Fannie Lou Hamer Opera Featured on MassLive & Arts Fuse

Philip Lima and Andrea Chinedu Nwoke in Rehearsal

Philip Lima, as Perry “Pap” Hamer and Andrea Chinedu Nwoke as Fannie Lou Hamer in rehearsal.
Photo: Michael S. Gordon/The Republican

The singers have completed their first week of rehearsals for the East Coast premiere of Dark River: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story, and the word from conductor Ng Tian Hui is that they sound fantastic. “In particular, Andrea Chinede Nwoke is such a perfect Fannie Lou Hamer, I think her solos are literally going to bring the house down!”

A spectacular SWAN event, the opera by Mary D. Watkins is featured on this week. Check out the article and lots of great pictures of the singers by clicking here. The opera has also been featured on The Arts Fuse, Boston’s online arts magazine.

Presented by WomenArts in collaboration with the Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra, the two performances will be next week on Friday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. & Saturday, April 5 at 3 p.m. in Chapin Auditorium at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA. Ticket prices are:

Order Your Tickets Now!!

Online:       Brown Paper Tickets (
By Phone:  1-800-838-3006
In Person:  Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, Broadside Books in Northampton, and at Food for Thought Books in Amherst. (Cash or check sales only at the bookstores.)

Front Section: $20;  General Admission: $15; Students & Seniors: $10
Group Discounts:  Discounts of $2 off per ticket for groups of 8 or more!

About the Opera

Fifty years ago, Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the first African-Americans in Mississippi to register to vote.  She stood up in the face of beatings, harassment, imprisonment, and death threats to secure voting rights for her people.

A unique blend of classical, gospel, blues, and jazz styles, Dark River: The Fannie Lou Hamer Story brings to life one of the most turbulent periods in American history through the story of an inspiring female activist and leader.  The opera explores Fannie Lou Hamer’s decision to fight for her rights, her challenges, her triumphs, and the impact of her activism on her husband and children.

Directed by Darryl V. Jones, the opera will feature Andrea Chinedu Nwoke as Fannie Lou Hamer, Philip Lima as Pap Hamer, and Miguel Angel Vasquez, Matt Chastain, Farah Darliette, Melynda Davis, Thandiwe Delgado-Kinyatti, Ernest Jackson, Robert King, Synthia Pullum, Aaron Reeder, Craig Simonetti, Robert Stahley, Matthew Stansfield, Mauri Tetreault, Maya Starr Ward, and the 42-piece Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ng Tian Hui.

For more information about the opera including a plot synopsis and audio clips, please visit