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Fort Worth Opera Honors Juneteenth with Morris Robinson Recital, Final Performance of 2023/24 Season

Gridiron-to-Opera Star to Perform Classical Works and Spirituals to Celebrate Freedom, Resilience, Rich Artistic Heritage

(Fort Worth, Texas) – Fort Worth Opera announces the final offering of its 2023/24 season: An Evening with Morris Robinson. This one-night-only performance on June 18, 2024 at the Kimbell Art Museum features world-renowned operatic bass, 2022 Grammy® Award winner, and former All-American college football star Morris Robinson performing works from the classical canon alongside traditional Black spirituals in honor of Juneteenth. Pianist Caren Levine will accompany Robinson.



“We are grateful for this opportunity to pay homage to the vision and legacy of Opal Lee, the ‘Grandmother of Juneteenth,’ and to offer our community the chance to experience a one-of-a-kind voice, the voice of an artist whose life tells such an extraordinary American story,” said Fort Worth Opera General & Artistic Director Angela Turner Wilson of the event.


The son of a Baptist minister, Robinson developed an interest in music from an early age. He also excelled in sports, and chose to attend The Citadel in South Carolina, where he played Division 1-AA college football and was a three-time All-American offensive lineman. Though Robinson credits the military college and his time on the football field for instilling in him the importance of discipline, teamwork, and the pursuit of excellence over adversity, The Citadel had no music program.


When Robinson finished his football career and graduated from college, he entered the corporate world, and that could have been game over for one of the great voices of our time. But as Opal Lee taught us, important voices find a way to be heard.


Robinson continued to explore his singing, performing at weddings for friends and thundering majestically through the national anthem at high profile games. He expanded his horizons to include a weekend vocal program at the New England Conservatory, which was followed by a personal invitation to audition for the Boston University Opera Institute. Encouraged by his wife and friends from the football world, Robinson decided to risk everything and try for a career in one of the most rarefied and demanding art forms in the world — classical opera.


“The first opera I ever saw all the way through was at Boston Lyric Opera, and I was in it — standing onstage portraying the King of Egypt in Verdi’s Aida,” Morris Robinson said, reminiscing on his journey. “Then two years after entering the Institute, I made my debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.”


Here’s what Joe Illick, Fort Worth Opera Music Director Emeritus, had to say about Morris Robinson on a recent Opera with Joe episode:


“His voice is a very special voice. It's a true bass. … Morris has one of these God-given, astounding low voices. It's so beautiful, so rich. … He's also one of the kindest, most generous human beings that ever lived. So this combination of his extraordinary, rich voice and his personality make this a truly important concert that you will want to see and hear.”


Morris Robinson will appear in Fort Worth directly after an engagement with the Los Angeles Opera, where he is featured as Timur in Puccini's Turandot. After leaving Fort Worth, he will appear in Wagner's Götterdämmerung with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at the Tanglewood Festival. His next appearance with the Metropolitan Opera in New York City will be in Verdi's Aida, with featured performances beginning on New Year's Eve, 2024.


Seats for An Evening with Morris Robinson — a once-in-a-lifetime, intimate performance with a world-class artist — are limited. To buy tickets and for more information, please visit the Fort Worth Opera website. To lock in tickets for the upcoming 2024/25 season, which will feature more stellar performances, such as Mark Adamo’s  Little Women at the Scott Theatre and the return of fully-staged opera to Bass Hall with Rossini’s sparkling  La Cenerentola (Cinderella) in 2025, please visit the Fort Worth Opera 2024/25 Season.


An Evening with Morris Robinson Tuesday, June 18, 2024 ,7:30 PM


Morris Robinson, bass Caren Levine, piano


Kimbell Art Museum, Renzo Piano Pavilion 3333 Camp Bowie Blvd, Fort Worth 76107

Sung in English, Italian and German. Translations will be provided.Purchase tickets here.

ABOUT FORT WORTH OPERA

Founded in 1946 by three visionary women — Eloise MacDonald Snyder, Betty Berry Spain, and Jeanne Axtell Walker — Fort Worth Opera is the oldest opera company in Texas, and one of the oldest opera companies in the United States. The organization has received local and national attention from critics and audiences alike for its artistic excellence, pioneering spirit, and long history of community-based cultural engagement. In addition to producing traditional repertoire with rising stars and inspirational young talents, the company is known throughout the operatic world as a champion of new American works.


With a dedication to the community both on and beyond the operatic stage, Fort Worth Opera boasts a highly successful opera education program, consisting of The Lesley Resident Artist program and the Children’s Opera Theatre, which brings opera to nearly 40,000 school children each year across the state of Texas.


Fort Worth Opera is committed to producing opera of the highest possible artistic quality and integrity; to identifying and training talented young singers; to serving as a crucible for creating new American operas; to joining forces with other arts organizations in significant collaborations; and to enriching the community by stimulating cultural curiosity and creativity in people of all ages, ethnicities, and backgrounds.


Visit fwopera.org for more information.


ABOUT MORRIS ROBINSON, BASS

Morris Robinson is an American basso profundo opera singer and former All-American college football player and graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, SC, who has performed with the Metropolitan Opera, at Carnegie Hall, at La Scala in Milan, Italy, at the Sydney Opera House and in numerous other opera houses throughout the United States and internationally. He has served as an artistic advisor to the Cincinnati Opera, artist-in-residence for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Resident Artist at Harvard University.

Recently, Morris Robinson expanded his vocal repertoire to include musicals, performing Joe in Show Boat with the San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera and the Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the title role in Porgy and Bess at La Scala in Milan, Italy and at the Vienna Volksoper.


In 2022, Morris Robinson was honored with the GRAMMY® Award for Best Choral Performance for the recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic led by conductor Gustavo Dudamel. In the same year, he appeared in the musical fantasy film, The Magic Flute, a modern-day adaptation of Mozart's opera, which features an international cast of opera stars, as well as renowned actors such as F. Murray Abraham.


Visit morrisrobinson.com for more information.

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