June 15, 2021
Lyric Music & More: June 15
This week, we celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, and Liberation Day — the commemoration of the freeing of enslaved people in the United States, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. In the spirit of this important and joyous holiday, we share Soloman Howard’s stirring performance of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” from For the Love of Lyric. It’s one of this country’s most beloved songs of hope and freedom, with inspiring text by James Weldon Johnson and an equally stirring melody by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson. It was first performed by schoolchildren in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1905 celebrating Abraham Lincoln's birthday, and it was designated “the Black national anthem” by the NAACP in 1919.
Plus, watch The New Classics: Songs from the New Golden Age of Musical Theater in its entirety, get a look at the family-friendly outdoor performances of Hansel & Gretel in the Park, learn some behind-the-scenes facts about Lyric’s recent Twilight: Gods, and read about Ryan Opera Center Alumni Will Liverman and Nicole Cabell in the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis premiere of William Grant Still’s Highway 1, U.S.A.
Watch The New Classics
The New Classics: Songs from the New Golden Age of Musical Theater premiered last week and is and is now available to watch on demand. Headlined by Gavin Creel, Nikki Renée Daniels (pictured), and Norm Lewis, more than 10,000 people have already watched - join them!
Things you might not know about Twilight: Gods
Hansel & Gretel in images
A Black Composer’s Intense Opera Gets a Rare Staging
Soprano Nicole Cabell and baritone Will Liverman, both Ryan Opera Center alumni, are starring in a rare production of William Grant Still’s Highway 1, U.S.A. at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis through June 17. Read in The New York Times about this fascinating work and how it came to be staged in this moment.
Music brings a stability to humanity in an uncivilized time”