In 2014, SFA marked the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which desegregated places of public accommodation including restaurants, closing out our annual symposium with a premiere of Repast: An Oratorio in Honor of Mister Booker Wright of Greenwood, Mississippi.
Next week’s Gravy podcast will showcase this powerful performance.
Repast tells the tragic and true story of Booker Wright, owner of Booker’s Place nightclub and waiter at famed restaurant Lusco’s, who spoke out about the pains of segregation and lived and died in the Mississippi Delta town of Greenwood.
The oratorio illustrates the “double consciousness” of African American life during the civil rights era.
Repast collaborators include:
Artistic director and concert pianist Bruce Levingston is the founder of Premiere Commission and the Chancellor’s Honors College Artist in Residence at the University of Mississippi. The New York Times has praised Mr. Levingston’s “mastery of colors and nuance.”
Composer Nolan Gasser is the architect of Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project. He also composed the opera The Secret Garden and the orchestral work Cosmic Reflection: A Narrated Symphony.
Bass-baritone Justin Hopkins sang Richard Strauss’s Daphne at the Théâtre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels, Belgium. In 2015, he performed Kurt Weill’s The Road Of Promise at Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Librettist Kevin Young, a recipient of Stegner and Guggenheim Fellowships, has authored eleven books of poetry and nonfiction, including The Book of Hours and The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness.
Repast is co-commissioned and co-sponsored by Premiere Commission and Southern Foodways Alliance.