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African American Experiences in Opera

About the Opera

Picture of Vanqui cover

Vanqui tells a fictional story of Vanqui, a 19th-century enslaved woman, and her husband, Prince. The couple is forcibly separated and eventually killed. Resurrected as spirits, they search for each other and the Baobab tree, encountering famous freedom fighters.

Composer Leslie Burrs blends jazz and operatic traditions with contemporary music styles. Vanqui has received critical acclaim, winning several awards. The work received multiple performances including those at Harvard University's April in Paris Conference and The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Reviews and Analysis

Parsons, C.H. "Opera Everywhere." American Record Guide 64, no. 1 (January 2000): 30.

Porter C. "Powerful 'vanqui' joins a love story and the antislavery struggle." The Washington Post (1974-). Mar 06 2006:1.