Project Description

Oct. 19th 2013 – Troubled Island

The premiere of Troubled Island at the New York City Opera on 31 March 1949 was the first instance of a black composer’s opera being presented by a major company.

Troubled Island grapples with love and lust, trust and betrayal, set against the backdrop of Haiti’s historic battle for freedom. Jean Jacques Dessalines, the opera’s central figure, shook the world, defeating Napoleon’s forces in the Caribbean, forging a new nation, and inspiring slaves across the globe. The libretto by Langston Hughes gives voice to all people fighting injustice.

To celebrate South Shore Opera’s fifth anniversary, the internationally acclaimed conductor Leslie B. Dunner led an all-star cast starring baritone Kirk Walker (as Dessalines), contralto Gwendolyn Brown, soprano Dana Campbell and tenor Cornelius Johnson in this masterwork deserving a place in the standard repertoire. The season closed to acclaimed reviews and South Shore Opera Company was named Chicago’s Best Classical Music/Opera Moments of 2013 by the late Andrew Patner, musical critic of the Chicago Sun-Times.