The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson is a new play with music, celebrating the founder of the historic and groundbreaking National Negro Opera Company and starring acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves in the title role. The work includes selections from the repertory of the National Negro Opera Company, as well as original music by Carlos Simon to a text by playwright Sandra Seaton.
“Madame Dawson was an arts pioneer, a woman of many firsts, whose remarkable story had been all but forgotten until recently. Mary Cardwell Dawson broke through incredible barriers to give voice to singers of color, creating opportunities that eventually brought them to major American opera house stages for the first time. It is an honor to champion her story — and that of the National Negro Opera Company she founded in 1941.” — Denyce Graves