UNCG Magazine

UNCG Opera alumnus Sidney Outlaw in free concert July 17

Sidney Outlaw, Brooklyn, New York City, 2019. Photo by Martin W. Kane.

This Saturday, Sidney Outlaw ’04 will perform a unique, social justice-themed concert for Greensboro Opera, accompanied by pianist Warren Jones. The concert is free-admission.

Outlaw, a renowned baritone, performs internationally and has appeared on many of the most illustrious stages in the world. Among his many performances are Haydn’s The Creation and Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Avery Fisher Hall; “Malcolm X” at New York City Opera; Mahler’s “Wednesday At One” at Alice Tully Hall; H. Leslie Adam’s opera “Blake” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, and Wayne Oquin’s “A Time to Break Silence: Songs inspired by the Words and Writings of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

For the Greensboro concert, he has designed a special program founded on North Carolina native Nina Simone’s idea that it is the artists’ duty to reflect the times.” It will highlight work by African American historical figures like Frederick Douglass, as well as pieces by lesser-known African American poets and composers.

In January, Outlaw will return to Greensboro Opera alongside fellow alumnus Rhiannon Giddens in “Porgy and Bess.” This performance of Gershwin’s folk opera, postponed from last winter, was the first event booking announced for the new Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.

“When Greensboro Opera secured Rhiannon Giddens as Bess for January’s production of Porgy and Bess at the Tanger Center, hiring Sidney as Jake was the second casting decision we made,” says David Holley, UNCG director of opera and professor of music. Holley also serves as general and artistic director of Greensboro Opera. “We wanted to capitalize on UNCG’s rich history of producing successful artists, and Sidney’s career has brought great distinction to both UNCG and himself. We are thrilled to present him in this concert with renowned collaborative pianist Warren Jones.”

The performance presents a rare opportunity. He last performed in this state in 2015, in the role of Dandini in Greensboro Opera‘s “Cinderella” in 2015

Outlaw holds a bachelor degree in music performance from UNCG and a master’s of vocal performance from The Juilliard School. 

The opera performance will be held Saturday, July 17, at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:45 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited to 500 people. The location is First Baptist Church, 1000 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro. Donations will be accepted. Organizers state that unvaccinated patrons must wear a mask. Additionally, tickets are currently available for “Porgy and Bess,” which will be performed January 21 and 23, 2022. Tickets and more information are available here.

See archival cover feature of Sidney Outlaw in the Fall 2012 UNCG Magazine.

Compiled by Avery Campbell

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