Dear Friends of DGMC,
We are thrilled to be at the stunning Ellie Caulkins Opera House for our fifth production in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. It is always a privilege to sing here, and we are grateful to Denver Arts & Venues for entering our first collaborative partnership with Motown and More.
In this concert, we are performing some of the greatest songs of the Motown era and beyond. For over six decades, Motown writers and performers as well as other great African American composers and artists have evolved to include so many different musical styles, infusing a unique energy into pop culture in unforgettable, life changing ways. Our singers, dancers, narrators, band, and producers have been preparing since January in over 50 hours of rehearsal to bring you the best of the best!
As part of the show, we are featuring the Colorado premiere of a profound, powerful and transformative work: The Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, by Joel Thompson. The inspiration came from the last words of seven unarmed black men before dying due to excessive tactics used by police and authorities.
Though the piece premiered nearly five years ago, the more recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Coloradan Elijah McClain along with the international protests of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 make this work even more relevant today. We are so honored to welcome members of the talented Rangeview High School Concert Choir under the direction of James Laguana who join DGMC for this dramatic musical journey. We are so proud of them!
We are thrilled to announce our collaborative artistic partner the world renown Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company. We are humbled to share the stage with these remarkable dancers and to bring to you three world premieres of Cleo’s visionary and inspiring choreography. To say they have been a delight to work with is an understatement and a testament that dreams can come true!
And finally, do not miss the final concert of our historic 40th Concert Season: Unbreakable, a new musical (2019) by Broadway composer Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party, and Big Fish). This new piece of musical theater takes audiences through a chronology musical journey of the LGBTQ experience in America from 1900 through the present day. It is a musical tribute to the LGBTQ community: How we evolved; triumphed, suffered and soared over the last hundred and 120 years.
This stunning choral work presents stories from American LGBTQ+ history including Harvard’s “Secret Court” of 1920, the life of transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, the Lavender Scare, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jane Addams. The piece will be performed by the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus, some outstanding regional actors and actresses, and a chamber orchestra. It will be semi-staged with inspiring multimedia showcasing the beautiful, theatrical music.
As always, thank you for joining us at the opera house this weekend, and for your unwavering support as we further our mission of “Building community through music” and navigate through these uncertain times.
Artistic and Managing Director
Denver Gay Men’s Chorus