Marian’s Song (a chamber opera)


Damien Sneed

Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton

Performance forces:
sop, mez, ten,, bass, unknown — orchestra — chorus



Marian’s Song is a chamber opera by composer Damien Sneed and librettist Deborah D.E.E.P. Mouton, based on the life of celebrated contralto Marian Anderson (1897–1993), who broke racial boundaries throughout her career. Marian’s Song shares Anderson’s incredible life through a fusion of spoken-word poetry and opera.  ​ Marian’s Song takes place both in the present day and in the past, during Anderson’s lifetime. When current-day Howard University student Nevaeh, who admires the singer thanks to stories shared by her grandmother, learns the church where Anderson sang as a child is slated for demolition, she travels to Philadelphia to try to save it. Nevaeh’s journey is woven together with Anderson’s life story—her disappointments, her triumphs, and along the way, the works she sang so transcendently, including spirituals and classical pieces. Commissioned by Houston Grand Opera