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SPECIAL PROGRAMMING: Tulsa Opera Presents "Greenwood Overcomes" to Commemorate the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921

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Don't miss HPPR's special presentation of Greenwood Overcomes by Tulsa Opera at 10a CT, Wednesday, June 8th during High Plains Morning. Featuring works by 23 living, Black composers and performed by eight Black artists, this two-hour program highlights the history of an often-overlooked incident of domestic terrorism from our High Plains region.

Greenwood Overcomes, from Tulsa Opera: The 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the most devastating instances of racial violence in U.S. history, resulted in the deaths of hundreds and the loss of thousands of businesses and homes. A century later, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission co-produced, with Tulsa Opera, Greenwood Overcomes, honoring the memory of what was commonly known as “Black Wall St.,” a vibrant, thriving Black community.

Co-curated by Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker and Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor and pianist Howard Watkins, the program features 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.

Hosted by Arun Rath of GBH News, the broadcast of selected portions of the concert (with the full concert available on demand) includes commentary from Howard Watkins and Davóne Tines, as well as reflections of Tobias Picker on the process of bringing together 23 Black composers for the program.

Full program:
DAMIEN SNEED: Down By the Riverside
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

DORIS MAE AKERS: There’s a Sweet, Sweet Spirit in this Place
Leona Mitchell, soprano

TYSHAWN SOREY: after Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, from Songs of Death
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

PETER ASHBOURNE: Liza
Leah Hawkins, soprano

PETER ASHBOURNE: Nobody’s Business
Leah Hawkins, soprano

H. LESLIE ADAMS: Prayer
Issachah Savage, tenor

H. LESLIE ADAMS: Creole Girl
Noah Stewart, tenor

MARQUES L.A. GARRETT: O del mio amato ben
Leona Mitchell, soprano

ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: My Heart to Thy Heart
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

TANIA LEÓN: Mi amor es
Kevin Thompson, bass

STEWART GOODYEAR: One Perfect Rose (setting of a poem by Dorothy Parker; world premiere)
Leah Hawkins, soprano

STEWART GOODYEAR: Condolence (setting of a poem by Dorothy Parker; world premiere & Tulsa Opera commission)
Noah Stewart, tenor

KATHRYN BOSTIC: State of Grace (world premiere of piano arrangement)
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

NKEIRU OKOYE: A Kiss On the Forehead (lyrics by Anita Gonzalez; world premiere)
Issachah Savage, tenor

B.E. BOYKIN: Secret
Leah Hawkins, soprano

JAMES LEE III: Songs for the People (setting of a poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; world premiere & Tulsa Opera commission)
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

VALERIE CAPERS: Billie’s Song
Howard Watkins, piano

DAVID BONTEMPS: Il a neigé (setting of a poem by Marie-Ange Jolicoeur; world premiere)
Kevin Thompson, bass

JASMINE BARNES: Sweet, Sweet Spirit
Leona Mitchell, soprano

DAVID BONTEMPS: Secret (setting of a poem by Marie-Ange Jolicoeur; world premiere)
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

QUINN MASON: Eclipsed World, from Confessions from a Dream
Noah Stewart, tenor

ROLAND CARTER: Is There Anybody Here?
Issachah Savage, tenor

ANDRE MYERS: Harlem Night Song
Leah Hawkins, soprano

ROSEPHANYE POWELL: I Want to Die While You Love Me
Issachah Savage, tenor

ANTHONY DAVIS: There are Many Trails of Tears, from Fire Across the Tracks: Tulsa 1921 (Thulani David, librettist; world premiere & Tulsa Opera commission)
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

CARLOS SIMON: Prayer (Gather Up)
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

NOLAN WILLIAMS, JR.: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
Leona Mitchell, soprano

MELANIE DEMORE: Sending You Light
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

J. ROSAMOND JOHNSON: Lift Every Voice and Sing (setting of a poem by James Weldon Johnson)
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano; company; audience

Jenny Inzerillo joined HPPR in 2015 as the host of High Plains Morning, our live music program that airs weekdays at 9 am to noon CST. Broadcasting from KJJP in beautiful downtown Amarillo, she helps listeners wake up with inspired music from our region and beyond. Tune in for new voices in folk/Americana, deep cuts from your favorite artists, soulful tracks from singer/songwriters across the world, and toe-tapping classics dating as far back as the 1920s. Plus, discover underground greats that just might be your new favorite band.