Rhiannon Giddens’ new opera “Omar” heads to San Francisco
“Omar,” a new lyrical collaboration between Grammy Award-winning musician Rhiannon Giddens and composer Michael Abels, is set to premiere in May at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, SC, after which the piece will be performed by a consortium. from co-commissioning companies, including the San Francisco Opera.
An Opera spokesperson confirmed that the company will feature “Omar” in a future season, but declined to give details.
Giddens, who received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2017, is a great mathematician specializing in country music, blues, folk, Celtic music, and opera. She is a founding member of Carolina Chocolate Drops and host of “Aria Code,” a podcast produced by the Metropolitan Opera and the WQXR and WNYC radio stations.
She wrote the libretto for “Omar” and co-wrote the music with Abels, the score composer for Jordan Peele’s feature films “Get Out” and us. “
The opera is based on the 1831 autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, a West African Muslim scholar who was captured and sold as a slave in South Carolina.
The Spoleto festival program, announced on Wednesday November 17, runs from May 27 to June 12. In addition to “Omar”, it includes the world premiere of “Unholy Wars” by Karim Sulayman, a collection of ancient Baroque pieces explored across an Arab-American world. and director Yuval Sharon’s revisionist version of Puccini’s “La Bohème”.