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A Day in the Life Before a World Premiere

Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

Release Date: 03/01/2023

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Key Change: Creating Opera for All Voices

It’s all systems go for season five of Key Change! But before we commence with the anniversary celebrations, co-hosts Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia dust off the time machine for a whirlwind tour of seasons past. Think of this episode as part process evaluation––an appraisal of Opera For All Voices (OFAV), the Santa Fe Opera initiative committed to co-commissioning and co-producing new, diverse operatic works––and part indispensable playlist for repeat audiences and newcomers alike, covering the essential artistic and emotional moments that have made Key Change an...

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It’s October 28, 2022. As a brisk, still night settles over Santa Fe, things are heating up inside The Lensic Performing Arts Center. Longtime opera patrons mingle alongside never opera goers. Soon, the curtain will rise on This Little Light of Mine (TLLoM), a modern operatic masterpiece composed by Chandler Carter with libretto by Diana Solomon-Glover.  The one-act production is an unflinching yet uplifting dramatization of the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black woman born on the very lowest rung of the American caste system. A Black woman who nonetheless rose to speak at the 1964...

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All aboard the Key Change time machine for a two-part trip! On this half of the journey, we toggle back to the origins of a beloved community-based program and then forward to celebrate its exciting expansion. 2023 will mark the 50th anniversary of the , lovingly known around the Santa Fe Opera as POP.  Key Change commemorates this momentous event by passing the mic to colleague Kyle Gray, SFO’s Manager of Community Relations & Government Affairs. Kyle and his guests discuss the POP legacy and (POCC), which blossomed out of an artistic collaboration between legendary director Peter...

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It’s October 28, 2022. As a brisk, still night settles over Santa Fe, things are heating up inside The Lensic Performing Arts Center. Longtime opera patrons mingle alongside never opera goers. Soon, the curtain will rise on This Little Light of Mine (TLLoM), a modern operatic masterpiece composed by Chandler Carter with libretto by Diana Solomon-Glover. 

The one-act production is an unflinching yet uplifting dramatization of the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a Black woman born on the very lowest rung of the American caste system. A Black woman who nonetheless rose to speak at the 1964 Democratic National Convention and became an exemplar of the Civil Rights movement. A Black woman who knew her worth despite a world that told her otherwise. 

But hold on! A lot has happened between the time Opera For All Voices (OFAV) of The Santa Fe Opera first commissioned TLLoM and this triumphant evening. Key Change co-hosts (yep, a lot has happened) Andrea Fellows Fineberg and Anna Garcia check in with members of the production’s creative team in the hours leading up to the world premiere.

What do they want folks to understand about Mrs. Hamer’s life and legacy? How has the piece expanded discussions around whose stories get told onstage? And what’s the connection between self-care and a tiny table? 

If OFAV’s goal to foster community beyond opera’s traditional audience is central to this conversation, then TLLoM acts as the initiative’s standard bearer. It’s a fitting tribute to Mrs. Hamer’s innate ability to speak truth to power and galvanize individuals under one unifying voice. 

 

FEATURING

Chandler Carter – Composer

Diana Solomon-Glover – Librettist

Jeri Lynne Johnson – Conductor & Music Director

Beth Greenberg – Stage Director

Laurel McIntyre – Stage Manager

 

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

The Lensic Performing Arts Center

Kentucky Opera

REPS ON SET

New Mexico Black Leadership Council

 

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE PLAYLIST 

Mother of a Movement: This Little Light of Mine

BONUS: Is This America? 

Singing A Call to Action: Is This America? 

Making a Choice With Conviction: A conversation with Jeri Lynne Johnson

Lighting a Fire: The Legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer

 

***

Key Change is a production of The Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with Opera for All Voices.

Produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios

Hosted by Andrea Fellows Fineberg & Anna Garcia

Audio Engineer: Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe

Show Notes by  Lisa Widder

Theme music by Rene Orth with Corrie Stallings, mezzo-soprano, and Joe Becktell, cello

Cover art by Dylan Crouch

This podcast is made possible due to the generous funding from the Hankins Foundation, the Andrew W Mellon foundation, and an Opera America innovation Grant supported by the Anne & Gordon Getty Foundation.  

To learn more about Opera For All Voices, visit us at SantaFeOpera.org.