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Tuesday, September 27, 2022

New Belgian opera evokes US racial discord

In the pit, a jazz quartet rubs shoulders with a classical ensemble in Belgian composer Kris Defoort’s “The Time of Our Singing” based on the 2003 book of the same name by Richard Powers

BRUSSELS – Baroque, jazz, rap: centuries of musical heritage intertwine to tell the tale of a mixed-race family in a new opera being premiered in Brussels based on an epic novel of America’s troubled 20th century.

Belgian composer Kris Defoort’s “The Time of Our Singing” is based on the 2003 book of the same name by Richard Powers, a half-century-long historical saga on a family united by music, but haunted by segregation.

The novel tells of David Strom and Delia Daley, who meet after a concert by African-American contralto Marian Anderson in 1939 on the steps of the historic Lincoln Memorial in…

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