OPERA MISSISSIPPI PRESENTS LADY SINGS THE BLUES

Opera Mississippi opens its 76th season on Monday, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. in Duling Hall with Lady Sings the Blues: A Tribute to Billie Holiday. The concert features one of Jackson’s most outstanding jazz singers, Rhonda Richmond. Tickets may be ordered online at operams.org for $30. If there are remaining tickets, they will be for sale at the door for $35.

A Mississippi native, Richmond is an award-winning singer/songwriter, arranger, producer and instrumentalist. Her music is steeped in blues, peppered with jazz and a healthy dose of rhythms of the world, and reveals a powerful spiritual component which illuminates the strong cultural ties between the Mississippi region and the West African nation of the Yoruba.


Her accomplishment as songwriter also appears on the CD, Belly of the Sun where Grammy Award-winner Cassandra Wilson sings “Road So Clear” featuring Mississippi native and jazz trumpeter, Olu Dara. Richardson has performed extensively throughout the United States and Europe. She has opened for jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson, jazz organist Jimmy Smith, The Yellowjackets, and Medeski, Martin & Wood. She has also been a guest artist on radio shows such as Michael Jonathan’s Radio Hour, Mississippi Arts Hour and Thacker Mountain Radio Show.


Her CDs are Oshogbo Town and Rhythm and Strings. Her song, “Tallahatchie Waters,” appears on Paul Saltzman’s film, Prom Night in Mississippi, a Sundance Film Festival and HBO feature. Rhonda’s composition, “I Lift You Up,” is the soundtrack for a Dr. Wilma Clopton’s film, Our Forgotten Roots, the Unkept Promise and the virtual talk show, The Truth About.


Billie Holiday, born April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was a superstar of her day. She first rose to prominence in the 1930’s with a unique style that reinvented the conventions of modern singing and performance. More than 80 years after making her first recording, Holiday’s legacy continues to embody what is elegant and cool in contemporary music. Her complicated life and her genre-defining autobiography Lady Sings the Blues made her a cultural icon. The evocative, soulful voice which she boldly put forth as a force for good, turned any song she sang into her own. Today, Billie Holiday is remembered for her musical masterpieces, her songwriting skills, creativity and courageous views on inequality and justice.


For more information on the season and tickets visit operams.org or call 601.960.2300.


NOTE: Duling Hall’s Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocol: Effective August 30, 2021, for the health and safety of our patrons, staff, and artists, entry to Duling Hall will require either proof of a full course COVID-19 vaccination, with their final dose at least fourteen days prior to the event or proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken in the prior 72 hours. Accommodating this temporary policy will allow artists to earn a living, our staff to be employed, and live music to have a place in society again. We will keep everyone posted on any changes moving forward.

ABOUT OPERA MISSISSIPPI

The Mississippi Opera Association, founded in 1945, is a founding member of the national Opera America organization, the ninth oldest continuously operating opera company in the United States, and Mississippi’s only professional opera company. Among the remarkable singers that have graced the Opera Mississippi stage, are internationally known Beverly Sills, Monserrat Caballe, Robert Merrill, James McCracken, Roberta Peters, Jan Peerce, Richard Tucker, Norman Treigle, John Alexander, Renée Fleming and many others.


Opera Mississippi’s mission is to provide the community and state with the most dynamic musical stage productions possible. In addition, activities include a variety of educational and community outreach programs including educational performances to students and a variety of other performances for citizens of all ages, including pop, jazz, country, and musical theatre cabarets. The annual John Alexander National Vocal Competition, the only nationally advertised music competition in the state, is designed to recognize and award outstanding vocalists in both opera and musical theatre.


Opera Mississippi is proud to be an integral part of the remarkable artistic heritage that shapes the state, and each year thousands of Mississippians and visitors attend and benefit from our quality performances.






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