Melanie Knolls Project


  • Project Created By

    IMI Chamber Players

    Intercultural Music Initiative or IMI (, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with programs that help integrate new musical works by lesser-known composers into existing performance repertoire. IMI connects audiences with a growing community of artists and educators share a similar interest in culturally diverse musical arts programming.

  • Project Location
    Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Composer
  • Key Collaborators
    Niyi Coker


  • Project Dates
    Start Date
    July 1, 2020
    End Date
    November 30, 2020

Melanie Knolls Project


This is a proposal to partner with the Intercultural Music Initiative, playwright and filmmaker Niyi Coker, Jr. to present a public reading of a new opera, titled “AMERICA/WE NEED to TALK.” The opera is comprised of music composed by Fred Onovwerosuoke and libretto co-written with Dr. Coker, and will be based on poems and other writings by Paul Dunbar, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, George Orwell and the late St. Louis Poet Laureate, Michael Castro. The synopsis of the opera was accepted by Opera America and approved for a full proposal for their 2020/2021 IDEA Opera Grant Competition in Los Angeles. The subject matter of this opera examines the great experiment that is America – an uncertain amalgam of cultures and immigrants with diverse experiences, attracted, forced and cajoled from every corner of the globe to build a dream nation in the New World.

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