The Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance presents Emancipation of Adrian Dunn with The Adrian Dunn Singers and Rize Orchestra on the HTP Main Stage on Friday, April 29, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost between $20 and $140 and are available at harristheaterchicago.org/performance/emancipation-adrian-dunn.
Emancipation is the second part of the trilogy cycle composed by Adrian Dunn exploring the life of black people in America, through genres created by black Americans. The program will be performed by The Adrian Dunn Singers and Rize Orchestra, all-black professional ensembles founded by Dunn and dedicated to transforming classical music and the music industry in general. This performance of Emancipation marks the first time an all-black professional orchestra has performed at the Harris Theater. This historic moment will be filmed and recorded for a live album.
In the words of Dunn: “As a classically trained musician, there were things in my childhood that I was forced to throw away from my musical upbringing and my identity. the inspiration for this piece includes black scriptures from Maya Angelou, Kanye WestTupac, Marlon Riggs, James Baldwinand Audre Lorde, to name a few.”
What does it mean to be black and free in America in the 21st century? Emancipation seeks the answers to this question through an exploration of love, loss, homosexuality, black liberation and the human experience.
Following the stage premiere of Emancipation, Dunn will lead The Adrian Dunn Singers in a one-hour matinee for children and families on Saturday, April 30 at 2 p.m., featuring excerpts from Emancipation and Redemption, the first installment of the trilogy. Tickets and information about the Family Series show are available at harristheaterchicago.org/performance/adrian-dunn-singers. Tickets start at $10.
The Harris Theater box office is open for phone support from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on show days. To reach the box office, call 312.334.7777 or email [email protected].
Adrian Dunn is an accomplished singer, songwriter and bandleader. Mr. Dunn holds a Bachelor of Music and a Masters of Voice from the Roosevelt University Conservatory of Music and further musical studies in opera at the Sibelius Academy of Music in Finland.
In 2021, Mr. Dunn won the American Composition Award for Requiem by The Mass for the Unarmed Child and was named in the Top 10 Classical Music and Jazz Performances of 2021 by the Chicago Tribune. He made his conducting debut with the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra in June 2021. His interview about his original composition The Black Messiah was published in Voices: A World Forum for Music Therapy. He and The Adrian Dunn Singers performed the music for the 2022 Sundance film, Honk for Jesus with Sterling K. Brown (from the NBC show “This Is Us”) and Regina Hall.
Mr Dunn writes his first complete opera, The 42 Project, about Black’s life major league baseball star Jackie Robinson. The second installment in Mr. Dunn’s trilogy cycle, Emancipation, will have its world premiere at the Harris Theater in April with The Adrian Dunn Singers and The Rize Orchestra. His composition Requiem was performed by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and the Morehouse Glee Club in March 2022. He was Chorus Director of Mozart’s Requiem with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra and was Guest Artist in Residence at California State University Fullerton.
Mr. Dunn is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship for his original work Hopera: A Hip Hop Opera. He has sung with the Chicago Symphony Chorus, the Grant Park Symphony Chorus, and was the 2019 Composer-in-Residence for the Lyric Unlimited educational program. He was the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah at Rockefeller Chapel in 2019 and was the tenor soloist in Puccini’s Messa di Gloria with the Northwestern University Orchestra. He opened for international hip-hop artist The Roots at Indiana University. He was lead vocal coach for Kanye WestDonda’s House Artist Development Program. He was a featured artist and vocal coach for the Higher Ground Gospel Choir live DVD recording in Helsinki, Finland. He has toured the United States, South Africa, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Scandinavia.
He is a member of the singing faculty of the Roosevelt University Theater Conservatory. Mr. Dunn’s private voice students can be seen on national Broadway tours of The Lion King, Hamilton, Color Purple, Kinky Boots, BET’s Sunday Best, Drury Lane Theatre, Paramount Theater , the Black Ensemble Theater and as background singers for a major record label. touring artists in the United States and abroad.