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Deep River: Marian Anderson’s Journey celebrates Black History Month

Marian AndersonHow does a classical music icon born nearly 120 years ago inspire today’s generation of students? Virginia Opera’s Deep River: Marian Anderson’s Journey explores that question and provides an inspirational answer.

This 50-minute opera composed by Virginia Opera’s Community Outreach Musical Director, Dr. Glenn Winters pays tribute to Ms. Anderson, one of the foremost classical singers of the 20th century through an imaginative setting. Using a combination of spirituals, arias, and art songs, Marian comes to life as she shares her courageous story with Thomas, a modern day African-American student. Deep River – Marian Anderson’s Journey will enlighten students about the courage and grace of Ms. Anderson as she faced prejudice and ignorance while using her extraordinary talent to unify a nation. The opera will be touring statewide with Virginia Opera’s Herndon Foundation Emerging Artists, Taylor Raven, mezzosoprano and André Peele, baritone with Wei-Li Suen as pianist.

Virginia Opera’s famed Education and Outreach touring program touches over 120,000 patrons a year throughout the Commonwealth. A new outreach initiative known as Adopt – A – School has already benefitted students across the state through underwriting from private individuals and foundations anxious to replace reduced government funding for live in-school performances of opera for students. In Central Virginia the initiative will offer free in-school performances to every elementary school in the cities of Richmond and Petersburg.

In Northern Virginia, seventeen elementary schools in Arlington and eight elementary schools in Alexandria will benefit. Through programs like Adopt – A School , Deep River – Marian Anderson’s Journey will be seen by students from Hampton Roads to Wise.

The Adopt – A – School Initiative is part of Virginia Opera’s comprehensive vision to secure the youngest opera audience in the United States by 2025.


About Virginia Opera

Virginia Opera Association, Inc., in its 41st season, is known and respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs. Mainstage performances in three markets across the Commonwealth reach nearly 50,000 attendees annually. In March of 1994, by unanimous vote of the Virginia General Assembly, Virginia Opera was named The Official Opera Company of the Commonwealth of Virginia in recognition of the organization’s contribution to the state as well as to the world of opera.

For tickets and information visit or call 866.673.7282.

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