Workshop Performance of RACE the Opera
July 2 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
RACE is an opera inspired by the life story of Kelley Dolphus Stroud, a Colorado Springs resident, and an American of African, Indigenous, and European descent, who rose to be a star scholar-athlete projected to win the 5k Olympic trials in 1928. His story, exhibiting excellence, uniquely stunning achievement, love, and determination, starts when he is denied funding to travel from Colorado Springs to Boston for the Olympic trial.
The July 2nd workshop performance will be the first early presentation of the work in progress for RACE the opera. Meet the creative team: dramaturg and family descendant Frank Shines, librettists Ashley Cornelius and Idris Goodwin, and IBOC art directors Athena Azevedo, João MacDowell, and Christina Morgan. The team will discuss the preliminary research and planning work, present their creative process, and discuss the work, musical references, and the characters. Members of the Stroud family will also share more about their family history.
RACE the opera is a project of the International Brazilian Opera Company (IBOC) developed in partnership with the members of the Stroud Family. The IBOC is a New York-based non-profit (501c3) organization with a mission to support the creation of a new operatic repertoire that combines ideas from Brazilian and international artists while providing an educational structure for emerging talent. The opera’s primary give-back initiative is through the Stroud Leadership Academy, which seeks to provide those from impoverished communities with an equal place at the starting line (of life). This is achieved through “coach and do” biz and tech mentorship programs and artistic workshops.
RACE the opera Team
Frank Shines (Dramaturg) – Frank “Rio” Shines is a descendant of the pioneering Stroud family of Colorado. He is currently leading the development of RACE the Opera with the International Brazilian Opera Company (IBOC) to bring the untold story of his family to the public. His grandfather, great uncle, and great aunt are the primary characters of the opera.
Frank, a former cellist, has trained and competed with Olympic athletes, flown U.S. military jets and traveled the world as an award-winning business and technology consultant with IBM, Ernst & Young and Pilgrim Software. Mr. Shines has been published by John Wiley & Sons and has self-published two other books.
Mr. Shines holds a BS from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado and an MBA in Marketing Statistics from National University of Sacramento in California. A Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, he is working at the intersection of human tissue biologics, digital marketing, robotic process automation and AI.
Ashley Cornelius (Co-librettist) is the Pikes Peak Region Poet Laureate. A nationally recognized and awarded spoken-word poet and facilitator, her poetry reflects her intersectionality as a Black woman and works towards art equity. Ashley received the Bee an Arts Champion Award from the Bee Vradenburg Foundation. She is the 2019 winner of the Colorado Springs Independent Best of Artist Category and a two-time Tedx speaker.
Idris Goodwin (Co-librettist) is an award-winning playwright, breakbeat poet, content creator and arts champion. A 2021 United States Artist Fellow, Goodwin is recognized as a culture bearer who celebrates and cultivates histories and communities with care. Idris authored over 60 original plays ranging from Hip Hop, to historical dramas, and works for young audiences. Goodwin’s created content for and/or appeared on Nickelodeon, HBO Def Poetry, Sesame Street, NPR, BBC Radio, and the Discovery Channel.
João MacDowell, Athena Azevedo, & Christina Morgan (Art Directors) | Athena Azevedo (visual artist), João MacDowell (composer), and Christina Morgan (writer/editor) are a creative trio who have diligently generated diversity in the contemporary operatic repertoire since 2013. Their shared connection to Latin American magical realism was a source of alternative research for performances in opera. Their output has been the primary driving force behind the International Brazilian Opera Company, a NY-based non-profit. They realized that a kind of academic pessimism had dominated Euro-centric productions. Meanwhile, Latin American art had been on a path of expression that acknowledges the contributions from rituals inherited from primordial cultures. This partnership has been responsible for developing the operas Tamanduá, Plastic Flowers, Cries and Whispers, A Trilogy, and The Seventh Seal, besides numerous small-scale performances in New York, Latin America, and Europe.