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Old Deerfield Productions’ opera ‘TRUTH’ begins tour with performance at Academy of Music

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLD DEERFIELD PRODUCTIONS
Soprano Mari-Yan Pringle will sing the role of Sojourner Truth in Old Deerfield Productions' performance of "TRUTH" at the Academy of Music.

PHOTO COURTESY OF OLD DEERFIELD PRODUCTIONS Soprano Mari-Yan Pringle will sing the role of Sojourner Truth in Old Deerfield Productions' performance of "TRUTH" at the Academy of Music. Purchase photo reprints »

Old Deerfield Productions will present a chamber version of “Truth,” an opera about the life of abolitionist Sojourner Truth, Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Academy of Music in Northampton. Truth, who devoted her life to the abolition of slavery, was part of a local utopian community, the Northampton Association for Education and Industry.

The opera, which premiered as a fully staged show last year at the Academy, was written by Old Deerfield Productions director Linda McInerney. The current cast, an ensemble of five professional singers, will sing multiple roles, accompanied by a seven-piece orchestra performing original music composed by Paula M. Kimper.

The performance marks the beginning of a national and international tour for the company. It has been invited to perform the opera in the fall at SkupiFestival, an international theater and opera festival in Skopje, Macedonia, that was established in 2007 by the National Albanian Theatre Company. “Truth” has received grants from the International Music and Art Foundation in order to make the trip.

When McInerney found out she’d be taking the opera to Europe she researched slavery there. Human trafficking rates in Eastern Europe are high, she says, with Albania being the number one country of origin for slavery.

“It’s really powerful that we will be performing at the National Albanian Theatre Company,” McInerney said. “Sojourner freed herself, she was an enslaved person tortured, beaten, raped and she freed herself, so her story is completely inspiring to anyone in those dire, dire circumstances.”

McInerney hopes to bring women and children from halfway houses, and victims of human trafficking to see the show, “so they can have at least 90 minutes of inspiration, and see someone come out the other side in absolute glory.”

McInerney also expects to continue touring after the festival.

“There is interest from venues in upstate New York, which is a beautiful piece of synchronicity given that Sojourner Truth spoke there as an abolitionist and advocate for women’s rights.”

Tickets cost $20 and $30; $15 for students and seniors. To purchase, call the Academy of Music box office at 584-9032 or visit www.academyofmusictheatre.com.

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