Nashville Opera will open its season with a commission, N.O.’s first, in a performance of the election day drama One Vote One with music composed by Tennessee native David Ragland and libretto by Mary McCallum. Originally hailing from Chattanooga, Ragland has been on the Nashville scene for some time now, I first heard his music in his beautiful arrangement of spirituals at the Upon these Shoulders celebration at Fisk University in 2017, and he made his directorial debut with the Nashville Opera during the 2013-14 season in their production of David Lang’s “The Difficulty of Crossing a Field.” His Steal Away was originally scheduled with Oz Arts in April, but had to be cancelled because of COVID19. McCallum, who has written for stage and screen including Singleville (2018) and the fictional historical play Six Triple Eight (2015), is a wise choice for the libretto.
These two artists will be able to share their talents for historical depiction in One Vote One with a plot that includes suffragist Frankie Pierce (played by Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva) and Civil Rights activist Diane Nash (played by Brooke Leigh Davis) as they work to convince a young Gloria (played by Tamica Nicole Harris) that her vote counts.. Never an organization to shy away from a political topic, Director John Hoomes and company are working with the MTSU Center for Historic Preservation to create a study guide that meets Tennessee standards for U.S. history (click through, the study guide is VERY well done!)
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