About Hip H'opera


The initial Hip H’opera project was done in collaboration with Art Sanctuary’s North Stars after school arts program and Opera Philadelphia in February 2007. Students’ spoken word poems written over the course of the program were performed in their musical form by opera singers, a string quartet, pianist, and chorus comprised of teens from across the region. Hip H’opera sold out two local performances.

Hip H’opera Version 2.0

In 2012, a new program was developed based on the concepts of the 2007 program, which involved an in school component where students were given writing prompts. In 2013 a professional librettist and composer began creating a new 60-minute opera, crafted by those new student writings, to be produced in the fall of 2015 as part of Opera Philadelphia’s Opera in the City initiative. In 2013-2014, the third year of the program, the students focused on aspects of the opera’s music and production as the work is prepared for its premiere as well as incorporating an after school arts initiative to explore genres involved in the opera. The program is expected to become a national model for bridging genres and bringing new energy to inner-city music study. The Hip H’opera Arts Program focused on exposing students to careers in the arts as well as providing arts classes in a variety of artistic disciplines. Soon, the students also will have a unique opportunity to work with the librettist, spoken word artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph and the composer, Daniel Bernard Roumain during their creative process and as the production is mounted.