The Trial of Susan B. Anthony

ADA Artist Management, along with co-producers Austin Opera, Berkshire Opera Festival, Minnesota Opera, Opera Colorado, and San Diego Opera, announce the world premiere of Steven Mark Kohn’s song cycle The Trial of Susan B. Anthony. Mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala plays multiple roles, including the judge, the prosecuting and defense attorneys, a witness, and Susan B. Anthony herself in this seven-movement piece outlining the activist’s quest for justice. She will be accompanied by pianist Myra Huang.

This premiere comes amidst the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, inviting conversation about this milestone of democracy, along with the work that remains to achieve gender and racial equity. Ana De Archuleta, President and CEO of ADA, says, “We find ourselves at a point in history where it is of the utmost importance to collaborate and share within our creative industry. We are thrilled to partner with these outstanding institutions to present this timely world premiere event.”

Zabala says, “The story could not be more relevant, and Steve gives me the chance to share the nuances of the event, its triumph and failure, and invites reflection on both the hopeful and robust progress and the devastating challenges of this country’s ongoing story.”

Composer/Librettist Steven Mark Kohn says, “I have always known about Susan B. Anthony, and her story popped into my head when I was searching for a new subject, one that could be a dramatic tour-de-force for a single singer/actor. It was David versus Goliath; a woman in 1872 fighting against the male-dominated machine, the system; unyielding, formidable, even merciless. Her story remains relevant today, as there will always be those who must raise their voices in seeking justice.”

The 30-minute program will premiere on ADA’s YouTube channel on Monday, October 26, and will continue to be available on that platform until November 9. Audiences must register to attend the premiere.

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Don’t miss a panel discussion hosted by ADA Artist Management after the premiere to explore the program, the context in which it was created, and its relevance to current events. Panelists will be announced at a future date.

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