“Music is my connection to the world. It guides me to understand my place in relation to others and challenges me to make clear the things I do not understand. I imagine that music is a meeting place at which all people can converse about their unique differences and common stories.” — Jessie Montgomery
Unique differences and common stories, music as meeting place for fellowship and conversation… this is what Fridays with 45th Parallel has become since our first broadcast last May. This Friday will be our 37th show, and features the Pyxis Quartet performing music of Carlos Simon, Jessie Montgomery, and Florence Price, in honor of Black History Month.
These compositions are about love, justice, and experiences of being a Black American. The evening begins with Songs for the African Violet, about the resilience that is demanded of Black women finding joy. We go to Two Black Churches, where we grieve with communities generations apart—both facing the aftermath of murder and hate crimes perpetrated by white supremacists.
In “Your Daddy’s Son” we witness a desperate mother’s grief and song to her child, and in Night Trip we stop at a gas station with a Black family on a road trip in Jim Crow America. With The Talk we share a coming-of-age conversation that is a matter of life and death, then we celebrate the choice to love—expressed through the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Songs of Love and Justice.
Songs for the African Violet words and music by Jasmine Barnes
Two Black Churches Composed by Shawn Okpebholo “Ballad of Birmingham” text by Dudley Randall “The Rain” text by Marcus Amaker
“Your Daddy’s Son” from Ragtime music by Stephen Flaherty lyrics by Lynn Ahrens book by Terrence McNally
Night Trip composed by Carlos Simon libretto by Sandra Seaton
The Talk: Instructions for Black Children When They Interact With the Police words and music by Damien Geter
Songs of Love and Justice by Dr. Adolphus Hailstork text by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
ABOUT OUR PRODUCTION
Sung in English with English captions. Approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, no intermission.
Featuring Portland Opera’s Resident Artists—Lynnesha Crump, Jasmine Johnson, David Morgans Sanchez, Michael Parham, and Edwin Jhamal Davis; with limited instrumentation featuring members of the Portland Opera Orchestra, and members of the Portland Opera Chorus.
Digital access will be available for 45 days, starting on April 16, 2021 on our digital channel, Portland Opera Onscreen.
PLAN YOUR WATCH PARTY | CONCIERGE SERVICES
Looking for delivery dining options, a wine pairing suggestion, or a way to plan your watch party? Even though we’re working remotely, our team is happy to offer complimentary concierge services. Create your opera experience with the assistance of our Portland Opera Concierge: email Concierge@portlandopera.org or call 503-241-1407, M-W, 10 AM – 5 PM.
Join company members and guests from the production for a post-show Q&A on Zoom following the performance on April 16.