Encore Michigan

Music Hall debuts commissioned work on singer Roland Hayes December 3

Preview November 25, 2016 Encore Staff

DETROIT—Music Hall will presents an original American story, The First Of His Kind—The Roland W. Hayes Story a new musical theatre work commissioned by Music Hall, about the life and career of Roland Hayes, the African-American lyric tenor and composer who broke color barriers to become a world-renowned artist, acclaimed on the biggest stages in Europe and finally, in his own United States. The performance will take place on Saturday, December 3 at 8:00 p.m.

Roland Hayes was a celebrated interpreter of European art songs and a pioneer in creating space in the classical repertoire for the Negro spiritual. In his heyday, Hayes was the only concert attraction who could fill both Carnegie Hall in New York and Symphony Hall in Boston three times a season. By all accounts, Hayes possessed not only great artistry, but a gentle dignity, and he reached across the color line to move audiences and critics alike.

The First of His Kind’s principal performer is Mr. Travis Pratt, highly regarded in the opera world and enjoying popular recognition following his performances on Season 8 of “America’s Got Talent”. The work’s Saturday evening (12/03) performance is the culmination of a week of presentations in Detroit high schools as part of Music Hall’s High School Assembly program. The programs use music, theatre, and dance to spark curiosity and learning about a broad range of social themes and ideas, along with Joel Fluent Greene, a Detroit-based poet, author and promoter. He was the long running host at Detroit’s iconic Cafe Mahogany poetry nights,  a popular hub during the late 90s. As a performance poet and host, Fluent has shared the stage with acts and personalities as diverse as The Roots, Pharrell Williams, The Last Poets, Talib Kweli, Ledisi, Big Sean, Saul Williams, The Detroit Red Wings and many more. He was also director of Music Hall Center’s Words and Rhythms of the D outreach program for four years and has held workshops and performances in over 50 schools in the Metro Detroit area. This will be his first full-fledged acting performance.

Tickets are $30 to $50 and includes preservation fee and are available at Music Hall Box office or by calling 313 887-8500.
For students and seniors, complementary tickets are available by calling (313) 887-8501.