2640 Space is proud to host the world premiere of STINNEY, A SOCIAL JUSTICE OPERA FOR SOLOISTS, ENSEMBLE, AND CHAMBER ORCHESTRA AT 7:30 ON THE EVENINGS OF MAY 15 AND 16, 2015.
Stinney is an opera set in Alcolu, South Carolina in 1944. The story is told from the perspective of two young murder victims: Mary Emma Thames (age eight) and Betty June Binnicker (age eleven). The girls guide us through the repercussions of their horrific deaths and the ensuing trial of George Stinney, a fourteen-year-old African American boy and the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th/ 21st Century. By investigating the racial tensions in South Carolina and the community’s response to these murders, Stinney questions the integrity of the legal system and the mishandled evidence that condemned a young boy to die. The opera will be performed by classically trained singers along with members of the Baltimore Gospel community.
Composer Frances Pollock draws inspiration from the evocative sounds of her native South and from her strong ties to humanism. Originally from North Carolina, Frances’ music digs its roots into jazz, blues, gospel, folk, and a variety of other genres.The evening will feature a plethora of local favorites, including BSO fellow Michael Repper conducting the 10-person chamber ensemble, Tariq Al-Sabir singing the role of George Stinney Sr., Tia Price singing the role of Alma Stinney, Audrey Klein singing the role of Betty June Binnicker, Abigail Chapman singing the role of Mary Emma Thames, Annie Gill singing the role of Jean Binnicker and Claire Galloway Weber singing the role of Barbara Thames.
Admission for Stinney is free but donations are strongly encouraged. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Innocence Project; a non-profit designed to help exonerated prisoners acclimate back into society.
Please visit http://www.stinneyopera.com for information about ticketing and instructions on how to make a donation.