Opera Saratoga to Present ‘America Sings: A Juneteenth Celebration’

By Logan Martell

On June 19, 2021, Opera Saratoga will present “America Sings: A Juneteenth Celebration.”

Streamed from Caffe Lena, the free concert will celebrate the end of slavery in the United States. Curated by distinguished alumnus and bass-baritone Carl DuPont. The concert will include music from composers such as H. Leslie Adams, Tim Amukele, Margaret Bonds, Uzee Brown, Moses Hogan, Betty Jackson King, Rosephanye Powell, Florence Price, and Hale Smith.

There will also be spoken word excerpts from texts such as The Declaration of Independence, The Emancipation Proclamation, and The General Orders which notified the enslaved people of their freedom. The program will also include first-hand diary entries, poems from former slaves, as well as newspaper accounts of the first Juneteenth celebration.

The musical selections will be performed by Festival Artists from OS’ Young Artist Program, among them are emerging Black artists, as well as students from a wide range of backgrounds.

“I am glad that the performers at this concert represent a wide variety of racial backgrounds,” says DuPont, “some of whom might be performing art songs by Black composers for the first time. Many of the members of the concert-going public will also be hearing these wonderful songs for the first time. That will be a special moment, and I hope the singers feel inspired to continue to advocate for Black composers as well as other marginalized composers, themes, or causes in their careers. And, I hope the audience gains a window into the faith, hope, joy, dreams, suffering, consolation, and frustration of the Black American experience and of our shared history as a nation.”