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We Shall Not Be Moved – Opera Philadelphia

Esperanza Arts Center Streaming Event

We Shall Not Be Moved
Opera Philadelphia

Daniel Bernard Roumain, composer
Marc Bamuthi Joseph, librettist
Bill T. Jones, director

Facebook Event
Wednesday, June 17 at 6pm

Esperanza Arts Center presents a special streamed video presentation of EAC Arts Partner, Opera Philadelphia’s We Shall Not Be Moved.

On the run after a series of tragic incidents, five North Philly teens find refuge in an abandoned, condemned house in West Philadelphia at the exact location that served as headquarters of the MOVE organization, where a 1985 standoff with police infamously ended with a neighborhood destroyed and 11 people dead, including five children.

This World Premiere chamber opera by Daniel Bernard Roumain, an acclaimed composer and performer whose work defies genre, and librettist Marc Bamuthi Joseph, an arts activist known for spoken‐word performance, is “ambitiously interdisciplinary,” according to Bill T. Jones, the celebrated director, choreographer, dramaturge, and dancer.

Combining spoken word, contemporary movement, video projection, classical, R&B and jazz singing, and a brooding, often joyful score filled with place, purpose, and possibility, We Shall Not Be Moved is a timely exploration of past and present struggles which suggests an alternate future through the eyes of its young protagonists.

Esperanza is honored to have played a key role in the development of this important and timely work. As part Opera Philadelphia and Art Sanctuary’s Hip H’opera afterschool program, led by Esperanza’s Chief of Performing Arts in the Community, Tania Ramos Oton, Esperanza Academy students participated in workshops with the creative team throughout a span of approximately four years. Student shared their stories of family, struggle, neighborhood, and future dreams. These workshops and stories inspired the music and libretto for We Shall Not Be Moved. Esperanza students also joined the composer and librettist at the Annenberg Center to perform a selection from the in-progress opera alongside student poetry, music, and dance.

“Everyone has a gift; you just have to be around the right type of people who will motivate you to show that gift off to the world. I believe Hip H’opera is that program”



Premiered during Opera Philadelphia’s O17 season, this online presentation of We Shall Not be Moved is part of Digital Festival O 2020.

This broadcast contains some strong language and violence.

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June 17, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 08:00 pm
Wed , Jun 17
06:00 pm