WEST POINT — Ever wonder what would happen if Mississippi’s own Leontyne Price and Howlin’ Wolf were featured together in concert with back-up singers Luciano Pavarotti, Beverly Sills, Muddy Waters and Bessie Smith?
We can’t go back in history to achieve this spectacular group, but the next best thing will be Bluesy Opera: The Forgotten Art, an MSU Opera Production, presented Oct. 17 in West Point.
Hosted by the Black Prairie Blues Museum, the performance will be staged in front of the Museum on Commerce Street, which will be closed to traffic. Plan to enjoy an evening of lively music and art. Complimentary refreshments will be served from 6:30-7:15 p.m. inside the museum. Show time is 7:30 p.m.
Prior to the performance, the Juke Joint photography of Birney Imes will be on display inside the museum and projected onto the building’s façade, setting the mood for the evening.
Mezzo-soprano and assistant professor of voice and the voice area coordinator at Mississippi State, Jeanette Fontaine, is the production’s music director. Fontaine performs frequently in opera, concert and recital venues.
“Opera and the Blues are forgotten genres that are the essence of contemporary music,” said Tulyaganova and Fontaine. “Reviving these lost art forms, which share a realism of life, reminds us of our roots and our connection to one another.”
The Flathead Ford Trio along with pianist Anne Catherine and MSU music students will be performing as Terry ”Harmonica” Bean narrates.
Chris Withrow is the technical director and Marion Sansing the visual effects technician.
“The Black Prairie Blues Museum is thrilled to be hosting the MSU Bluesy Opera: The Forgotten Art. The museum is dedicated to helping keep the blues alive,” said Deborah Mansfield, museum director. “We hope this event will educate and inspire people of all ages about the Blues and Opera which are both becoming lost arts.”
This event is free and open to the public. In case of rain the event will be moved to the Ritz Conference Center across the street from the Museum.
For information, contact Mansfield at (662) 275-7819 or Tulyaganova at (917) 204-4475.