Karen Slack, Andres Acosta, & Sidney Outlaw Feature in Minnesota Opera’s Virtual Benefit Concert

By Logan Martell

On February 27, 2021, Minnesota Opera will present a celebration of music as a transformative power with its virtual benefit concert, featuring the world premiere of “Art is a Verb.”

Organized into five sections, the upcoming piece was created in collaboration with the singers involved, with them lending their own words to the subjects of art, opera, social justice, and more.

The work is composed by B.E. Boykin, with libretto by Harrison David Rivers, direction by Lily Tung Crystal, arrangements by Joseph Li, and conducted by Andrew Whitfield. The soloists include soprano Karen Slack, tenor Andres Acosta, and baritones Sidney Outlaw and Andrew Wilkowske.

“The main message is that art and opera are beautiful, a refuge,  necessary in our human experience, but we have a collective responsibility to create an industry that is equitable and anti-racist,” Crystal wrote in a press release. “More than a refuge, art has power to ignite change. Art is a home, and we need to make it a better home for artists in general, particularly artists of color. Ultimately art is a microcosm for what we should be fighting for in society at large. These four artists are sources of strength and power. As individuals and together they take space and create beauty.”