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Lyric Opera of Chicago

February 3, 2023 - February 12, 2023

Directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj

Grammy-nominated baritone Will Liverman, a Ryan Opera Center alumnus, is rapidly rising to national prominence and recently triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera. Now he joins dynamic producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist DJ King Rico in creating a new work inspired by Rossini's The Barber of Seville that has grown into a joyful, original piece all its own, commissioned by Lyric. Updating the action to a Black barbershop on Chicago's South Side, this gifted duo has created an irresistibly upbeat work that celebrates the strength of community. The Factotum blends diverse musical styles with boundless imagination to create a soul opera, moving from gospel and funk to rap, hip-hop, classic barbershop quartet, and R&B. Those styles connect brilliantly with classical singing in a very human comedy that redefines everything that opera can be.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Announces the First Cohort of Creators for its New Works Collective

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) has announced three creative teams for the inaugural year of the New Works Collective. This new initiative pioneers a ground-breaking commissioning model that inverts the traditional power dynamics of the classical arts world by allowing a panel of community leaders — rather than the organization itself — to choose where to award financial compensation for the creation of new operas. Five artists and one stage director have been identified to create, workshop, and premiere three new chamber operas in March 2023. With backgrounds that span a range of lived experiences and artistic genres, this exciting group of artists will help push the boundaries of the operatic form and explore new models for storytelling.

The three teams are made up of composer Del’Shawn Taylor and librettist Samiya Bashir,

co-composers and librettists Simon Tam and Joe X. Jiang, and composer/librettist Tre’von Griffith. All three teams will begin working closely with OTSL and stage director

Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj in the coming months to develop and workshop their operas, which will then be performed for a public audience on March 16–18, 2023.


Opera Theatre of St. Louis

May 20, 2023 - June 24, 2023

Directed by Rajendra Ramoon Maharaj

Sometimes out of the deepest tragedy springs the greatest hope. Embark on a life-affirming journey of love and creativity in Scott Joplin’s opera Treemonisha, re-imagined with a new prologue and epilogue by composer Damien Sneed and librettist Karen Chilton. As Joplin celebrates his wedding to his new bride, Freddie Alexander, he is inspired to write a masterpiece — with Freddie as his muse. His heroine will be called Treemonisha, and she will lead her community into a bright and bountiful future of education, opportunity, and prosperity.  


Although Treemonisha was published in 1911, Joplin never lived to see a fully realized stage production. However, the legacy of his artistry only continued to grow through his final years and following his death. In 1976, Joplin posthumously received the Pulitzer Prize for his contributions to American music. This new edition of Treemonisha celebrates the strength, beauty, and wisdom of Black women and brings back to light a forgotten figure of history — Freddie Alexander Joplin.