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THE ME I WANT TO SING: THE CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE OF MARIAN ANDERSON AND LEONTYNE PRICE

  • National Portrait Gallery 8th St NW & F St NW Washington, DC, 20001 United States (map)
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Venue: National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Sts. NW

Time: 1:00 PM & 1:30 PM Guided tours of the Marian Anderson exhibit; 2:00 PM talk and performance

This event features a performance of The Me I Want to Sing, by the playwright and musical director, Tom Minter.  The piece focuses on the lives and work of Leontyne Price and Marian Anderson as cultural and political icons, through spoken word narrative and their most famous arias and art songs.

The performance dovetails beautifully with the Gallery’s ’s exhibition One Life: Marian Anderson, organized by Associate Curator of Photographs, Leslie Ureña. The exhibition shifts the focus from Anderson’s 1939 performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to other facets of her life and career, arguing that these were as crucial to the struggle for civil rights as those thirty legendary minutes on a cold Easter Sunday in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Urena will lead two tours of the exhibit for our audience preceding the performance. 

The performance begins with an Opening Talk on the historic role of portraiture in general, and the use of the images of these two women as wielded by concert promoters, marketers and others in the pursuit of civil rights.   A Talk Back with the cast will follow the performance. 

Presenter: RaMell Ross, visual artist and filmmaker 

Cast:

Tonya Laree Simon and Christine Lyons, vocalists

Roderick Demmings, Jr., pianist  

Tom Minter, playwright and musical director

In partnership with the National Portrait Gallery and Washington National Opera