Composer and Librettist Rhiannon Giddens
Co-composer Michael Abels
Conductor John Kennedy
Tenor Jamez McCorkle
A voice forgotten no more
One of the most anticipated events of Spoleto’s 2020 season was the world premiere of Omar, a new opera commission from Grammy Award winner Rhiannon Giddens and co-composed by Michael Abels. Based on the 1831 autobiography of Muslim African scholar Omar Ibn Said, the opera traces his spiritual journey from his home in Western Africa through his capture and enslavement in the Carolinas.
While the opera will now premiere during the 2021 Festival, this is your chance for an exclusive look behind the scenes. In this digital conversation, acclaimed tenor Jamez McCorkle—who Festival audiences may remember as Lensky in Eugene Onegin (2017)—will discuss the central role of Omar Ibn Said with the opera’s artistic leaders. Hear how this project came together and listen to the composers speak about—and demonstrate—some of the opera’s musical themes. This meeting marks the first time McCorkle has met with Giddens, Abels, and Kennedy as a group.
Viewing link will remain available through June 7.
- Omar Ibn Said Jamez McCorkle