AAN 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration: Original New Opera by Renée Baker

Feb 16

5:00 PM

Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s African American Network invites you to its 3rd annual Black History Month Celebration! Hear a new opera composed by Renée Baker entitled The Baldwin Chronicles: Midnight RambleThe Baldwin Chronicles is a multimedia musical work based on texts by American novelist James Baldwin, including his poem “Conundrum” from Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems. Just as relevant now as he was in the mid-twentieth century, Baldwin’s writing painted a nuanced portrait of Black life in America. After the opera, Baker and guests will lead a Q&A.


Tickets: $25

SPECIAL BUNDLE OFFER: Purchase a Black History Month event ticket and stay for the evening’s CSO concert for only $45 total! Add the concert to your cart and use promo code RSVP at checkout.


“Between holding on,
and letting go,
I wonder
how you know
the difference.

It must be something like
the difference
between heaven and hell,
but how, in advance,
can you tell?”

“Conundrum” from James Baldwin’s Jimmy’s Blues and Other Poems


Renée Baker director, Chicago Modern Orchestra Project
Dee Alexander vocalist
Rae-Myra Hilliard vocalist
Vickie Johnson vocalist
Sheila Jones vocalist
Robert Sims vocalist
Julian Otis vocalist
Cornelius Johnson vocalist
Taalib-Din Ziyad vocalist
Saalik Ziyad vocalist
Yoseph Henry vocalist
Jeffrey Burish vocalist
The Keith Hampton Singers
Kenwood Academy Orchestra

Chicago-based composer Renèe Baker says that her Baldwin Chronicles, inspired by the legacy of author-activist James Baldwin, expands “the conversation that his texts and speeches brought about. He really went his own way and overcame the many obstacles in his path. That he was able to stay honest in his vision was amazing." Read more at CSO Sounds & Stories