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A Harlem Renaissance Opera by Harry Lawrence Freeman

In Collaboration With Morningside Opera & The Harlem Chamber Players

Friday, June 26th & Saturday, June 27th, 2015

This will be the first performance of Voodoo since its 1928 premiere!

Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater, and The Harlem Chamber Players join forces to present a semi-staged concert production of the Harlem Renaissance opera VOODOO by Harry Lawrence Freeman. Two performances only will take place at Miller Theatre at Columbia University (116th Street and Broadway) on June 26 & 27, 2015 at 7:00 PM. Gregory Hopkins, the Artistic Director of Harlem Opera Theater, will conduct the seven principal singers, full chorus, and 30-piece orchestra.

A contemporary of Scott Joplin, composer Harry Lawrence Freeman was well-known in the Harlem community and gained acceptance in classical music circles in the 1920s to 1940s. He won numerous awards, and his operas were performed on Broadway and at Carnegie Hall. Despite these achievements, most of his operas remain unpublished, and there are no professional recordings of his music. Join us for this historic concert - the first performance of VOODOO since its 1928 premiere!

This project is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; in part by Council Member Inez E. Dickens, 9th Council District, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council; in part by a grant from Columbia Community Service; a grant from the West Harlem Development Corporation of Tides Corporation; and through the generous donations of our individual supporters. This project is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and The New York Community Trust/Charles E. Culpeper Fund. Additionally, this project is made possible in part by public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

Indiegogo Crowdfunding Campaign For Voodoo

The Idiegogo Crowdfundiing Campaign Has Ended

However Our Work Continues

Dear Friend of Harlem Opera Theater,

We are pleased to report that we raised $23,165 - surpassing our Indiegogo crowd-funding goal of $20,000!

We appreciate your kind deeds and help to reach our financial goal.

Kudos also, to the outstanding work on the part of the collaborating organizations, the Morningside Opera and The Harlem Chamber Players.

Contributions beyond this date may be made by check or on-line by clicking the link below.

We look forward to presenting Voodoo,a Harry Lawrence Freeman opera, in Collaboration with Morningside Opera and the Harlem Chamber Players on Friday, June 26 and Saturday, June 27 at 7pm.

Miller Theatre/Columbia University
2950 Broadway @ 116 St., NYC.

With our grateful appreciation,
Board of Directors
Harlem Opera Theater

Or mail your contribution of any amount to:
Harlem Opera Theater
c/o Gregory Hopkins, Artistic Director
425 W. 144th St.
New York, NY 10031

Checks should be made out to Harlem Opera Theater, with the notation: H.L. Freeman Opera, Voodoo.

Thanks for your Contribution & See you at Voodoo in June!

Please e-blast to family friends and colleagues; also post on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

2009 Vocal Competition Finalist
Alexandra Smith, Soprano


Click here  
to hear the Harlem Jubilee Singers, affiliated with HOT, under HOT's Artistic Director, Gregory Hopkins, performing Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts at Jazz a Vienne, in France June 2009.


CLICK HERE: HOT in the News.

Homage to Alexander S. Pushkin: 2014 Salute to Black History Month

Dr. Gregory Hopkins, Artistic Director, Master of Ceremonies and Narrator.

International opera singers, Morenike Fadayomi, soprano and Everett Suttle, tenor presented arias and duets in the Russian, CZECH and French from the works of Alexander Pushkin; African-Russian, father of Russian literature; who influenced the works of several operas: Lisa’s Aria from the opera, Pique Dame, and Lensky’s Aria, from the opera, Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky; Song to the Moon, from the opera Rusalka by Dvorak. Ms. Fadayomi and Mr. Suttle closed the program with The Love Duet from Boris Godunov by Mussorgsky.

The cast included (pictured below):
Kristina Nicole Lewis, mezzo soprano | Finalist Harlem Opera Theater, 2010 Vocal Competition.

Also presenting Pauline’s Aria, from the opera, Pique Dame by Tchaikovsky; Edgar L. Halford, violin; Gary Mitchell, piano.

Morenike Fadayomi and Everett Suttle also presented the works of Alexander Pushkin during an in-school concert for the young scholars, teachers and administrators of the Democracy Prep Charter School in Harlem.

Both programs included a presentation of Alexander Pushkin’s life and untimely death in a duel at the age of 38.

2013 Vocal Competition Winners

2013 Vocal Competition Winners | Top (group photo – left to right)
College Division - Judges Choice Awards | Paul Grosvenor, bass-baritone (3rd place ) | Jasmen Reyes, soprano (1st place) | Brittany Walker, soprano, (2nd place and Audience Choice Award) Professional Division - Judges Choice Awards | (left to right)
Brian Major, baritone, (1st place) | Said Pressley, bass-baritone (2nd place) Brittany Robinson, soprano (3rd place and Audience Choice Award).

2013 Vocal Competition Judges

Semi-Final Round – June 1st - 19 Contestants (with judges only) – Convent Avenue Baptist Church, NYC | (1st Row - left to right) David Lofton, conductor Tania Leon, composer | Ira Spaulding, choral conductor. Final Round – June 29th – 9 Contestants (with judges and audience) – Miller Theatre | Columbia University, NYC | (2nd Row - left to right) Aprile Millo, soprano (Co-host | Honorary Chair of the Judges) Hilda Harris, soprano (Co-host) | Mark Rucker, baritone | Michael Spierman, conductor.

Sold Out Performances

On site Opera and Harlem Opera Theater's performance of Gershwin's Blue Monday, at the historic Cotton Club, was sold out for all three performances. An enjoyable evening was had by all.
Click here to watch Gregory Hopkins, Conductor and Harlem Opera Theater Artistic Director, discuss the production of "Blue Monday".  

Join the Friends of Harlem Opera Theater

Join the Friends of Harlem Opera Theater! We will thank you with "Our Gift to You".

Yes! I wish to support the work of Harlem Opera Theater! Opera, Classical Music Concerts, Opera for Beginners,in school performances, Vocal Competitions and new initiatives.

Click here for suggested donation levels and "our gift to you".

Or make checks payable to Harlem Opera Theater and mail to:
Harlem Opera Theater
c/o Gregory Hopkins, Artistic Director
425 W. 144th St.
New York, NY 10031

Visit our Affiliate: Harlem Opera Theater For Beginners

Click here for the web page of Harlem Opera Theater For Beginners.  

2010 Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition Finalists with Gregory Hopkins, Artistic Director (left)


2010 Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition Winners
Left: Jasmine Muhammad, Soprano (3rd Place -College Division,Patrick Dailey, Countertenor (1st Place - College Division), Jasmine Thomas, Soprano (2nd Place College Division), Jayme Alilaw, Soprano (2nd Place Professional Division), Kelly Griffin, Soprano (3rd Place Professional Division), Michael Anthony McGee, Baritone (1st Place Professional Division), Ms. Thomas and Ms. Alilaw also won the Audience Choice Awards.

Watch this video of Seunghwan Oh, 3rd place winner, Professional Division, 2009 Vocal Competition.
In The News: Michael Anthony McGee
Harlem Opera Theater's 2010 Vocal Competition 1st Place Winner, Professional Division
Read about Michael Anthony McGee, 1st place winner, professional division of Harlem Opera Theater's 2010 Vocal Competition, in the following article which appeared in a recent issue of Opera News.
SEASON CALENDAR: 2013 - 2014
Click here for upcoming performances.  
Camilla Williams, Opera Singer Broke Racial Barriers, 92

Camilla Williams was the first Black woman to secure a contract with a major United States opera company, The New York City Opera, as Cio-Cio-San, the heroine of "Madama Butterfly".
Click here for complete New York Times article.  
How Barbara Smith Conrad Sang Her Way Into Civil-Rights History

Click here  
to watch an excerpt from PBS's new documentary on Barbara Smith Conrad, "When I Rise".
Click below to read the amazing story, written by Josh Max, of Barbara Smith Conrad and her work to preserve and celebrate Negro spirituals. cClick here for article.

Click here to print crossword puzzle.
Click here for answer key.
In Memoriam: Raoul Abdul (1929-2010)

Music critic, author, singer, Raoul Abdul died in Manhattan Friday, 15 January 2010. Abdul was a concert baritone, German lieder expert and writing scholar. At the time of his passing Abdul was the music critic for the New York Amsterdam News. His column was titled Reading the Score. We are grateful to him for the many articles on Harlem Opera Theater that appeared in the Amsterdam News over the years. Click here for Raoul Abdul's complete obituary.
Click below to read Raoul Abdul's article about HOT's Vocal Competition which appeared in the May 21-May 27, 2009 issue of The New York Amsterdam News. Click here for article.
Betty Allen, Mezzo-Soprano, Dies at 82

It is with deepest sadness that The Harlem School of the Arts announces the passing of Ms. Betty Allen, The Harlem School of the Arts President Emeritus.

On Monday, June 22nd, Ms. Allen died peacefully at Westchester Medical Center with her family by her side. Considered one of the most endearing and powerful voices of the century, mezzo-soprano Betty Allen has been a guiding force at HSA since she became Executive Director upon the retirement of the school's founder Dorothy Maynor, in 1979.

Born in Campbell, Ohio, Betty Allen made her operatic debut in 1954 as Queenie in Showboat. She made her New York recital debut at Town Hall in 1958. In 1964, she made her formal Opera debut at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, followed by countless appearances worldwide.

Beyond bringing joy to audiences of all ages with her beautiful voice, Ms. Allen has long been committed to nurturing young artists across all disciplines. In addition to her many years as a leader and master teacher with HSA, Ms. Allen has also taught at the North Carolina School of Arts, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Curtis institute of Music in Philadelphia. She also holds Honorary Doctorates from Wittenberg University, Union College, Adelphi University, Clark University in Massachusetts and the New School in New York City.

While HSA was born of the commitment and ideals of its founder, it was Betty Allen who strengthened the foundation of the vibrant and inspiring institution that it is today. We were honored to present Betty Allen with the inaugural Betty Allen Lifetime Achievement award at the Art is Life Gala on Monday, March 9, 2008 and to enjoy her presence at this year's benefit.

HSA President & CEO Kakuna Kerina said: The impact Betty Allen has made as an artist and arts educator is measured in the tens of thousands of lives she influenced in their youth. She was unique in that the standards she applied to herself were the same as the standards she expected of others, and we are better for it. We extend our condolences to Ms. Allen's family and thank them for sharing her with a vast community of admirers throughout the world.
Opera For Beginners

Opera for Beginners is an interactive program that promotes literacy through music! The community school auditorium becomes a concert hall complete with live singers (soprano, mezzo-soprano, tenor, baritone and/or bass) and a pianist, as students and teachers listen to great music from the operas of master composers!

conducted by Elizabeth Cole, Vocal Consultant of Eve Queller's Opera Orchestra of New York with Doug Martin on piano.

Click here for more information.  
The Transition Network presents Harlem Opera Theater

Nearly 100 Transition Network members and their guests were treated to a glorious evening of song at a gala concert held at the Liederkranz Foundation's beautiful townhouse, on October 20th, 2007. The first part of the program consisted of classical opera selections sung by Geraldine McMillian, soprano, and Lawrence Craig, baritone, members of the Harlem Opera Theater. Following an intermission, Ms. McMillian and Mr. Craig returned to perform African-American spirituals and selections from Porgy and Bess. The range of their talent, the richness of their voices, the diversity of their repertoire and their ability to transform themselves into their respective character roles resulted in well-deserved shouts of bravo and a standing ovation. They were splendidly accompanied on the grand piano by Byron Sean. A Viennese pastry dessert reception for the artists followed the performance.

Source: The Transition Network Newsletter

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi

Trial by Jury Gilbert and Sullivan

Harlem Gospel and Jazz Theater

Check out the website of our affiliate, Harlem Gospel and Jazz Theater. View their video clips and photo gallery.
Click here for website.  
Mission Statement

To develop an Opera Theater in the Harlem Community which will provide performance opportunities for gifted and developing singers; bring opera and classical music to Harlem and to other communities where this genre of music is seldom performed and cultivate a new audience especially among children and youth.
Our Vision

For further information about Harlem Opera Theater including our history, past performances, Board of Directors and affiliates
Map of Harlem


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Harlem Opera Theater is a non-profit organization. We depend on grants and individual gifts to fulfill our mission. All donations are welcome.

Or make checks payable to Harlem Opera Theater.

Mailing address:
Harlem Opera Theater
c/o Gregory Hopkins, Artistic Director
425 West 144th Street
New York, NY 10031

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Thank you in advance for your support!

Harlem Opera House
207 West 125th Street, New York, NY
Built 1888 for Oscar Hammerstein
In 1922 purchased by Frank Schiffman and Leo Brecher.

Privacy Policy


Click here to visit the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation's web site.  
The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation has awarded a grant, through the USArtists International program to be used toward the Harlem Jubilee Singers participation in Umbria Winter Jazz Festival, taking place in Orvieto, Italy. The Harlem Jubilee Singers is an international touring choir, conducted by Dr. Gregory Hopkins, affiliated with Harlem Opera Theater, Inc. The choir's mission is to present music from the African American tradition to foreign audiences. USArtists International is made possible through support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The grant period of this award begins 11/28/2011 and ends 1/4/2012.

Harlem Opera Theater's 2010-2012 Season is funded in part by the Friends of Harlem Opera Theater.

Verna Haskins Denny, Web Master

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Harlem Opera Theater is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in 2002. Site copyright 2006 Harlem Opera Theater. All rights reserved.