John Holiday to Headline Tyshawn Sorey’s ‘Save the Boys’ on Opera Philadelphia Channel

By David Salazar

Opera Philadelphia is set to present Tyshawn Sorey’s “Save the Boys” on Feb. 12, 2021.

The showcase will feature countertenor John Holiday, who in addition to a heralded operatic career, has recently made major headlines by his star turn on NBC’s “The Voice.”

“Save the Boys” was inspired by an 1887 poem of the same name by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, an abolitionist, writer, and Black women’s rights activist.

“‘Save the Boys’ was as relevant during the Reconstruction Era as it is during the present time,” Sorey stated in a press release. “It reflects our daily life experiences as Black Americans and the day-to-day precarity in which we continue to live.”

The composer noted that the work is an extension of his 2018 song cycle “Cycles of My Being.”

This represents the first of four digital works commissioned for the Opera Philadelphia Channel in 2021. There will also be presentations of works by Courtney Bryan, Angélica Negrón, and Caroline Shaw between February and April 2021