John Brown's Truth, a musically improvised opera
John Brown's Truth, an opera with an extraordinary cast of classical and jazz singers and musicians, spoken word artists, and dancers, with libretto and musical conception by William Crossman, is a radical departure from traditional opera format and, as such, is truly an opera for the 21st Century. Its most radical feature is that, while its libretto is written, its music is not. All music, including that performed by the principals, the chorus, and the orchestra, is entirely improvised on the spot. This means that each performance of the opera is musically unique, newly recreated "in the moment." The opera covers selected events, all within the year 1859, in the life of anti-slavery abolitionist John Brown as he prepares and carries out his raid on the federal armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia and, afterwards, as he is put on trial for the raid. Though the timeline of events depicted is historically accurate, the libretto is a mostly fictionalized rendering of conversations John Brown might have had, and in some cases actually did have, according to historical reports, expressing his actual beliefs, intentions, and plans. The opera is receiving its first performances on the 150th anniversary of the very events it is depicting.
San Francisco Community Music Center
544 Capp St.
San Francisco, CA 94114
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: No|