Up Against the Wall

Its a busy time here at the In Series. We’re in the middle of a run of “From U Street to the Cotton Club” which opened January 5th to rave reviews, and plays through January 20th. We are mostly sold-out, and even considering adding a performance to fit everyone in. Included for this show are also walking tour of the U Street neighborhood with historian Timothy Wright who leads audiences through the story of the music and murals of DC’s Black Broadway. The tour ends at landmark U Street business Ben’s Chili Bowl for dinner before the show. And, on January 19th, we host a Go-go After Party with DJ Chuck Classik of Go-go Radio Live. Go-go has been an amazing discovery for me in moving to DC. It’s the bass-heavy next chapter in DC’s musical life and I’m so excited to be able to offer this unique event, especially unique for an opera company. More information is available at our website http://www.inseries.org.

I’m even more pleased to announce that writer Sybil Williams, creator of “From U Street to the Cotton Club” will return to the In Series next year with an original musical play based on Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and featuring the music of Billie Holiday.

181217-border-wall-mexico-cs-929a_397c543aca4cffc07116b73989398dc0.fit-2000wIn the midst of all this, however, my brain has been turning to our next project at the In Series, a new version of Tomas Breton’s beloved zarzuela “La Verbena de la Paloma”. In this version, called “La Paloma at the Wall” we do a sort of cultural reverse-colonization and set this Spanish zarzuela at the US/Mexican border between San Diego and Tijuana. The project as been planned to about 8 months, but we had no idea it would become so pertinent. Now with news of the government shutdown and its causes ringing loudly in our ears, putting this work on its feet takes special significance. Anna Deeny Morales has written an incredibly beautiful and powerful script, and Mexican composer Ulises Eliseo is right now arranging the score for traditional son jarocho instruments. It is going to be a real journey and I couldn’t be prouder to be doing it here at the In Series.


Take me out to the…

Wait…where am I? It is indeed the Nats Stadium, but actually I was there all day for a seminar given by the De Vos Arts Innovation and Management program, as participation in the cohort for Bloomberg Philanthropies. This particular seminar was focused on institutional and programmatic marketing. It was inspirational to say the least. It filled the brain and spirit with ideas and encouragement, but also made the brain hurt a bit with the possibilities. Neverless, spending a day dreaming about the potential to partnerships, engagement, awareness, and making difference for the In Series is time well spent. And I’m a sucker for a chance to dream about programming and its outreach potential.

The day ended with a intimate fundraising event for CulturalDC, which owns Source, our home. This event was to help raise funds to repairs to the building and we were all to happy to participate in this effort. Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Mondragon performed with little ol’me at the piano (I even sang a few lines from Lakme…ye gads), and Marketing and Outreach Coordinator Cara Gonzalez and In Series Board President John Fitzgerald represented us among a group of trendsetting space makers.