Performance: Richard Kennedy, Black Rage

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Richard Kennedy, Touch of Elegance. Performance View, November 16, 2019, ICA, Richmond. Courtesy Peres Projects, Berlin. Photographer: David Riley
Richard Kennedy, Touch of Elegance. Performance View, November 16, 2019, ICA, Richmond. Courtesy Peres Projects, Berlin. Photographer: David Riley

About

Part of Hot with Excess: A Season of Contemporary Artists’ Opera, a special season of live events exploring the collision of contemporary art and opera, featuring Sam Belinfante, Beatrice Gibson, Trulee Hall, Richard Kennedy, Benjamin Orlow, Marijke de Roover and Alexandre Singh.

Black Rage: Negro Songs From a New Age Depression is an opera written by Richard Kennedy, with additional music by RaShonda Reeves. Written over the course of 6 years, Black Rage explores the pain, frustration, and tribulations of being African American in the 21st century. Diving head-first into social problems that have plagued the USA since its inception, Black Rage is a peek into some of the most intimate and heartbreaking moments endured in the quest for true liberation. Inspired by chain gang songs, slave hymns, and a collection of field interviews with former slaves, Black Rage uses the power of song to communicate a message of hope and peace, to inspire a new generation, and to honour those who survived the Middle Passage and the harsh conditions of early American Life. Black Rage is an opportunity to better understand the black experience, all the while accepting that unless you live it you can never understand it, only be compassionate of it.

Richard Kennedy restages Black Rage with New York based collaborators, Alissa Brianna, RaShonda Reeves, Kyle Kidd, Isaiah Cook, Olin Caprison and Xander Gaines; to help him envisage his opera in a new context.

Doors will open at 18:00. Bar provided by Mezcal Union, serving drinks until 23:00.

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