Anthony Davis Creates a Controversial New Opera

With the blinders typical of those in the so-called serious music field, “award-winning “international arts journalist” Victoria Looseleaf writes an entire article on composer/pianist Anthony Davis’ newest opera for San Francisco Classical Voice without ever mentioning his parallel history in improvised music. Ignoring Davis’ long-time collaborations with the likes of tenor saxophonist Jason Robinson and trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith among others, the article still manages to provide a fair retrospective of Davis’ career up to the present day. It mentions his early interest in creating operas, and his subsequent, highly praised breakthrough productions such as X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X and  Wakonda’s Dream, based on the trial of Chief Standing Bear and leading to The Central Park Five, which was just premiered at Long Beach Opera. An interesting sideline is how Davis got the inspiration for the character of Donald Trump, featured in the opera, and how he instructed the tenor soloist who plays the president in the production to act during the performance