Qadar the Opera Premieres at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

Opera Was Commissioned by the National Museum of African Art and Features Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as Artistic Director
November 28, 2014
News Release

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The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art will present the world premiere of the opera Qadar at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland in College Park, Wednesday, Dec. 3, and Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and can be obtained at https://theclarice.umd.edu/calendar or by phone at (301) 405-2787.

The event is part of the National Museum of African Art’s multiyear series of programming titled Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa, and it is made possible by a $1.8 million gift by the Sultanate of Oman. The opera, by award-winning composer, playwright and pianist Tony Small, is the fictitious tale of two young musicians from different places and their journey of cultural discoveries from Oman to Zanzibar. It was commissioned by the museum and features the artistic direction of mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves.

 “We at the museum are excited to be working with Tony Small and Denyce Graves on Qadar as we bring our 50th anniversary year to a close,” said Nicole Shivers, the museum’s education specialist for performing and cultural arts and project lead of Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa. “Qadar is an exceptional story about Oman and East Africa.”

“I am excited be collaborating with Tony Small and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art on this exciting project,” said Denyce Graves. “This is a beautiful story about friendship and family values that introduces us to Omani and Zanzibar culture.”

About Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa

In November 2013, the museum announced that the Sultanate of Oman would give $1.8 million to support a series of programs celebrating Omani and East African arts and culture. This is the largest donation to the museum to date. This partnership has been made possible by the Sultan of Qaboos Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. This year, the museum launched a multiyear series of programming, Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa, which highlights the cross-cultural connections of East and North Africa with those found in the Middle East. It will showcase the evolution of Omani arts and cultures, the beauty of the arts in Oman and its connections to the East African Coast. For more information about Connecting the Gems, visit here.

About the National Museum of African Art

The National Museum of African Art is America’s only museum dedicated to the collection, conservation, study and exhibition of traditional and contemporary African art. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. The museum is located at 950 Independence Avenue S.W., near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about this program, call (202) 633-4600 or visit the museum’s website at Africa.si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000.

Note: To arrange interviews or for selected high-resolution images, contact Eddie Burke at (202) 633-4660 or burkee@si.edu.

 

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SI-406-2014