America/We Need to Talk

Sunday, March 24, 2019 3pm • Sanders Theatre

WILLIAM GRANT STILL, And They Lynched Him on a Tree
FRED ONOVWEROSUOKE, Caprice for piano and orchestra
WORLD PREMIERE: A Triptych of American Voices: A Cantata of the People

The Heritage Chorale of New Haven,
Jonathan Q. Berryman, Director
Sylvia V. C. Twine, mezzo-soprano  
Ron Williams, narrator

Tai Oney, countertenor
Jonas Budris, tenor
Darryl Hollister, piano

The voices of American composers and poets call for dialogue, justice, and affirmation that Black lives matter in a concert dedicated to the new National Memorial for Peace and Justice. 

Led by Artistic Director David Hodgkins, Coro Allegro and The Heritage Chorale of New Haven, reprise William Grant Still’s And They Lynched Him on a Tree –  20 years after they performed the Boston premiere as the first LGBTQ+ and African American choruses to collaborate on Still’s choral drama.  Featuring the "powerfully affecting" mezzo-soprano Sylvia V. C, Twine as the mother of the slain man, and baritone Ron Williams as narrator.

Don't miss the world premiere of A Triptych of American Voices: A Cantata of the People by award-winning composer, Fred Onovwerosuoke. This kaleidoscopic work by an immigrant composer shines light on race relations in America through the prism of three great poems: Paul Laurence Dunbar's "Sympathy" ("I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings"), Langston Hughes' "As I Grew Older,” and Michael Castro's "We Need to Talk.”  Featuring countertenor Tai Oney, lauded by the Opera News for the “richness and pliability of his [voice]," and the “bright and intense," tenor Jonathan Budris (Boston Globe ).

The 12th Annual Daniel Pinkham Award will be presented to Darryl Hollister, champion of African and African American composers and Coro Allegro’s beloved accompanist from 1993. Mr. Hollister will reprise Onovwerosuoke’s Caprice for piano and orchestra, commissioned for him by Coro Allegro during our 25th anniversary season.


Equal Justice Intiative, Community Partner

Coro Allegro is proud to announce that the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) has agreed to accept our dedication of this concert to the The National Memorial for Peace and Justice and be our Community Partner. We hope you will join us in supporting their work.

EJI founder Bryan Stevenson lays out with clarity why America needs to talk about race and its role in our history.

We have been practicing silence about our history for a very long time. In this country, we don’t talk about slavery, we don’t talk about lynching, we don’t talk about segregation, we have a hard time talking about race....We react to the effort of trying to talk about it as if that’s the threat. Not our continued silence.

A Conversation with Fred Onovwerosuoke

A Conversation with Fred Onovwerosuoke_.png

Coro Allegro launches our new blog with a long-form interview with the composer Fred Onovwerosuoke, on classical music, Black lives, the Wall, and his new work A Triptych of American Voices: A Cantata of the People. 

The entire work is designed as a partnership of voices and musicians sharing aspects of one grand song. It is a commentary on the contemporary American political climate, of a people seemingly entrapped in ongoing, unrelenting and partisan tribal political discourse, of a people who indeed “know why the caged bird sings.”

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