Steven M. Allen


Dunbar @ DuPont

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School was founded in 1870. Initially, The Prepartory High School for Colored Youth, it was named M Street High School in 1891, then after the Poet in 1916.

Honoring the 150th year of the establishment of the first public high school for African Americans in the Nation, The Dunbar Operas, Inc., in collaboration with The Alliance for New Music Theatre and DuPont Underground will present The Poet: A Chamber Opera based on the Lives and Times of Paul Laurence Dunbar, April 2020. 

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The Dunbar Operas: Celebrating 10 Years

Today, June 27, 2019 marks the 10th year anniversary of the premiere of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows: An Opera based on the Lives and Love of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore.

As we continue to celebrate and interpret the lives and love of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore, in this, our monumental year. Your generous support would be of great value to the furtherance of this endeavor.

Consider your pledge today!

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Opera Composer's Showcase at The Clarice

CAAPA presents 3/20 minute original opera vignettes presented by opera composers Scott Patterson, Steven M. Allen, and duo Jasmine Barnes and librettist Joshua Banbury in a competitive showcase format for the opportunity to have their works fully staged and presented in CAAPA's 2019-2020 season. 3/20 minute original opera segments, performed by artists selected by the composers, will highlight different characters, music, and plots reflected in a libretto of topics related to the African Diaspora.

Patrick D. McCoy, Classical Music Journalist, moderates a Q&A to gather insight on the composer's work, and how Opera is used to tell our stories. Program partner Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council.

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Happy Birthday to Alice Ruth Moore!

Alice Ruth Moore was born this day in 1875. Her volume of short stories, “Violets and Other Tales” was published in 1895.

Lisa Edwards Burrs sings the Aria, “I Could Learn to Love Him”.

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Steven Allen
Happy 146th Birthday, Paul Laurence Dunbar!

On Paul's 22nd birthday, his work: "Majors and Minors" was reviewed in The Harper's Weekly Magazine.  William Dean Howell's review of this work instantly brought Dunbar international acclaim.  He would be the first of his race to achieve such an accomplishment.

Today is a very special day in the lives of The Dunbar Operas.  Eight years ago, Act I of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows was first performed at The Catholic University of America.  Since, the operas have grown to incorporate two vignettes.  One of which, The Poet, was performed on Dunbar's birthday at the Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Washington, DC., 2014.  The cast included: Gregory J. Watkins as Paul Laurence Dunbar, Denyce Graves as Matilda Dunbar, Lisa Edwards-Burrs as Alice Ruth Moore and Daniel Noone, as Major James Pond. 

The Poet was premiered with new orchestrations by The South Shore Opera Company of Chicago in October of 2017.  As well, The Dunbar Operas was featured in "Beyond the Mask", the first PBS documentary on the life the the famous poet.

Just recently, Opera@Morgan presented scenes from Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows in April of this year. 

What's next for The Dunbar Operas?  Now that the full opera has been completed, The Dunbar Operas Fund, Inc. invites you to be part of our mission to present, promote, and preserve the story of Paul Laurence Dunbar through the dramatic arts.  Your contributions would serve the greater need of this cause.  You may donate by clicking the following link. The Dunbar Operas Fund, Inc.  Consider your pledge today!

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