This isn’t your usual opera. “Funeral Doom Spiritual” – a monodrama that navigates race relations in a dystopic environment set 100 years in the future – will grace the stage of National Sawdust tonight for the production’s New York City premier.
Composer, vocalist, and librettist M. Lamar (related to – but not overshadowed by – his identical transgender actress sister Laverne Cox, star of Orange is the New Black) set out to capture the spirit of old African-American spirituals that address the apocalypse. What he calls “doom spirituals.”
Accompanied by bass, contrabass, and electronics, Lamar’s stirring, gothic take on the state of race relations is based on the concept that, no matter what happens, it is incumbent on the generation of today to metaphorically carry the coffins of victims of racial violence and domination forward. The performances this weekend are part of the Prototype festival.
Tickets are available here.