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"Omar," The True Story of an Enslaved Islamic Scholar, from Boston Lyric Opera

Jamez McCorkle in traditional Islamic dress as the title character in BLO's "Omar", together with other cast members in front of a blue-green backdrop featuring Arabic writing
Olivia Moon Photography
Boston Lyric Opera
Jamez McCorkle as the title character in BLO's "Omar"

Sunday, February 18, 2024
7:00 PM

On WCRB In Concert with Boston Lyric Opera: a Pulitzer-prize-winning work by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels, telling the stirring true story of Omar ibn Said, a Muslim man enslaved in America.

Boston Lyric Opera was one of six opera companies that co-commissioned this work, based on a short but powerful autobiography Omar ibn Said wrote in 1837. The opera tells how he maintained a deep connection to his Islamic faith throughout the horrors he endured. It also emphasizes how his relationships with his community sustained him, even providing him with precious moments of joy.

Jamez McCorkle, tenor (Omar)
Cierra Byrd, mezzo-soprano (Omar’s mother)
Daniel Okulitch, baritone (Johnson /Owen)
Brianna J. Robinson, soprano (Julie)
Neal Ferreira, tenor (Auctioneer/Taylor)
Emma Sorenson, mezzo-soprano (Eliza, Owen’s daughter)
Catherine Anne Daniel, mezzo-soprano (Katie Ellen/The Caller)
Nicholas Lagesse, baritone (Abdul, Omar’s Brother/Abe)
Fred C. VanNess Jr., tenor (Amadou/Renty)
Christon Carney, tenor (Suleiman/Townsperson 1)
Christopher Humbert Jr., bass-baritone (Olufemi)
Chorus and orchestra of Boston Lyric Opera
Michael Ellis Ingram, conductor

This performance was originally broadcast on September 10, 2023, and is no longer available on demand.

Learn more about "Omar" and download a digital program book

See video of an evening with Rhiannon Giddens:
GBH Music presents Deconstructing Opera: Omar with Boston Lyric Opera

Learn more about Boston Lyric Opera

"Omar" published by Subito Music Corporation.