The Time of Our Singing

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January 1970
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During Marian Anderson’s historic concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, a man and a woman, a German Jewish physicist and an African-American singer, fall in love. Over the turbulent half-century that follows, they try to protect their three musically gifted children from the barriers and prejudices they themselves have suffered from. Each in their own way, Jonah, Joey, and Ruth will struggle with the curse of America’s original sin and with the straitjacket that a family, no matter how loving, can impose.


La Monnaie opens its 2020-21 season with the world premiere of a new opera by the Belgian composer Kris Defoort. The Time of Our Singing, based on the novel of the same name by Richard Powers, is a gripping family drama that explores identity, art, and civil rights in a fascinating symbiosis of jazz and classical music.

Program and cast

Conductor: KWAMÉ RYAN
Director: TED HUFFMAN
Libretto: PETER VAN KRAAIJ
Set design: JOHANNES SCHÜTZ
Costumes: ASTRID KLEIN
Lighting: BERND PURKRABEK
Video: PIERRE MARTIN
Dramaturgy: PETER VAN KRAAIJ, ANTONIO CUENCA RUIZ


Delia Daley: CLARON MCFADDEN
William Daley: MARK S. DOSS
David Strom: PETER COLEMAN-WRIGHT
Jonah: LEVY SEKGAPANE
Joey: PETER BRATHWAITE
Ruth: ABIGAIL ABRAHAM
Lisette Soer: LILLY JØRSTAD


La Monnaie Chamber Orchestra
Jazz Ensemble (Mark Turner, Lander Gyselinck, Nicholas Thys, Hendrik Lasure)
La Monnaie Children's and Youth Choir & Brussels Youth Choir, led by Benoît Giaux


Production: DE MUNT / LA MONNAIE & LOD muziektheater


In coproduction with Shelter Prod and Prospero MM Productions
With the support of taxshelter.be and ING
With the support of the tax shelter of the Belgian federal government

La Monnaie

The Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie is an Opera house in Brussels, Belgium. Both of its names translate as Royal Theatre of the Mint.


Today the National Opera of Belgium, a federal institution, takes the name of the theatre in which it is housed. Therefore, la Monnaie or de Munt refers both to the structure as well as the opera company.


As Belgium's leading opera house it is one of the few cultural institutions which receives financial support from the federal government of Belgium. Other opera houses in Belgium, such as the Vlaamse Opera and the Opéra Royal de Wallonie, are funded by regional governments.

Johan Jacobs
© Leonard Freed – Magnum Photos
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