Echoes Of The Harlem Renaissance: Freeman’s Opera ‘Voodoo’ Gets Second Life


Harry Lawrence Freeman was arguably the most important African-American composer of opera working during the era of the Harlem Renaissance.

The Cleveland native composed more than a dozen operas, five of which were performed during his lifetime.

Freeman’s opera Voodoo was one of the lucky ones. Completed in 1914 and premiered on Broadway in 1928, Voodoo is set on a Louisiana plantation during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.

The opera’s plot revolves around the character Lolo, who turns in vengeance to the powers of voodoo when Mando, the man she loves, rejects…

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