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On Sunday, 25 February, OLV celebrated African-American History Month with “Opera Legends in Black,” a tribute concert to legendary black singers and composers who achieved international acclaim.

The narrated program celebrated the success of singers Martina Arroyo, Simon Estes, Jessye Norman, Leontyne Price, George Shirley, Grace Bumbry, Shirley Verrett, Denyce Gravces, Marion Anderson, Roland Hayes, Reri Grist, and William Warfield; and composers William Grant Still and Scott Joplin.

The audience of one hundred forty were rapt in attention, and responded enthusiastically to the varied selections, ranging from Verdi to Wagner, Bizet to Donizetti, with a bit of Broadway thrown into the mix. The top tier young singers included sopranos Sheronda McKee and Jennifer Lindsay, tenor Johar Hernandez-Carr, and bass-baritone Richard L. Hodges. Maestra Alesandria Le performed brilliantly on the grand piano.

The atmosphere in the West Las Vegas Library Theatre was jubilant and the semi-staged performance was beautifully lit with color washes and atmospheric effects. The audience didn’t seem to want to leave and they lingered in the lobby to speak with the artists long after the curtain came down.