Born January 7, 1917, Tucson, Arizona Died May 20, 1995, Englewood, New Jersey
About Ulysses Kay
One of the twentieth century's most prominent African-American composers, Ulysses Kay was known in his lifetime mostly for his symphonic and choral writing. Although he once wrote in a letter that "opera is not the medium for our time," Kay did write several, including two evening-length works.
The Juggler of Our Lady, opera in one act Libretto by Alexander King after a French morality play. composed 1956; premiere February 23, 1962, Xavier University Opera Workshop, New Orleans, Louisiana
The Boor Libretto by the composer after the play by Anton Chekov, translated by Vladimir Ussachevsky. composed 1955; premiere April 2, 1968, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky
The Capitoline Venus, opera in one act Libretto by Judith Dvorkin after an episode in the writings of Mark Twain. composed 1969; premiere March 12, 1971, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois
Jubilee, opera in three acts Libretto by Donald Dorr after the novel by Margaret Walker. November 19, 1976, Opera/South, Jackson, Mississippi
Frederick Douglass, opera in three acts Libretto by Donald Dorr. composed 1979-85; premiere April 14, 1991, New Jersey State Opera, Newark Symphony Hall, Newark, NJ