“In 1807, a 37-year-old scholar living in West Africa was captured and forced aboard a slave ship bound for Charleston, South Carolina. Omar Ibn Said’s life and Muslim faith are remembered and retold in this inspirational West Coast premiere inspired by his remarkable 1831 autobiography (the only known surviving American slave narrative written in Arabic).
Set in the shifting darkness of memory and imagination, Omar follows his compelling journey from a peaceful life in his homeland to enslavement in a violent, foreign world. Lost in the wilderness of his thoughts and his stolen life, he’s haunted by memories of his family and the people he encounters along the way. Through it all, he somehow remains true to himself and his faith, against all odds. The luminous score—composed by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels—incorporates distinctive West African traditions with traditional opera instrumentation.
Tenor Jamez McCorkle makes his company debut in the title role, with bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch in a double role as two very different slave masters. Norman Garrett makes his company debut as Omar’s brother, with Barry Banks as the auctioneer and Jacqueline Echols as Julie, an enslaved woman who gives Omar the key to a better life.
Experience the joy of the holidays with a variety of events at the South Coast Botanic Garden. There will be new seasonal plantings from the moment you walk through the Garden’s gates and can’t-miss photo opportunities, including our twist on iconic pine trees. Shop for the holidays, or for yourself, at our kiosk in Palm Circle, which will have a whole new look and merchandise for the season. Merry + Bright will be sprinkled through all of the Garden’s offerings…
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Aquarium Holidays features festive décor, shopping, snowfall in the Great Hall, and appearances by Santa Diver. Santa Diver will be delivering an ocean of gifts to the Aquarium for its animals, including the sea lions and fish. On weekends December 3 through 18 the Aquarium will have photo opportunities with Santa. Also during Aquarium Holidays, the Aquarium will host a Kwanzaa celebration and Hanukkah storytelling.
The gardens, store, 1919 Cafe, Jade Court Cafe, Red Car coffee shop and select galleries are now open. Advance online timed entry reservations are now required ONLY on weekends, Monday holidays, and Free Days for both visitors and Members.
Art in the Park in Partnership with Neighborhood Music School Present Community Band at Hermon Park Calling all musicians searching for a friendly, all-ages, music-making environment! Art in the Park is excited to join forces with Neighborhood Music School in presenting the Community Band at Hermon Park with Logan Hone. The Community Band will be held out outside in the park each Saturday, as a series of creative musical sessions and concerts. Musicians of all skill levels, ages, & backgrounds are…
Around 900 years ago, a Maya scribe made the Códice Maya de México, a sacred book that tracked and predicted movements of the planet Venus. Today it is the oldest book of the Americas, one of only four surviving Maya manuscripts that predate the arrival of Europeans. A remarkable testament to the complexity of Indigenous astronomy, the Codice on display in the US for the first time in 50 years.