A devout Christian, humanitarian, Union spy, and suffragette, Harriet Tubman rescued over three hundred slaves in nineteen missions to the South using the Underground Railroad. On November 10, Utopia Opera will present the New York premiere of The Story of Harriet Tubman by Thea Musgrave.
Will Remmers, artistic and music director of Utopia Opera, conducts this production directed by Viktoria I.V. King, an award-winning British-American director, producer, writer, and photographer.
The Story of Harriet Tubman is a chamber adaptation of her larger opera, Harriet the Woman called Moses. Musgrave writes:
"The Story of Harriet Tubman concerns an individual gifted with those rare qualities of courage and imagination which enabled her to overcome seemingly insuperable odds. She followed the North Star to freedom and then became herself a famous ‘conductor’ on the Underground Railroad, helping many other slaves to escape. Her story is also a moving example of the age-old conflict between good and evil. Abraham Lincoln described it in very direct terms:
...slavery is the eternal struggle between two principles which have stood face to face since the beginning of time, and which will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of all humanity; the other is the divine right of kings. Slavery is the spirit that says 'You work and toil and earn bread, and I'll eat it!' No matter what shape it comes in it is the same principle.
"The remarkable seventeenth-century Englishman, John Lilburne, put it in another way: ‘For what is done to anyone may be done to everyone.’
"At one time or another, most of us have asked the question ‘but what can one person do?’ Harriet Tubman is an inspiration to those of us who despair of being able to make any positive change in the world in which we live. Black people do not lack for heroes and heroines, but Harriet Tubman certainly deserves an exalted place in the history of mankind's struggle for human rights."
— Thea MusgraveTickets for performances at Lang Recital Hall, Hunter College, can be purchased here. Saturday, November 10 | 8:00pm Sunday, November 11 | 3:00 pm Friday, November 16 | 8:00pm Saturday, November 17 | 3:30pm Saturday, November 17 | 7:30pm View the score online
Harriet Tubman: MaKayla McDonald
Josiah: Markel Reed
Rit: Karmesha Peake
Ben: Virdell Williams
Mr. Garrett: Andrew Dwan
Master / Abolitionist: Tadeusz von Moltke
Preston / Sergeant: Luke Jackson
Overseer / Jailer: Kristoffer Infante
Suellen: Caroline Festa
The celebration of Thea Musgrave @ 90 continues. Find a full list of upcoming performances here.
Purchase the American premiere recording of her Mary Queen of Scots on ArkivMusic here.
For more information, please contact Marcos Cuevas, firstname.lastname@example.org.