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JP Johnson - De Organizer, The Dreamy Kid | Naxos - American Classics 8669041

JP Johnson - De Organizer, The Dreamy Kid

£11.78

In stock - available for despatch within 1 working day

Label: Naxos - American Classics

Cat No: 8669041

Barcode: 0730099904179

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Opera

Release Date: 8th September 2023

Contents

Artists

Rabihah Davis Dunn (soprano)
Olivia Duval (soprano)
Elizabeth Gray (mezzo-soprano)
Lori Celeste Hicks (soprano)
Branden CS Hood (bass)
Darnell Ishmel (baritone)
Kenneth Kellogg (bass)
Monique Spells (contralto)
Emery Stephens (tenor)
Lonel Woods (tenor)
University of Michigan Opera Theatre
University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Kenneth Kiesler

Works

Johnson, James Price

De Organizer (reconstr. James Dapogny)
The Dreamy Kid (excerpts, reconstr. James Dapogny)

Artists

Rabihah Davis Dunn (soprano)
Olivia Duval (soprano)
Elizabeth Gray (mezzo-soprano)
Lori Celeste Hicks (soprano)
Branden CS Hood (bass)
Darnell Ishmel (baritone)
Kenneth Kellogg (bass)
Monique Spells (contralto)
Emery Stephens (tenor)
Lonel Woods (tenor)
University of Michigan Opera Theatre
University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra

Conductor

Kenneth Kiesler

About

Renowned as an influential jazz pianist, James P. Johnson also flourished as a composer of opera and of show tunes in the 1920s and 1930s. His two short operas The Dreamy Kid and De Organizer offer contrasting stories of African American life at that time, revealing both its incredible hopefulness and precariousness in the inter-war years. The Dreamy Kid is a tragedy, marked by police violence in a racially unjust atmosphere, and De Organizer is a hopeful story of solidarity and resistance meant to break the twin oppressions of poverty and racism. Johnson sets these stories to an eclectic and powerful mixture of jazz, swing, blues and ragtime that capture the essence of African American music-making in the early 20th century.

De Organizer was first performed in modern times in 2002. Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times wrote: ‘The work proved so powerful in its melodic content and so poetic in its choral writing that it’s easy to imagine the piece might have attained broad popularity... Any one of these tunes surely held the potential to become hits... De Organizer is so beautifully crafted by Johnson and so adroitly restored by Dapogny that it may yet earn a place among key dramatic works in the jazz-blues repertory’.

Casts:

De Organizer
- De Organizer: Darnell Ishmel (baritone)
- De Organizer’s Woman: Monique Spells (contralto)
- Old Man: Kenneth Kellogg (bass)
- A Woman: Rabihah Davis Dunn (soprano)
- Old Woman: Olivia Duval (soprano)
- Brother Dosher: Emery Stephens (tenor)
- Brother Bates: Lonel Woods (tenor)
- Overseer: Branden C.S. Hood (bass)

The Dreamy Kid
- Mammy: Elizabeth Gray (mezzo-soprano)
- Ceely Ann: Lori Celeste Hicks (soprano)
- Irene: Olivia Duval (soprano)
- Dreamy: Lonel Woods (tenor)

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