This November 12th, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) will host Trilogy: An Opera Company (Trilogy: AOC). The group will present the world premiere of FIVE, a new opera composed by musician Anthony Davis, best known for “X,” the remarkable opera on the life of Malcolm X. Along with Davis, the creative team includes playwright Richard Wesley as librettist, Mark Southers as director and features Trilogy’s Artistic Director Kevin Maynor in a lead role.
FIVE is the dramatic retelling of the trials and emotional journey of five teenagers from Harlem who were tried, convicted and imprisoned for the 1989 rape of a white woman in New York City’s Central Park. These young men, who became known as the Central Park Five, were described as a savage “wolf pack” who went on a violent night “wilding” when they supposedly encountered 30-year old woman as she jogged through the park. After spending more than eleven years in prison for a crime they did not commit, all five young men were released in 2002 following the confession and DNA confirmation of the real assailant.
Librettist Richard Wesley is best known for his plays THE PAST IS THE PAST, THE MIGHT GENTS, THE TALENTED TENTH and AUTUMN.
Trilogy: AOC is a Newark, New Jersey-based arts organization whose mission is “to produce high art evolving from the compositions and life stories of Black people.” Although the company embraces diversity in their productions, their focus is to support a community of Black artists. The company was founded in 2004 by Maynor and a community-based team that oversees every aspect of operations.
The opera will have its full premiere on November 12th at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Centre Street, Newark, NJ. The show is at 7 PM. A special talkback with actor and activist Danny Glover is planned for 6:30. Tickets are available online via the NJPAC website.