William Grant Still’s Troubled Island

As advertised by the Center for Black Music Research.

South Shore Opera Company of Chicago presents

Troubled Island

an opera in four acts by William Grant Still
libretto by Langston Hughes

Saturday, October 19, 2013 at 6:00 p.m.
Robeson Theater
South Shore Cultural Center
7059 South Shore Drive, Chicago

Tickets: $100 • $50 • $35
The $100 ticket includes a post-opera celebration including dinner. Please call 773-723-4627 for availability.
Purchase online at

William Grant Still’s Troubled Island chronicles revolution, the birth of a Black nation, and a charismatic leader’s epic fall from grace.

Troubled Island grapples with love and lust, trust and betrayal, set against the backdrop of Haiti’s historic battle for freedom. Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the opera’s central figure, shook the world, defeating Napoleon’s forces in the Caribbean, forging a new nation, and inspiring slaves across the globe. The libretto by Langston Hughes gives voice to all people fighting injustice.

mural of Jean-Jacques Dessalines
mural of Jean-Jacques Dessalines in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Still’s music exhibits a mature and original voice, projecting an easy virtuosity. His style combines the intensity and grandeur of late Romantic opera with the piquancy and dynamism of traditional African-American music.

Our not-to-be-missed single performance makes use of the composer’s own piano version, representing his authentic statement of the opera’s musical essence.

Come experience this forgotten masterpiece!

To celebrate South Shore Opera’s fifth anniversary, the internationally acclaimed conductor Leslie Dunner has been engaged to lead the singers in this masterwork deserving a place in the standard repertoire. Maestro Dunner leads an all-star cast.

  • Leslie Dunner, conductor
  • Kirk Walker, baritone
  • Gwendolyn Brown, contralto
  • Cornelius Johnson, tenor
  • Dana Campbell, soprano