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"HIPOPERA" by Joel A. Martin

On March 7, 2018, after seeing a movie with his 2 daughters and his father. Joel said “I feel compelled to write an opera.” 5 months later on July 28, 2018 Joel completed his first draft, HIPOPERA, infusing and marrying classical operatic form with jazz, world music, a little hip hop grooving, spoken word, and dance, while retaining a solidly classical foundation.

Why now and what is goal of HIPOPERA?

Joel says: “I want to break down a lot of cultural and musical barriers in order to create meaningful new works for a new generation of concert goers and opera singers, especially African American singers! It is hoped that the power, realism, and honesty of this work will resonate with all audiences regardless of color, ethnicity, or anything that seeks to divide us as people. Everyone should be singing songs from HIPOPERA, and there will be many relevant, cool, funky, emotionally charged, and SINGABLE songs from all these musical genres to choose from. HIPOPERA is for everyone who loves music, the kind you can actually remember.”

HIPOPERA IS COMING TO DALLAS IN 2022 as a collaborative project with the Dallas Black Dance Theater, first of its kind to fully integrate dance with opera. Stay tuned for more information!

The Cast of HIPOPERA 2019

from l-r:

Antonio Watts - Chaba

Adriana Velinova - Queen

Rebecca Hargrove - General

Maurio Hines - Rakhman

K'idar Miller - Derek

Kevin Johnson - Okun

Joy Jan Jones - LA Mother

Myles Robert Bullen - Orator

Jerrod Sanders - Kavalla


Concert Reading of HIPOPERA @ Darien Arts Center 2019

The World premiere concert reading of HIPOPERA
took place at the
Darien Arts Center, Weatherstone Theater
June 29, 2019 at 7:30pm
Featuring 8 opera singers, one performance poet, 
and a 13-piece orchestra. 

Creative Team: Joel A. Martin, composer/producer/co-librettist
Luba Kurbanova, co-librettist and storyline
Myles Robert Bullen, performance poet, special rap lyrics
Jens Wendelboe, orchestrations
Chloe Bodt, conductor


Live Action from HIPOPERA 2019

Soon there will be photos and videos from this concert experience which I hope will re-define what opera can be in 2021 and beyond!

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