The Opera 901 Showcase

Midtown Opera Festival:

The Opera 901 Showcase

New operas inspired by Memphis


Saturday, April 7, 2018 |  7:30 pm
Saturday, April 14, 2018 |  5:00 pm


Playhouse on the Square


English with English surtitles
Contains adult language and themes


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The operas of the Opera901 Showcase received funding from OPERA America's Opera Fund.

The Opera 901 Showcase features a series of short, original operas commissioned by Opera Memphis and all set in Memphis. In a city rich with history and eccentric characters, operatic material is everywhere. Each opera follows a different set of characters, ranging from well-known in Memphis' collective consciousness to obscure incidents that will have you saying "Did that really happen in Memphis?"

Get a ticket to the Showcase, and you'll see all of these operas! They will be performed back to back-to-back, much like our 2014 performances of Ghosts of Crosstown, and guests can expect a total performance time of about ninety minutes.

This performance contains Adult language and themes.
Opera Prelude: Pre-Show Talks
Plan your evening (FAQs)
WKNO Preview: March 27



The operas of the Opera901 Showcase received funding from OPERA America's Opera Fund.

About the OPERAS

Michael Sakir  conductor
Ned Canty  Stage director
DenNIS Whitehead Darling  Stage Director Movin' Up in the World
Listed here in no particular order


A woman comes to town carrying the ashes of her recently deceased father. His dying wish was that his remains be scattered in the Mississippi at Memphis, a place she only knows as the home he left. 

Kamala Sankram  composer
Jerre Dye  librettist
Shawnette Sulker  the Visitor
Phyllis Pancella  the memphian



Kayfabe: A Wrasslin' Opera

It's a rock opera about Memphis wrasslin' in the 80's... really. Our hero, The Face, is getting too old for the wrasslin' spotlight, but maybe one last match with The Heel will silence his demons forever.

SAm Shoup  composer
Jerre Dye  librettist
Daniel Spiotta  The Face
Brendan Tuohy  The HeEl/Face's Dad
Stephen Len White  Announcer



Welcome to Grc Lnd 2030: The Demo


Welcome to Grc Lnd 2030: The Demo is an operatic take on Marco Pavé's latest album. In the year 2030, Yellow Fever has returned to ravage the black community in Grc Lnd (a city very much like Memphis). When the stakes are higher than ever, will we see a new Civil Rights Movement?

This performance features selections from an opera-in-development.

Marco Pavé  Composer, Librettist, Kriner Armstrong, & Derek Clark
Shawnette Sulker  Tabitha Thompson & Alicia Williams
Stephen Len White  Mayor Jim Crowland & CEO Ted White


A Pretty Little Room

Alice Mitchell has just arrived at Western State Hospital for the Insane in Bolivar, Tennessee. It is her sentence for a crime that captivated national attention: the 1892 murder of her former lover, Freda Ward, in Memphis. 

Robert G. Patterson  composer
Jerre Dye  librettist
Nikola Printz  Alice
Chelsea Miller  Shadow
Stephen Len White  Doctor in white 


Movin' Up in the World


Movin' Up in the World was premiered as part of 2014's Ghosts of Crosstown. Set on the evening before Martin Luther King Jr's assasination, an elevator operator in the old Sears Building gives his replacement some advice on life, work, and how to handle their primarily white passengers. 

DenNIS Whitehead Darling  Stage Director
Zach Redler  composer
Jerre Dye  librettist
Darren Stokes  bass-baritone