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William Grant Still




TROUBLED ISLAND by William Grant Still



Troubled Island


Opera Synopsis


Opera Production Timeline


Premiere Performance


Directors and Cast


William Grant Still Art Center and Mural

JUST TELL THE STORY: Troubled Island



What's Inside


Book Review


Testimonials


ORDER BOOK

WILLIAM GRANT STILL and VERNA ARVEY



Biographical Introduction


William Grant Still


Verna Arvey

WILLIAM GRANT STILL MUSIC



Product Information


Presentation Service


Contact Information


Site Map




    Book Review

William Grant Still Music  
& The Master-Player Library  




The true story of Troubled Island is finally told
BOOK REVIEW

   
Just Tell the Story:  Troubled Island
Judith Anne Still and Lisa M. Headlee,
   Editors
Noni Olabisi, Cover Mural
The Master-Player Library
Flagstaff, Arizona
603 pages, Hardback $39.95

    In 1949, the first grand opera by a person of Color to be mounted on a major American stage was given its premiere by the New York City Center Opera Company. After its first three nights of glory, including twenty-two curtain calls on opening night, the opera was shut down, never to be staged again. Why? What exactly happened to William Grant Still's opera, Troubled Island?
    Just Tell the Story: Troubled Island presents the fascinating story about this important political and social event in history. It is a compelling and heart-wrenching saga that took place during the Cold War of the late 1940s and 1950s. Eyewitness testimony of those involved and who were directly affected by the wrong-doing as well as from the wrong-doers illustrates a complex chronicle of events before and after the production of this important American opera.
    Just Tell the Story: Troubled Island presents the basic question:  Was the fate of Still's opera, Troubled Island, the result of a racism, intrigue, and political maneuvering?
    The volume does not ask readers to be swayed by tiresome speculations from experts, and does not use partisan disclaimers, late-breaking confessions, uninformed statements and undocumented opinions as methods of propelling the story to an expected conclusion. The volume allows informed observers to examine the subject of race, the arts and the United States government objectively and to find the answers to the tough questions for themselves.   
     In the pages of this unique and captivating work, Just Tell the Story provides all of the significant documents that pertain to the opera, including letters and diary entries by the composer and his family, defamatory statements from prominent critics of the time, summaries of letters from Langston Hughes, the Metropolitan Opera Company, the New York City Center, and the United States State Department, and other documents published for the first time. Text by the editors offers explanatory material for the ample documentation that is provided.
    The reader is told the complete story of Troubled Island, and is given the means and the incentive to discover first-hand how one of Americas greatest operas came to its bitter end.

[Review by The Master-Player Library.]












American Composer and Conductor William Grant Still

Troubled Island  |  Opera Synopsis  |  Opera Production Timeline  |  Premiere Performance  |  Directors and Cast  |  William Grant Still Art Center and Mural  |  What's Inside  |  Book Review  |  Testimonials  |  ORDER BOOK  |  Biographical Introduction  |  William Grant Still  |  Verna Arvey  |  Product Information  |  Presentation Service  |  Contact Information



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