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Friday Webinars at Wharton Arts - This Little Light of Mine: Story of Fanny Lou Hamer
This Little Light of Mine, a one-act opera, dramatizes the story of Fannie Lou Hamer, a former sharecropper who rose to national prominence at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. In the opera, adopted daughter Dorothy Jean Hamer tells how Fannie Lou and her husband ‘Pap’ took in foster children as their own; how the injustices of the Jim Crow laws emboldened her to demand the right to vote for African-Americans; and how she shook the political world during “Freedom Summer” by helping to found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. Describing to the Convention Credentials Committee her harrowing story of harassment, arrest and beating by the police, Fannie Lou Hamer pointedly asked: “Is this America?” This Little Light of Mine is in development as part of the Opera for All Voices program, fostered by the Santa Fe Opera and its consortium partners. The commission and production of This Little Light of Mine is made possible by a deeply appreciated grant from Principal Community Engagement sponsor the Melville Hankins Family Foundation.
Diana Solomon-Glover, Librettist; Chandler Carter, composer; Beth Greenberg, director; Andrea Fineberg, Dir. of Community Engagement, Santa Fe Opera; Jeri Johnson, conductor

Friday Webinars at Wharton Arts is a series dedicated to making authentic connections between art and life through the sharing of stories, expertise, and creations by guest artists of varied disciplines. The series is curated and hosted by Artistic Director and Principal Conductor Helen H. Cha-Pyo.

Oct 30, 2020 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Diana Solomon - Glover
Librettist
Diana Solomon-Glover, soprano, is a versatile performer who has appeared in opera, concert, oratorio, recital, musical theater, cabaret, radio and television. Her talents, which she frequently lends to support humanitarian efforts, have taken her across the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, and Cuba, where she was privileged to participate in a cultural exchange with some of the country’s cultural icons, performing at some of Cuba’s most legendary venues. In addition, she has been the featured soloist for The Innocence Project Annual Gala and, as their featured artist and producer, helped Project People Foundation raise over $250,000 for their programs benefiting South African children orphaned by AIDS. Ms. Solomon-Glover is also a collaborator on The Darkest Light in the Heart, a new opera based on the events of the 2015 Charleston massacre – libretto by celebrated playwright, Steven Fechter, and score by renowned composer, Anthony Davis.
Chandler Carter
Composer
Chandler Carter’s operas have been variously described as a “compelling musical recounting” (Newsday); as conveying “an inborn feeling for the Southern setting, confidently employing elements of jazz, blues and gospel hymns” (Raleigh News and Observer). Carter is Professor of Music and the head of composition at Hofstra University, where he produced and curated along with Diana Solomon-Glover, Hofstra’s annual Black History Month concerts from 2013-2016. Also a respected scholar, his forthcoming book, The Last Opera: The Progress of The Rake, Stravinsky and Sung Drama, will be published by Indiana University Press in 2019.
Beth Greenberg
Stage Director
Beth Greenberg is renowned for her work with the New York City Opera. For the Lincoln Center company she directed original main stage productions of Turandot and Tales of Hoffmann as well as classic revivals including Der Rosenkavalier, Tosca, La Traviata, La Boheme and Intermezzo. Across New York’s harbor, aboard an historic ship moored in Red Hook, Brooklyn, she directed the groundbreaking site-specific production of Il Tabarro. Greenberg has earned a solid reputation for her collaborations with living composers, working onall phases of a new opera’s development from first libretto reads to fully-staged premieres. She continues to work with composers Lori Laitman, Anthony Davis, Tom Cipullo, Gordon Beeferman and Stella Sung, among others. Recent world-premieres include Opera Colorado’s production of The Scarlet Letter (Laitman & Mason), The Three Feathers (Laitman & Gioia), The Red Silk Thread (Sung & Hilbert), and Pumped Fiction (Eaton).S