“Castor and Patience” tells the story of two cousins from an African-American family who find themselves at odds over the fate of a historic parcel of land they have inherited in the American South. A relevant tale considering ongoing pleas for racial justice across the country, the opera pinpoints historical and continuing obstacles to Black land ownership in the United States. Gregory Spears notably composed Cincinnati Opera’s acclaimed 2016 commission “Fellow Travelers.” Tracy K. Smith served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2017 to 2019 and also received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
“Fierce,” a collaboration with WordPlay Cincy, The Music Resource Center – Cincinnati, and i.imagine, is an empowering tale of four teenage girls who face struggles with school, family and friendship. Interviews with WordPlay and MRC participants inspired the opera’s libretto by novelist Sheila Williams. William Menefield is a Cincinnati native. “Fierce” will be helmed by D. Lynn Meyers, producing artistic director of Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, who will make her Cincinnati Opera debut as stage director and dramaturg.