Opera Ebony, America’s longest running African-American opera company, kicks off its 40th anniversary season with a musical montage of “Sass ‘N Class” on Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. at Aaron Davis Hall, City College of New York (Convent Avenue and West 135th Street on City College campus). Tickets are $25 general admission and $15 for students.
“Sass ‘N Class” is a musical production originally conceived and directed by Opera Ebony founder and Music Director Wayne Sanders. The seven-year-old piece celebrates America’s best popular music, performed by the Opera Ebony cast as they adapt jazz, pop and classical music. Pieces from Duke Ellington, Jerome Kern, Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter will be performed. The production will be directed by Sanders.
“Opera Ebony’s rich history of innovative and historic productions has been a part of New York City’s music scene for 40 years,” states Managing Director Gregory Sheppard. “I am privileged to serve an arts institution that has such a strong and vibrant presence in a city with rich and diverse cultural roots.”
Opera Ebony’s company includes sopranos Tonya Canady, Angela Owens and Karen Parks; mezzo-soprano Martine Bhowan; tenors K’idar Miller, Richard Montgomery and David Whitley; baritones Darryl Jordan, Marvin Lowe and Anthony Turner; and bass baritone Davone Tines.
The evening’s song selection will include “Aunt Hagar’s Children’s Blues” by W. C. Handy; “Slap Dat Bass” by George and Ira Gershwin; “Squeeze Me” by Fats Waller; and many more.
Opera Ebony is the longest-operating African-American opera company in the United States. It performs operas from the standard European repertoire in addition to newly commissioned works that engage with African-American history. Founded in 1973, the company has served as a professional platform for thousands of American artists, administrators and the technical staff who help them to refine their talent and perfect their craft.
In New York City, Opera Ebony has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Beacon Theatre and the Manhattan Center. The company has partnered with several major international orchestras, opera companies and music festivals, including the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, the Finnish National Opera, the Estonia Philharmonic and the Savonlinna Music Festival.
For more information and ticket sales, visit www.adhatccny.org or call the Aaron Davis Hall box office at 212-650-6900.