Curated by Damien Geter
Directed by Chip Miller

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.

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.


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. 


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 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.

Digital access available for $50 or pay what you will. Access will be available for purchase in February 2021.

Dates, programming, artists, and details are subject to change. 

Lynnesha Crump

Jasmine Johnson

Uncle Mack
David Morgans Sanchez

Michael Parham

Uncle Wesley
Edwin Jhamal Davis

Joseph Williams

Stage Director
Chip Miller

Lance Inouye

Set Designer
Tyler Buswell

Costume Designer
Dominique F. Hill

Lighting Designer
Jennifer Lin