Breaking Glass: Hyper-linking Opera and Issues had its first of eight National Forums in Atlanta in January, and the series continues this Saturday, March 10, in New Orleans with a forum hosted by Xavier University of Louisiana and New Orleans Opera. The forum will be livestreamed at 2:00 PM (EST)/1:00 PM (CST) and may be viewed below. The series of forums promotes discussion about the social evolution of opera in a changing world; how opera is produced in an increasingly diversified, yet divided America; and openly explores what the social responsibility of an opera company is beyond its artistic mission. Future Breaking Glass events are coming to Ann Arbor and Chicago in the spring, with events in Seattle, Cooperstown, Washington DC and New York City throughout the summer.

Drawing inspiration from operas created especially for Glimmerglass, the discussion uses music as a springboard for exploring themes about the African-American theatrical experience both on and off the stage. The forums take the shape of a panel discussion interspersed with musical and video performances of two works written for the Festival within the last several years. The guest panelists in New Orleans are Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Blizzard On Marblehead Neck) who is writing 2019’s world-premiere production of Blue about a black family coming to terms with the tragic death of their teenage son. Also on the panel is librettist, director and choreographer Paige Hernandez, the creator of the 2017 Glimmerglass world-premiere production of Stomping Grounds who explains, “It’s great when someone can experience my opera but even better when they can discover deeper connections, theme and intention with first-hand insight from the creators. Breaking Glass has been so meaningful in that way.”

Special guest Terence Blanchard, famed trumpeter and film composer, joins the panel to speak about his new jazz opera Champion, premiering March 9 at New Orleans Opera. Leading the discussion is moderator Matthew D. Morrison, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University.

Breaking Glass is a collective term for a series of community engagement initiatives that is complemented by a five-episode podcast which will be available for download in August 2018. With Co-Executive Producer WFMT Radio Network in Chicago, Glimmerglass the podcast further navigates the topics of racism, inclusion and displacement uncovered in the national forums.

Breaking Glass and the development of Stomping Grounds and Blue are funded in part by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the OPERA America Innovation Grant and the OPERA America Repertoire Development Grant.

For more information about Breaking Glass, contact Christopher Powell, Director of Artistic Initiatives at

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