In 2015, DC Public Library commissioned me to create a work on Marian Anderson that could tour community libraries.. The piece became Inspiring The Me I Want To Be: Marian Anderson.
Crafting it, I felt a further conversation developing that I could not get to at that time..
Then Washington National Opera (WNO) commissioned me for a performance work, ahead of the 2017 Kennedy Center Honors, and wished the subject to be Marian Anderson, a past Honoree. I celebrated by widening the aperture of the subject to be able to thread how her life sent a ripple into the lives of others, who followed her..
Originally I wanted the new work to consider the interrelatedness of Marian Anderson, Leontyne Price (also a past Kennedy Center Honoree), and Reri Grist - so that I could speak to art song, opera, and music theatre (as Ms Grist started her career, plucked from 'the chorus', to be the voice from 'the pit', in the Broadway premiere of Bernstein's West Side Story, who sings Somewhere).
..however, the commission turned out needing to be of a slimmer scope, and so The Me I Want To Sing considers only two of such significant icons of song... but certainly two whose twined rippling presented paths of opportunity for so many more..!
The Me I Want To Sing is being produced the 13th April 2019, in the Family Theatre at the Kennedy Center. It is a cause of celebration for anyone who loves music, believes we each have a story to sing, and once heard, that our voice can inspire others..