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
ONOVWEROSUOKE, A Triptych of American Voices: A Cantata of the People
{World Premiere}

The Heritage Chorale of New Haven,
Jonathan Q. Berryman, Director
Tai Oney, countertenor
Jonas Budris, tenor
Sylvia V. C. Twine, mezzo-soprano  
Ron Williams, narrator

Darryl Hollister, piano

Voices of American composers and poets call for dialogue, justice, and affirmation that Black lives matter. 

Featuring a kaleidoscopic world premiere by an immigrant composer that shines light on America through the prisms 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.” 

Coro Allegro and The Heritage Chorale of New Haven reprise the 20th anniversary of their historic collaboration as the first LGBTQ+ and African American choruses to peform William Grant Still's courageous miniature opera And They Lynched Him on a Tree together.

Also on the program is Onovwerosuoke’s Caprice for piano and orchestra, commissioned by Coro Allegro in 2016 for pianist Darryl Hollister.

Soloists include countertenor Tai Oney, lauded by the Opera News for the “richness and pliability of his [voice]," tenor Jonathan Budris, praised by Boston Globe as “bright and intense," and the "powerfully affecting . . . ravishing and lush,” mezzo soprano, Sylvia V. C. Twine. With Baritone Ron Williams, narrator.

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 1993-2018.

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.

Here is a video in which 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.