At the Grande
Music and Libretto by Nkeiru Okoye
Comic opera in two acts
TBD Approx 110 minutes
6 lead roles for soprano, soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, and bass-baritone; with orchestra
Social relevant themes:
Presumptions about African Americans
The harm done by Black face and black face dolls
Fixation on physical appearance and youth
Corporate attempts for quick fixes at institutionalized racism
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At the Grande is a juicy, yet heartwarming operatic romantic comedy, that takes a humorous look at race relations and gender parity in corporate America. Think Marriage of Figaro meets The Apprentice and Scandal… set to music, with a message of the enduring power of kindness! Inspired by current events.
Setting: The Grande Building, A colossal metropolitan complex, which serves as headquarters of Grande Investments, housing many of its employees either in luxury condos or significantly less luxurious rental apartments.
Amali Anderson had it all. She was the first African American Miss Grande USA. Her pageant title came with an internship at Grande International Investments Corporation. Sadly, they also brought advances from CEO, Dexter Grande. She was left virtually unemployable in the aftermath of turning him down. Now, three years have passed and Grande’s stocks are freefalling. In a drunken stupor, the billionaire made a scandalous rant about African Americans that somehow landed on the front page. Enter Spencer, his Oxford educated spin-doctor. Spence proposes hiring Amali to be Corporate Diversity Officer, as a PR stunt. Next comes Spencer’s former mentee, Nathan Figueren, who is in television. Nathan also happens to be Amali’s fiancé. As a junior producer, he eagerly pitches the idea to his network and “Grande Investments, Reality Show” is born. Last in are Grande’s much younger wife, Tiffani, and his matronly Chief of Staff, “Miss Parrish.” They help Amali transform from disgraced beauty queen to Corporate Officer. If only she wasn’t toting around those golliwogs, symbolic of her pain. Will she overcome it? And what are Tiffani and Parrish holding over Spence? In a story where no one is what they seem to be, and everyone has something to hide, blackmail and secret passages are almost inevitable.
Featuring the aria, Inside is what remains.
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