Tulsa Opera Adds Performance of ‘Greenwood Overcomes’

By David Salazar

Tulsa Opera has announced an additional performance of its “Greenwood Overcomes” program on May 2, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. CT.

The program is also being performed on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. That first showcase will be streamed on the company’s official website. In a press release, the company cited “high demand” as the reason for adding its second performance.

The showcase, which aims to commemorate the centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre, was curated by Met Opera pianist and Assistant Conductor Howard Watkins and Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker and features music by 23 Black composers performed by Black artists. Among the performers are mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, soprano Leah Hawkins, soprano Leona Mitchell, tenor Issachah Savage, tenor Noah Stewart, mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann, bass Kevin Thompson, and bass-baritone Davóne Tines.

Composers included in the program are H. Leslie Adams, Peter Ashbourne, Jasmine Barnes, Kathryn Bostic, B.E. Boykin, Valerie Capers, Roland Carter, Melanie DeMore, Marques L. A. Garrett, Adolphus Hailstork, Tania León, Quinn Mason, Andre Myers, Rosephanye Powell, Carlos Simon, Damien Sneed, Tyshawn Sorey, and Nolan Williams, Jr. Daniel Roumain was originally among the roster of composers but was dropped from the program; Roumain has publicly stated that his removal from the program was racially motivated, while the company maintains that the decision was due to creative differences.

The program includes world premieres by David Bontemps, Anthony Davis, Stewart Goodyear, James Lee III, Kathryn Bostic, and Nkeiru Okoye; four of those world premieres were commissioned by Tulsa Opera (the first commissions in the company’s 73-year history).