UNCG Magazine

High Notes

Omar Ibn Said, an enslaved Muslim scholar in mid-nineteenth century Fayetteville, was a topic of alumna Rhiannon Giddens’ discussion on campus last autumn. She has composed an opera on him, which was scheduled to debut this spring in Charleston, but its premiere will have to wait.

That fall evening, she and Francesco Turrisi played a song in the style of their new album “There Is No Other.” One song, “I’m on My Way,” received a Grammy nomination.

Her collaborative “Songs of Our Native Daughters” album was on several “best of” lists.

Rhiannon’s Met Opera podcast “Aria Code” – she is the host – has begun its second season.

And she will receive an honorary degree from UNCG this spring.

Oh, and she’ll star in the Tanger Center’s first opera, “Porgy & Bess” by Greensboro Opera – her first opera performance since her UNCG Opera Theatre days.

See Ali, Giddens, Turrisi make musical, cultural connections.
See article on Smithsonian lecturer on topic of Omar Ibn Said.

By Mike Harris
Photograph from the fall 2019 UNCG event by Martin W. Kane

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