I DREAM is a largely through-composed musical drama – sometimes referred to as a “Rhythm & Blues Opera” – based on the life of a preacher from Atlanta, written and composed by Douglas Tappin. The full production is intended to feature a cast of up to 25 actors and a 15-piece orchestra performing a dynamic fusion of musical genres – from the operatic, through gospel, blues and jazz to contemporary. Despite the well-chronicled tragedy that ended this great man’s life, I DREAM triumphs by inspiring its audiences and leaving them with a glow of togetherness, redemption and hope for a better future.
I Dream began its theatrical life on Atlanta’s Alliance Stage, produced by Musical-Dramatic Arts Inc., worldwide rights owner for I Dream.
Atlanta was selected as the most appropriate birthplace for the new piece which was presented to a local audience that included Bernice King (Dr. King’s daughter), Christine King Farris (Dr. King’s Sister), close colleagues of Dr. King including Andrew Young (former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and Mayor of Atlanta) and The Reverend Joseph Lowery, and the current and former Majors of Atlanta. Atlanta’s theatrical community awarded I Dream “Best World Premiere of a Play or a Musical” at the annual Suzi Bass Awards.
Of I Dream, the Atlanta Journal Constitution said: “…Expresses its emotions on an epic, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ scale…Tappin is a writer of considerable talent.” Atlanta’s Creative Loafing said: “Tappin’s hugely ambitious world premiere follows the example of Broadway’s big rock-influenced musicals such as ‘Evita’ and ‘Les Miserables’.”
Atlanta was a first step in the development of I Dream as a Rhythm and Blues Opera. The work took on new life as a musical drama, in collaboration with Opera Carolina, which presented an in-concert performance of I Dream to an enthusiastic, packed house at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The Charlotte-based company then created a new production of I Dream that was unveiled at Opera Grand Rapids and Toledo Opera in [northwest ]Ohio before its Charlotte debut in May 2018.
With the support of Charlotte-based Novant Health and Opera Carolina’s season sponsor Wells Fargo Private Bank, the journey to bring I Dream to its rightful place of prominence on stage continues with encore performances of the revised production in Charlotte in April 2020.
For more information visit operacarolina.org