Empire is working to feature new and rare works in highlights concerts and full productions including:
Mask in the Mirror by jazz Professor, Richard Thompson - an opera on the life of American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar.
Grandma's Garden and A Gift from Paris by Waundell Saavedra - these 2 operas round out a collection of children's operas with Sweet Dreams being the first one to already receive a world premiere at the National Opera Center in 2012.
L'amant Anonyme by Joseph Boulogne, the Chevalier de Saint-George - an important figure in the Paris musical scene in the second half of the 18th century, Boulogne was one of the earliest musicians of the European classical type known to have African ancestry. His one surviving opera has received only a few performances.
Your help will make these projects possible.
Harry Lawrence Freeman (1869—1954) was an American opera composer, conductor, impresario and teacher. He was the first African-American to write an opera (Epthalia, 1891) that was successfully produced. Freeman founded the Freeman School of Music and the Freeman School of Grand Opera, as well as several short-lived opera companies which gave first performances of his own compositions. During his life, he was known as "the colored Wagner."
Mr. Freeman wrote more than 20 operas by hand! There were no computerized scoring programs. The full score, piano/vocal score and all orchestral parts were written on manuscript paper.
Waundell Saavedra has been given the rights to digitize the works of Freeman including The Martyr and The Octoroon. Our goal is to produce the works of Freeman with your support.
Help us preserve Freeman's legacy of music. Become a partner with us today by giving us your financial support.