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.”
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
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.
you can support hipopera on Go Fund Me!
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
A few people already know about HIPOPERA and have heard some of the music, like operatic superstar Kathleen Battle, and actress Angela Bassett, who was the Queen in Black Panther! Cannot wait to play the entire opera for them soon!