Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 7:30pm CT
Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 2:30pm CT
Tulsa Performing Arts Center

Concert on Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT to be live-streamed on TulsaOpera.com
Additional performance on Sunday, May 2 at 2:30 p.m. CT

Tickets are $35 for orchestra seating, $25 for mezzanine seating, and $10 for balcony seating.

Due to high demand, Tulsa Opera has announced a second performance of Greenwood Overcomes featuring a program of works by 23 living Black composers performed by eight Black artists to commemorate the centennial of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. The performances will be Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT and Sunday, May 2 at 2:30 p.m. CT at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Additionally, the Saturday performance will be live-streamed free on Tulsa Opera’s website, TulsaOpera.com, enabling a worldwide audience to experience the event. The live-stream will be available to watch through May 31. Tickets for the live performances have been priced for accessibility to all at $35, $25, and $10. Tulsa Opera is also partnering with community organizations and churches to provide free tickets to underserved communities for the performances. The audience size for the live concerts is socially-distanced owing to COVID-19 safety protocols.

Greenwood Overcomes is part of a citywide commemoration effort spearheaded by the concert’s co-producer, the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission (Tulsa2021.org), which is dedicated to producing and promoting projects that further the remembrance and honor the legacy of Black Wall Street, the Greenwood neighborhood that was razed by mobs of white residents on May 31–June 1, 1921. The massacre is recognized as one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history and resulted in the murder of hundreds, the destruction of six thousand Black-owned businesses, and the rendering of thousands homeless.

Co-curated by Metropolitan Opera Pianist and Assistant Conductor Howard Watkins and Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker, Greenwood Overcomes features works by 23 living Black composers to be performed by eight Black artists: mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves; soprano Leah Hawkins; soprano Leona Mitchell; tenor Issachah Savage; tenor Noah Stewart; mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann; bass Kevin Thompson; and bass-baritone Davóne Tines. Howard Watkins will be the pianist. The program includes four new works commissioned by Tulsa Opera—the company’s first-ever commissions in its 73 year history—and eight world premieres in total, allowing for each of the artists to perform a world premiere piece. The full program is announced below.

The Greenwood Overcomes concert includes the world premieres of works by: Haitian composer David Bontemps; 2020 Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis; composer and pianist Stewart Goodyear; composer and conductor James Lee III; and Florence Price Award-winning composer Nkeiru Okoye. Mr. Davis’ aria, “There are Many Trails of Tears,” is from his opera-in-development with librettist Thulani Davis (X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X; Amistad) titled Fire Across the Tracks: Tulsa 1921. The opera will be based around four main characters who were residents of the Greenwood district at the time of the massacre and during the aerial firebombing that took place. “There are Many Trails of Tears” is based on a first-hand account of the massacre written by a young African American lawyer, Buck Colbert Franklin, who was of African American and Choctaw descent, and who witnessed the murder of three men amongst other traumatic events.

The concert will also feature works by H. Leslie Adams, Peter Ashbourne, Jasmine Barnes, Kathryn Bostic, B.E. Boykin, Valerie Capers, Roland Carter, Melanie DeMore, Marques L. A. Garrett, Adolphus Hailstork, Tania León, Quinn Mason, Andre Myers, Rosephanye Powell, Carlos Simon, Damien Sneed, Tyshawn Sorey, and Nolan Williams, Jr with the composers ranging in age from 24 to 88. The concert will conclude with the audience invited to join Denyce Graves and the company in singing J. Rosamond Johnson’s hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Frequently called “the Black national anthem” owing to its powerful and uplifting message, Ms. Graves performed the song at the 2016 opening ceremonies for the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

Greenwood Overcomes will be performed against mural backdrops created by Kansas City artist D. Ross “Scribe,” commissioned by Tulsa Opera with consultation by Tulsa’s Chris “Sker” Rogers. Scribe painted the Black Wall Street mural in the Greenwood district, a project managed by Sker that has become one of the city’s best-known cultural landmarks.


Greenwood Overcomes

Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT
Sunday, May 2 at 2:30 p.m. CT

Howard Watkins, piano

Program alphabetical by composer; concert order TBD.

LESLIE ADAMS: Prayer
Issachah Savage, tenor

LESLIE ADAMS: Creole Girl
Noah Stewart, tenor

PETER ASHBOURNE: Nobody’s Business
Leah Hawkins, soprano

PETER ASHBOURNE: Liza
Leah Hawkins, soprano

JASMINE BARNES: Sweet, Sweet Spirit
Leona Mitchell, soprano

DAVID BONTEMPS: Secret (World premiere)
setting of a poem by Marie-Ange Jolicoeur
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

DAVID BONTEMPS: Il a neigé (World premiere)
setting of a poem by Marie-Ange Jolicoeur
Kevin Thompson, bass

KATHRYN BOSTIC: State of Grace (World premiere of piano arrangement)
Words and music by Kathryn Bostic
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

B.E. BOYKIN: Secret
Leah Hawkins, soprano

VALERIE CAPERS: Billie’s Song
Howard Watkins, piano

ROLAND CARTER: Is There Anybody Here?
Issachah Savage, tenor

ROLAND CARTER: Oh Freedom
Kevin Thompson, bass

ANTHONY DAVIS: There are Many Trails of Tears from Fire Across the Tracks: Tulsa 1921 (World Premiere & Tulsa Opera commission)
Thulani Davis, librettist
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

MELANIE DEMORE: Sending You Light
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

MARQUES L.A. GARRETT: O del mio amato ben
Leona Mitchell, soprano

STEWART GOODYEAR: One Perfect Rose (World premiere)
setting of a poem by Dorothy Parker
Leah Hawkins, soprano

STEWART GOODYEAR: Condolence (World premiere & Tulsa Opera Commission)
setting of a poem by Dorothy Parker
Noah Stewart, tenor

ADOLPHUS HAILSTORK: My Heart to Thy Heart
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

JAMES LEE III: Songs for the People (World premiere & Tulsa Opera Commission)
setting of a poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

TANIA LEÓN: Mi amor es
Kevin Thompson, bass

QUINN MASON: Eclipsed World from Confessions From a Dream
Noah Stewart, tenor

ANDRE MYERS: Harlem Night Song
Leah Hawkins, soprano

NKEIRU OKOYE: Inside Is What Remains (World premiere & Tulsa Opera commission)
Words and music by Nkeiru Okoye
Leona Mitchell, soprano

NKEIRU OKOYE: A Kiss On the Forehead (World premiere)
Lyrics by Anita Gonzalez
Issachah Savage, tenor

ROSEPHANYE POWELL: I Want to Die While You Love Me
Issachah Savage, tenor

CARLOS SIMON: Prayer (Gather Up)
Krysty Swann, mezzo-soprano

DAMIEN SNEED: Down By the Riverside
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano

TYSHAWN SOREY: after Swing Low, Sweet Chariot from Songs of Death
Davóne Tines, bass-baritone

NOLAN WILLIAMS, JR.: He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
Leona Mitchell, soprano

J. ROSAMOND JOHNSON (1873-1954): Lift Every Voice and Sing
setting of a poem by James Weldon Johnson
Denyce Graves, mezzo-soprano; company; audience


Ticket Information

Prices are $35 for orchestra seating, $25 for mezzanine seating, and $10 for balcony seating.

Buy tickets online:

Or order tickets by phone:
Tulsa Opera ticket office: (918) 582-3133
Open 9:00am to 1:30pm Monday-Friday

Tulsa PAC ticket office: (918) 596-7111
Open 10:30am to 5:30pm Monday-Friday


Live-Stream Information

Greenwood Overcomes will be live-streamed at TulsaOpera.com on Saturday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m. CT. Following the live-stream, the concert will be available to view online until Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, 11:59 p.m. CT.