City Theatre will present the world premiere of Daniel Beaty’s Breath & Imagination, a music-filled play inspired by the life of classical vocalist Roland Hayes.
Co-produced with Hartford Stage and directed by Darko Tresnjak, Breath & Imagination runs on City Theatre’s Mainstage from March 9 through 31, with an Opening Night performance on Friday, March 15 at 8 p.m.
In Breath & Imagination, Roland Hayes journeyed from the dirt paths of Georgia to European stages, becoming the first African-American classical vocalist to be heard around the world. With bright yellow shoes given to him by his mother, his Angel Mo’, Roland walked the hard road to stardom. This musical features the soul of spirituals and the grace of classical music to portray one man’s ambition to be an artist.
Breath & Imagination is the second of Mr. Beaty’s plays to be produced by City Theatre, following last year’s production of the critically acclaimed solo play Through the Night.
Written, directed, and performed by Mr. Beaty, Through the Night was described as a “tour de force” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 24, 2012). He holds a BA with Honors in English and Music from Yale University and an MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theatre.
Jubilant Sykes will portray Roland Hayes. Much like Mr. Hayes’ track to international success, Mr. Sykes has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, London’s Barbican Centre, Apollo Theater, Hollywood Bowl, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, among others. His vocal talents span across classical, pop, and gospel genres.
Kecia Lewis (Leap of Faith; Chicago) will perform the role of Angel Mo’, Roland Hayes’ mother. Actor and pianist Tom Frey (2 Pianos/4 Hands) will portray The Accompanist and seven other roles.
Tickets are $35 to $55 and are available at the Box Office; by calling 412.431.CITY (2489) or at citytheatrecompany.org