Melding African American spirituals alongside Scripture, this work sheds new light in the context of viewing the crucifixion as a lynching. The Oratorio is comprised of spirituals, poetry by Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Countee Cullen, and sermons by Frederick Douglass, among others. The text includes quotations from the Old & New Testament, similar to what you would hear in The Messiah. Additional music and text are by James Covell, a composer of concert music, film and television.
The Look Book
This is my vision of what the final production will look like:
This is a production to take place in the concert hall. There will be elements such as projections or art and theatrical moments such as dance. There will be sections of rap and spoken word. It is obviously a somber experience that would possibly be programmed during Good Friday, Easter or Black History month.
The Complete Work in Progress
The Initial Concept Concert
This night’s performance is the premiere of the first installment of this oratorio. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” is the first of the seven sayings that Jesus uttered from the cross.
I was extremely fortunate to have two world class soloist singing for me. Cedric Berry and Caroline McKenzie.