Universal Child, the Story of Emmett Till

“The Emmett Till opera’s potential for emotional stupefaction strikes me as exceedingly rare. It can be unique in the American opera repertoire- an interracial Gothic with a black protagonist, the whole experience evocative of Boris Godunov.”
– David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize Author, W.E.B. Du Bois I & II

“The score was very good; every singer was impressive; and it begged for a staged production with orchestra. You couldn’t experience the event and not pray for it to be fully realized.”
– John Morning, Board of Directors of Lincoln Center and Henry Street Settlement;
Founding Chair of International Print Center NY

Clare Coss, Project Director & Librettist

Clare Coss is pleased to introduce the splendid artistic team for Emmett Till.

Mary Watkins

Mary Watkins, Composer

Mary D Watkins is a composer, arranger, and performer. Emmett Till is her third opera, in addition to Dark River: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story, and Queen Clara (Clara Barton). She has written for symphony orchestras, chamber and jazz ensembles. www.MaryDWatkins.com

Tania León, Conductor

Malcolm Merriweather, Choral Director and baritone

is music director of New York City’s The Dessoff Choirs, known for performance of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century.   He is Artistic Director of the Bocelli Foundation’s “Voices of Haiti,” a 60 member children’s choir in Port-au-Prince.

Robert A Mack, Opera Noire International

Liz Player, The Harlem Chamber Players

clarinetist, founder, executive and artistic director of The Harlem Chamber Players, a diverse collective of professional musicians dedicated to bringing live classical music to the Harlem community and beyond.

Andrew D Sotomayor, Associate Producer