Soprano Adrienne Danrich to Perform This Little Light of Mine, The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price in CU's Marian Anderson Music Center
February 17, 2013
Adrienne Danrich wrote the multi-media show, This Little Light of Mine, The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price, commissioned by Cincinnati Opera. She brings that show to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm in Marian Anderson Music Center.
This Little Light of Mine, The Stories of Marian Anderson and Leontyne Price, will be performed by Emmy award-winning soprano Adrienne Danrich at the Marian Anderson Music Center on the campus of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania on Tuesday March 5 beginning at 7:30 pm.
The inventive one-woman musical tribute honors the ground-breaking careers of Anderson, a contralto, and Price, a soprano - like Danrich. These two African-American opera legends overcame many racial barriers from the Jim Crowe era through the Civil Rights Movement to become international stars. Danrich's show highlights their history and rise to fame.
"They laid the foundation," Danrich says, "for all of the African American opera stars who came after them. They are the seeds and we are the branches that spread out from their achievements."
Danrich, a St. Louis, MO native, is an alumna of Eastman School of Music and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She has performed with opera companies throughout the country, including Cincinnati Opera, Dayton Opera, Fort Worth Opera, and San Francisco Opera. Cincinnati Opera commissioned Danrich's show. In fact, she wrote three different versions but it was the multi-media version that won hands-down as the show to take on the road.
"I decided that I wouldn't try to portray them," Danrich explains. "I think it's very important for people to know what they look like, what their achievements were and how they sound." To that end, Danrich incorporates recordings of Anderson and Price singing, pictures of them at various points in their careers, and Danrich sings throughout the show-everything from spirituals and opera to patriotic songs and the audience gets to sing along, too.
"It brings a smile to my face," she says. "It is fantastic to have all of those voices singing so beautifully. It makes the audience and me happy as well."
Danrich, who will be accompanied by pianist Djordje Nesic, has never sung in a theater named for Anderson or Price. That will all change when she brings her show to Cheyney University's Marian Anderson Music Center.
Danrich has recorded Only Heaven by Ricky Ian Gordon with PS Classics, Age to Age with OCP Publications, Original Songs of Sacred Slumber and Solitude with Soli Deo Gloria Productions and A Tribute to William Warfield with the Eastman School of Music.
The program is presented through the 2012-2013 schedule for the Arts and Lectures Series at Cheyney University which features ten programs with a variety of speakers, artists, musicians, singers and dancers from throughout the US and abroad. All programs are held on the Cheyney University campus and are open to the public. The Arts & Lectures Series is sponsored by a grant, Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities.