Virginia Opera is thrilled to announce the presentation of Damien Geter’s powerful song cycle, Cotton, a powerful fusion of music and poetry inspired by the captivating photography of acclaimed Philadelphia artist John Dowell. Dowell’s evocative work was the result of his 10-year-long exploration of African-American life and ancestral journey as seen through the lens of the cotton industry. Eight nationally-renowned African-American poets responded to Dowell’s creation with a new poem which was then set to music by composer Damien Geter. Writers Charlotte Blake Alston, Nikki Giovanni, Afaa Michael Weaver, Trapeta Mayson, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Lauren Alleyne, Alora Young, and Glenis Redmond all created an original poem as part of this moving song cycle.
All Cotton performances are free and open to the public; however, reservations are required. Cotton was originally commissioned by LyricFest in Philadelphia as part of its 20th anniversary season. Dr. Arnold Stolberg has generously underwritten Virginia Opera’s performances of Cotton.