North Carolina Opera to Stage Underground Railroad Oratorio ‘Sanctuary Road’

By Logan Martell

North Carolina Opera has announced that the organization has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which will be used to produce a staged version of Paul Moravec and Mark Campbell’s oratorio “Sanctuary Road.”

The oratorio, which had its world premiere in May of 2018, is based on “The Underground Railroad Records,” a book written by William Still, an African American abolitionist, historian, and civil rights leader, who documented his work along the Underground Railroad.

While performance details will be announced at a later date, the production will be directed by Dennis Whitehead, who has worked with Opera Memphis, and Spazio Tetro in Milan.

“Moravec’s and Campbell’s work interprets these important historical episodes in beautiful and exciting song,” said NCO General Director Eric Mitchko in a press release. “Sanctuary Road a piece that can speak to all of us, and we are grateful to the NEA for its generous support.”