Today, the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels presents the world première of The Time of Our Singing, an opera composed by Kris Defoort with a libretto in English by Peter van Kraaij, after Richard Powers' novel.
It is the composer's third opera after The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (Brussels, November 23rd, 2001) and House of the Sleeping Beauties (Brussels, May 8th, 2009).
Black Lives Matter, police brutality, rigged elections : these are themes that have remained at the forefront of current affairs over the past year. The work depicts the life of a mixed-race family that is both united and divided by music, against the backdrop of segregation in the post-war United States. The composer conjures an imaginary space in which official history and personal histories intertwine, in which people come together to weave a narrative, and in which jazz and classical music are enriched by one another. (reproduced from the Monnaie website)
The cast includes soprano Claron McFadden (Delia Daley), bas baritone Mark S. Doss (William Daley), bass baritone Simon Bailey (David Strom), tenor Levy Sekgapane (Jonah), baritone Peter Brathwaite (Joey) and jazz singer Abigail Abraham (Ruth). Kwamé Ryan conducts the La Monnaie Chamber orchestra, a jazz quartet and La Monnaie's Children's and Youth Choir.