The Apollo & Opera Philadelphia to Partner on New Black America Opera Canon

By David Salazar

The Apollo in New York and Opera Philadelphia have announced a multi-year partnership to co-create new Black America operas.

The two organizations previously partnered in 2016 and 2017 on such works as “Charlie Parker’s Yardbird” and “We Shall Not Be Moved.” As part of the partnership, they will “share resources, ideas, infrastructure and talent through joint research, artist residencies, workshops, and artistic planning.”

“The Apollo is very excited to continue its relationship with Opera Philadelphia as we work to support emerging Black voices in opera and build on the creative collaborations that led to the groundbreaking New York premieres of ”Charlie Parker’s Yardbird’ and ‘We Shall Not Be Moved,’ two operas that have gone on to be staged all over the globe,” said Kamilah Forbes, Executive Producer of The Apollo, in an official press statement regarding the announcement. “We hope to manifest this joint objective through the co-commissioning and co-development of new work over the next five years, as well as a shared effort to identify emerging talent.”

“Together, The Apollo and Opera Philadelphia will identify, develop, and present work that not only reflects the multicultural world that we live in, but calls in those cultural groups who have long been excluded from traditional opera,” added David B. Devan, General Director & President of Opera Philadelphia. “Together, we will work to create a new American canon of work that challenges, reflects, and is in dialogue with the most pressing issues within our communities.”