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Greenwood Overcomes

May 1, 2021 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm CDT

In a special concert this spring titled Greenwood Overcomes featuring a program comprised of works by living Black composers, Tulsa Opera will honor the resilience of Black Tulsans and Black America one hundred years after the Tulsa Race Massacre. During the two-day massacre May 31–June 1, 1921 the city’s Greenwood neighborhood (known as Black Wall Street) was razed by mobs of white residents in one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. The massacre resulted in the murder of hundreds, the destruction of six thousand Black-owned businesses, and the rendering of thousands homeless.

The Greenwood Overcomes concert, which takes place on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. CT at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, features works for voice and piano by living Black composers—including four new Tulsa Opera commissions—sung by leading Black artists. It is part of a citywide commemoration effort spearheaded by the concert’s co-producer, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission (Tulsa2021.org), which is dedicated to producing and promoting projects that further the remembrance, and honor the legacy of, Black Wall Street. The concert has been curated by Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker and Metropolitan Opera Pianist and Assistant Conductor Howard Watkins, who will also perform as the piano accompanist.

The concert will feature four Tulsa Opera-commissioned world premieres by such composers as David Bontemps, Anthony Davis, Stewart Goodyear, Nkeiru Okoye, and Daniel Bernard Roumain. Among the pieces to be premiered are “Fire across the tracks” from Davis’ opera “Tulsa 21.”

There will also be much by such composers as H. Leslie Adams, Eleanor Alberga, Peter Ashbourne, Terence Blanchard, Kathryn Bostic, B.E. Boykin, Valerie Capers, Marques L. A. Garrett, Adolphus Hailstork (a BandQuest composer), Tania León (a BandQuest composer), Quinn Mason (a NextNotes creator), Dorothy Rudd Moore, Andre Myers, Carlos Simon, Evelyn Simpson-Curenton, and Damien Sneed, among others.

Tickets are $35 for orchestra seating, $25 for mezzanine seating, and $10 for balcony seating.

Learn more and get tickets here.