‘Driving While Black’ opera to be performed at Lawrence Arts Center | UDK


Several University of Kansas School of Music faculty will present “DWB (Driving While Black)” at the Lawrence Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. this coming Saturday. The one-act opera will highlight the fears of a black mother when her 16-year-old son begins to drive.

The feature is somewhat autobiographical. University of Kansas lecturer Roberta Gumbel, the librettist and soprano of the work, has a son, a freshman at the University, who’s driving in today’s political and social climate.

“I hope for the community, that it brings a topic that, right now, is in the headlines, to a broader conversation,” Gumbel said. “We talk about it when something bad happens, but then it just simmers, and maybe by giving a musical voice to it, it makes it more universal because people are now listening to it who might ignore the situation, or the status of the way things are in the country right now.”

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