,” which centers on the landmark Supreme Court case from the late 1950s, will be the centerpiece of Virginia Opera’s 50th anniversary season.