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Juneteenth broadcast: 'Greenwood Overcomes,' a musical commemoration of 'Black Wall Street'

Greenwood Overcomes concert cast and composers
Greenwood Overcomes performers and composers. Row I, l-r: H. Leslie Adams, Peter Ashbourne, Jasmine Barnes, David Bontemps, Kathryn Bostic, B.E. Boykin, Valerie Capers, Roland Carter; Row II, l-r: Anthony Davis, Melanie DeMore, Marques L. A. Garrett, Stewart Goodyear, Denyce Graves, Adolphus Hailstork, Leah Hawkins, James Lee III; Row III, l-r; Tania León, Quinn Mason, Leona Mitchell, Andre Myers, Nkeiru Okoye, Rosephanye Powell, Issachah Savage, Carlos Simon; Row IV, l-r: Damien Sneed, Tyshawn Sorey, Noah Stewart, Krysty Swann, Kevin Thompson, Davóne Tines, Howard Watkins, and Nolan Williams, Jr.

This Juneteenth, hear music by 23 Black composers performed by leading Black artists presented to commemorate the Tulsa Massacre centennial

The 1921 race massacre in Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the most devastating instances of racial violence in U.S. history, resulted in the deaths of hundreds and the loss of thousands of businesses and homes.

A century later, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission co-produced, with Tulsa Opera, "Greenwood Overcomes," honoring the memory of what was commonly known as “Black Wall St.,” a vibrant, thriving Black community.

Co-curated by Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker and Metropolitan Opera Assistant Conductor and pianist Howard Watkins, "Greenwood Overcomes" features mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, soprano Leah Hawkins, soprano Leona Mitchell, tenor Issachah Savage, tenor Noah Stewart, mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann, bass Kevin Thompson, and bass-baritone Davóne Tines.

Hosted by Arun Rath of WGBH News, the broadcast of selected portions of the concert includes commentary from Howard Watkins and Davóne Tines, as well as reflections of Tobias Picker on the process of bringing together 23 Black composers for the program.

Hear "Greenwood Overcomes" Sunday, June 19 (Juneteenth) at 3 p.m. on Classical IPR.

GREENWOOD OVERCOMES: program information
Howard Watkins, piano
Arun Rath, host
Commentary by Tobias Picker, Howard Watkins and Davóne Tines

DAMIEN SNEED: “Down By the Riverside”
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

JASMINE BARNES: “Sweet, Sweet Spirit”
Leona Mitchell, soprano

TYSHAWN SOREY: after “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” from Songs of Death
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

PETER ASHBOURNE: “Liza”
Leah Hawkins, soprano

PETER ASHBOURNE: “Nobody’s Business”
Leah Hawkins, soprano

H. LESLIE ADAMS: “Prayer”
Issachah Savage, tenor

H. LESLIE ADAMS: “Creole Girl”
Noah Stewart, tenor

MARQUES L.A. GARRETT: “O del mio amato ben” from A Love Cycle
Leona Mitchell, soprano

ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: “My Heart to Thy Heart”
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

TANIA LEÓN: “Mi amor es”
Kevin Thompson, bass

STEWART GOODYEAR: “One Perfect Rose”
setting of a poem by Dorothy Parker
Leah Hawkins, soprano

STEWART GOODYEAR: “Condolence”
setting of a poem by Dorothy Parker
(Commissioned by Tulsa Opera)
Noah Stewart, tenor

KATHRYN BOSTIC: “State of Grace”
Words and music by Kathryn Bostic
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

NKEIRU OKOYE: “Inside Is What Remains”
Words and music by Nkeiru Okoye
(Commissioned by Tulsa Opera)
Leona Mitchell, soprano

NKEIRU OKOYE: “A Kiss On the Forehead”
Lyrics by Anita Gonzalez
Issachah Savage, tenor

B.E. BOYKIN: “Secret”
Leah Hawkins, soprano

JAMES LEE III: “Songs for the People”
setting of a poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
(Commissioned by Tulsa Opera)
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

VALERIE CAPERS: “Billie’s Song”
Howard Watkins, piano

DAVID BONTEMPS: “Il a neigé"
setting of a poem by Marie-Ange Jolicoeur
Kevin Thompson, bass

QUINN MASON: “Eclipsed World from Confessions From a Dream”
Noah Stewart, tenor

ROLAND CARTER: “Is There Anybody Here?”
Issachah Savage, tenor

ANDRE MYERS: “Harlem Night Song”
Leah Hawkins, soprano

ROSEPHANYE POWELL: “I Want to Die While You Love Me”
Issachah Savage, tenor

ANTHONY DAVIS: "There are Many Trails of Tears” from Fire Across the Tracks: Tulsa 1921
Thulani Davis, librettist
(Commissioned by Tulsa Opera)
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

CARLOS SIMON: “Prayer” (Gather Up)
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

NOLAN WILLIAMS, JR.: “He's Got the Whole World in His Hands”
Leona Mitchell, soprano

MELANIE DEMORE: “Sending You Light”
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

J. ROSAMOND JOHNSON (1873-1954): “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
setting of a poem by James Weldon Johnson
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano; company; audience