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Mother King

Every Thu., Fri., and Sat. from July 20-29
7 p.m.
Opera, Theater

Public Functionary continues to expand its innovative, inclusive programming in thrilling ways. Larger arts institutions should pay close attention. Premiering this weekend is OperaWorks 52’s first production. Mother King is a piece based on the life of Alberta Williams King, mother of Martin Luther King Jr., who was shot and killed while playing organ for morning services in her church. Poet Venessa Fuentes wrote the libretto. Dameun Strange composed the score. They’re also the force behind OperaWorks 52, and intend to change traditional notions of opera by producing new pieces that explore and celebrate the stories of people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. Illumination is their goal, along with stretching what opera is past recognition. Six local vocalists, including Liz Gre as Mother King, plus a 12-member instrumental ensemble, should lift the roof of the warehouse-turned-gallery with songs of love, tragedy, disruption, and joy.