Opera Philadelphia

Cycles of My Being

Music by Tyshawn Sorey
Lyrics by Terrance Hayes & Lawrence Brownlee

Cycles of My Being, a song cycle that centers on what it means to be a Black man living in America today, had its world premiere on February 20, 2018 in Philadelphia with tenor Lawrence Brownlee and conducted by the composer, Tyshawn Sorey. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a work of both anguish and optimism, at once accusatory and stirring...whose traversal feels like a descent into a maelstrom followed by the emergence out the other side.”

 “These are divided times, but the goal of Cycles of My Being is neither to widen those rifts, nor to re-open old wounds,” Brownlee said. “The goal is foster mutual respect, understanding, and communication across races and generations. History unfolds in cycles, and with this work, we hope to balance the stark challenges of our present reality with a resolute resilience, and an unwavering hope for a better future.”

Pay-per-view option: Rent Cycles of My Being for seven days for $20! Available for rent starting Friday, November 20 at 8:00 p.m. Also available on a Season Pass with unlimited access until May 31, 2021.

Opera Philadelphia Channel

Dates are Nov 2020.

Fri, Nov 20 8:00 p.m.

Leadership support for Cycles of My Being has been provided by Mrs. Sandra K. Baldino

Cast & Creative Team

Tyshawn Sorey
Tyshawn Sorey Composer
Terrance Hayes
Terrance Hayes Lyricist
Lawrence Brownlee
Lawrence Brownlee Tenor & Lyricist Underwritten by Judy and Peter Leone
Myra Huang
Myra Huang Pianist
Khari Joyner
Khari Joyner Cellist
Alexander Laing
Alexander Laing Clarinetist
  • Robert Kaplowitz Sound Designer
  • Drew Billiau Lighting Designer
  • Phillip Todd Producer & Cinematographer
  • Leslie Rivera Director
  • Sarah Williams Creative Director & Producer
  • Lisa Anderson First Assistant Director
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