A song cycle by an internationally renowned tenor is worth a $15,000 grant to Opera Roanoke.

The National Endowment of the Arts is donating the money to the local arts organization to present Cycles of My Being: A Recital with Lawrence Brownlee, according to a press release from Opera Roanoke this week.

Florida-based Brownlee, in demand for performances around the world, wrote Cycles of My Being as a passion project, with composer Tyshawn Sorey and poet Terrance Hayes, both winners of the MacArthur Genius Fellowship, according to the information provided. by Opera Roanoke.

Brownlee premiered the collection in 2018, at the Philadelphia Opera House, and has since performed it at venues including Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He, Sorey, and Hayes wrote it as a reflection on being black in America.

“The edgy, minimalist compositions underpin a series of politically charged lyrics…that will chill any listener,” wrote British Theater Guide.

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The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote of a November 2020 COVID-era digital streaming presentation: “Although some works convey their messages with the kind of music that causes the listener to walk miles in someone’s place Another, Cycles of My Being asserts itself in ways that are more likely to allow for a communion between souls.

It is scheduled for a performance on May 1 at the Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Performance Hall. The project is one of 1,248 in the United States and the only one in Virginia selected to receive the NEA grant. The national organization has awarded $28.8 million in what Opera Roanoke said is the first round of funding in fiscal year 2022.

“We are absolutely thrilled to receive this highly competitive grant from the NEA to support Cycles of My Being,” said Brooke Tolley, CEO of Opera Roanoke, in the press release. “This project is one in which we hope to bring together more members of our community for an experience that will have a lasting impact.”

Get more information and check tickets at operaroanoke.org. To learn more about Brownlee, visit lawrencebrownlee.com. Access this column at roanoke.com/entertainment/music to see video of Brownlee, with pianist Myra Huang, performing the “Inhale, Exhale” cycle.

Music at The Coves AmphitheaterThe second season at an out-of-Franklin County location will feature country band The Mavericks, as well as smooth jazz king Kenny G.

The Coves Amphitheater at Union Hall will have its second full season next to Smith Mountain Lake, after performing concerts last year that raised $16,000 for charity, according to a press release from the venue. .

Kenny G was supposed to perform there last year, but that show was postponed due to COVID-19. It has been postponed to May 22 and there are still tickets. The Mavericks, led by powerhouse crooner Raul Malo, are scheduled for June 11. Go to covesatsml.com for information and tickets for both shows. More announcements are forthcoming, the press release says.

The site will look a little different. According to the press release, a main concert field that sloped towards the stage last year has been laid out in two levels. With these levels will come new types of tickets, “field” and “gold”.

After last year’s season, which included artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglas, Tommy Emmanuel, Paul Thorn, Tab Benoit and a triple draft from Ana Popvic, Eric Gales and Mike Zito, we’re very curious to see what the place will be laid in 2022.