Santa Fe Opera Presents World Premiere Performances Of ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ About Voting Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer Beginning Oct. 28

The Santa Fe Opera presents the world premiere of ‘This Little Light Of Mine’ beginning Oct. 28. Courtesy/SFO

SFO News:

SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Opera (SFO) will present the world premiere of This Little Light of Mine, a new opera about the life of voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer beginning Oct. 28.

The one-act opera is composed by Chandler Carter with libretto by Diana Solomon-Glover. Under development since 2017, the piece is commissioned by the Santa Fe Opera and its Opera for All Voices (OFAV) consortium partners.

Writes Carter, “The music of This Little Light begins and ends with the voice of Fannie Lou herself. The sound of her singing civil rights anthems – “Woke Up This Morning”, “Go Tell it on the Mountain”, “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round” and “This Little Light of Mine” – anchors all of my vocal writing, especially for chorus. But just as important is the sound of Mrs. Hamer’s powerful speaking voice, excerpts of which I incorporate into the score, telling her harrowing story of humiliation, torture and ultimate triumph.”

Conducted by Jeri Lynne Johnson and directed by Beth Greenberg, the talented cast includes contralto Nicole Joy Miller in the role of Fannie Lou Hamer, soprano Kearstin Piper Brown as Dorothy Jean Hamer, and soprano Heather Hill in the roles of June Johnson and SNCC Worker. Scenic Designer Lawrence E. Moten III recreates the time and space of 1964’s “Freedom Summer” with costumes by Brooke Stanton, lighting by Jason Lynch and immersive projections by Katherine Freer. An ensemble of singers from Albuquerque’s Gospel Choir Community serves as the chorus, led by Chorus Director Dr. Stevie DéJuan Springer.

Performances are 7 p.m., Oct. 28 and 29 and 2 p.m., Oct. 30 at The Lensic Performing Arts Center in downtown Santa Fe. Tickets are on sale now via The Lensic Box Office. The cost per person is $25 and seat assignments are first come, first served.

More information can be found at This Little Light of Mine.

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