Mother King / Performances July 20 – 29
Written by Venessa Fuentes. Composed by Dameun Strange
With: Liz Gre, Michael McDowell, Sarah Greer, Roland Hawkins, Kevin “Kaoz” Moore and Ava McFarland
Mother King, a conceptual Black opera, will be premiered at Public Functionary in Northeast Minneapolis this July. The opera interprets the story of Alberta Williams King, slain activist and mother of Martin Luther King, Jr. The libretto is based on a series of poems by Venessa Fuentes, one of 16 writers featured in A Good Time for the Truth: Race in Minnesota (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2016). Award-winning composer Dameun Strange wrote the musical score.
Fuentes and Strange are behind OperaWorks 52, a music- and story-telling partnership that aims to highlight overlooked narratives, including the stories of individuals of color, Native people, women, LGBTQ people. Mother King is their first project, and is being produced through a partnership with Public Functionary. It is supported in part by the American Composers Forum through the 2015 Minnesota Emerging Composers Award, which is funded by the Jerome Foundation.
Six local vocalists, including Liz Gre in the title role, will bring a story of Black Birth, Black Resilience, and Black Joy to life
along with a 12-member instrumental ensemble. Michael McDowell, Sarah Greer, Roland Hawkins, Kevin “Kaoz” Moore and Ava McFarland will join Gre on stage.
Mother King will run the last two weekends of July,
July 20, 21, 22 / 7pm
July 27, 28, 29 / 7pm
$12 General Admission
$8 Students and Elders
Public Functionary is located at 1400 12th Avenue NE, in Minneapolis.
About OperaWorks 52
The mission of OperaWorks 52 is to bring opera back to the people’. Pushing beyond the confines of the genre, we advocate for the stories, legends, and mythologies of people of color, women, and LGBTQ people. OperaWorks 52 challenges the status quo of Euro-centric exclusivity and makes way for boundless possibility. Learn more here.