I Dream

Douglas Tappin's I Dream

Friday, April 6, 2018 at 7:30pm, Saturday, April 7, 2018 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 2pm

Student Night at the Opera Performance on Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 7pm

Dates of I Dream Events

Click Here for Information on I Dream Sundays!

A modern, R&B opera recounts the final 36 hours in the remarkable life of American icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was an all-too-human hero, who composer Douglas Tappin depicts as a flawed man of God who taught a nation that only love can obliterate hate.

The performances of I Dream, and the 50th commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., provide an opportunity to bring people together for a shared experience that is powerful, positive and potentially transformative.

The life of Dr. King, and the movement he championed, continues to provide inspiration, courage and hope for the future of our community and our nation.  It is important for us to reflect on our history, but not be stuck in the past.  We can’t talk about where we want to go as a society without understanding where we’ve been, and to use that reflection to inspire and guide future action.

We at Toledo Opera are committed to playing our part as citizens who believe in an embracing community that respects and welcomes all.  While our role may be a small one in the grand scheme, through the power of music and theater, perhaps we can change one attitude or one perspective, which may in turn change others.


Toledo Symphony Orchestra

Northstar Festival

Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Toledo Museum of Art

Area Office on Aging

Sojourner’s Truth

Toledo Opera Guild

The Links, Inc.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity

Toledo Area Schools

Lucas County Board of Commissioners


Owens Corning

Buckeye Broadband


HCR Manorcare


A Rhythm & Blues Opera

Written and Composed by Douglas Tappin


ACT 1. On the morning of April 3rd 1968, a young preacher from Atlanta prepares for a journey to Memphis, Tennessee to join striking sanitation workers. During the night he has experienced a recurring dream – one that is a disconcerting mix of reminiscence and premonition. Always, at the center of the dream, is the image of a balcony that has about it a strange sense of foreboding, and destiny, and a moment he knows he is not yet ready to face, but cannot yet explain, or see beyond.

As he sets out on his journey to Memphis, boarding a flight from Atlanta’s busy airport with his close friend and confidant, he begins to reflect on episodes of his life, searching for meaning to his dreams…

First, he remembers the harsh personal experience of racism and segregation in the community of his childhood, his dear maternal Grandmother, and the promise he made to her at her deathbed that set his life upon its present course – his promise to love.

Later on his journey, his thoughts return to Boston University, the place where he first articulated his unsophisticated ‘love answer’ to the persecution and injustice he perceived in the world. It was also where he met the woman who would become his wife, and would set out with him on a life adventure that took them to Montgomery, Alabama where, together, they would play a vital role in the 1955 bus boycott that changed the law.


ACT 2. Success in Montgomery marks the beginning of a freedom revolution the young preacher is chosen to lead. But leadership has its cost and consequences, for him and also for his wife who, though representing much of the strength of his life, faces her own challenges raising their young family while her husband is often away from home. Street by street, city by city, he marched side by side with others committed to seeing communities all across America experience freedom for themselves.

Though he began to focus on winning political success at a national level in Washington DC, most victories were hard-won on streets, and in jail cells throughout the South. There were significant times when he was vilified and celebrated. There were struggles around him, war within him, and loneliness and despair along the way from Birmingham to Selma. Eventually, the brave stand he inspired the people to take in Selma led to the enactment of voting rights legislation in 1965, that changed the course of modern American history.

He remembers this kaleidoscope of events as he arrives in Memphis, most poignantly on the morning after he makes, perhaps, the most emotionally draining speech of his life. Finally, just thirty-six hours after he set out from home, he sits alone at the edge of his bed in a motel room – late in the afternoon of April 4th. He knows that outside his room door waits the balcony of his recurring dreams. Dream has become reality and the moment of dream images is now the moment at hand.

Derrick Davis (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

Derrick Davis, an American born actor/singer is currently starring in the North American touring production of The Phantom of the Opera in the title role. He was also seen in the Broadway production of Disney’s The Lion King covering the roles of Mufasa and Scar after playing Mufasa in the national touring company and covering the role in the Las Vegas production. Davis played the role of Curtis Taylor Jr. in Dreamgirls during Dallas Theatre Center’s Tony Award® winning season. Other credits include: THEATRE – Show Boat, Earl Wilson Jr.’s You’re It!. OPERA - Amahl and the Night Visitors, Die Fledermaus, TV - Dangerous Liaisons, A Christmas Tale, performances on Live with Regis and Kelly, The View. FILM - Can a Cong Save Your Life. CONCERT - featured soloist in the Las Vegas Philharmonic’s Rodgers and Hammerstein Concer,. A Journey Through Love (solo concert), A Christmas Journey (solo concert). Derrick has two albums available online, A Christmas Journey featuring holiday favorites and his original project Life Music. www.therealderrickdavis.com

Laquita Mitchell (Coretta)

Soprano Laquita Mitchell consistently earns acclaim on eminent international opera and concert stages, leading performances with Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, and Opéra Comique in Paris, New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, among many others. This season, she will sing selections of Porgy and Bess with Allentown Symphony, the soprano solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Berkeley Symphony, Violetta (La traviata) with Opera Memphis, and the world première of Moravec’s Sanctuary Road at Carnegie Hall with Oratorio Society of New York. Last season, Ms. Mitchell performed the role of Countess (Le nozze di Figaro) with Toledo Opera and the role of Bess (Porgy and Bess) with Traverse City Symphony and Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest for their summer festival. In concert, Mitchell performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Philadelphia Orchestra at Saratoga Performing Arts Center and gala concerts with Sheboygan Symphony, Arizona Opera, and Philadelphia Orchestra. Additionally, she performs in recital annually at Harare International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe.


Kristy Swann (Grandma)

Acclaimed mezzo-soprano Krysty Swann has been hailed for her beautiful and rich voice, as well as her captivating presence on stage. This season’s engagements include Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, an MLK tribute concert with Bach Society of Winter Park, and a return to Lyric Opera of Chicago for their productions of Rigoletto and Die Walküre. Last season, Swann sang Händel’s Messiah with Boise Philharmonic; the role of Olga (Eugene Onegin) and the opening Spoleto Celebration Concert with Spoleto Festival; and the role of Rebecca Parker in Yardbird, which had its recent world première at Opera Philadelphia with additional performances at the famed Apollo Theatre in NYC. Recent seasons include Mozart’s Requiem at Carnegie Hall; Verdi’s Requiem at Lincoln Center; her concert début in South Africa with the acclaimed KZN Philharmonic under the baton of Daniel Boico; returns to the Metropolitan Opera in their productions of Die Walküre and Francesca da Rimini; her Milan début in concert with Laverdi orchestra; a return to Austria's Bregenz festival; and her début with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Festival.

Kenneth Overton (Ralph)

Kenneth Overton is lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic and varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.” This season, Overton performs the role of Jake Wallace (La fanciulla del West) with New York City Opera, reprises the title role of Porgy and Bess with Margaret Island Open-Air Theatre in Budapest, sings Angela Rice’s Thy Will Be Done with National Chorale, and joins San Francisco Opera for the world-première of Girls of the Golden West, a new opera by John Adams and Peter Sellars. Recent engagements include Mozart’s Requiem and a Gershwin celebration with National Chorale at David Geffen Hall, his début with the New York Philharmonic for Dvořák’s Symphony for a New World, Faure’s Requiem and the New York première of The Seven Last Words by Michael Jon Trotta with Mid America Productions at Carnegie Hall, Michele (Il tabarro) with Utah Festival Opera, Dvořák’s Te Deum with Hunter College Symphony Orchestra, and Jake in Porgy and Bess with Toledo Opera.

Victor Ryan Robertson (Hosea)

American tenor Victor Ryan Robertson offers a versatile singing ability and style allowing him to cross seamlessly between genres. From opera repertoire to pop music, and everything in between, Robertson delights international audiences to critical acclaim. Recently, Robertson made his Broadway début in Andrew Lloyd Weber’s The Phantom of the Opera, the longest running show in Broadway history; performed as Zoogy in Carly Simon’s ambitious contemporary opera Romulus Hunt at Nashville Opera, the recording of which he is featured on and will be submitted for a 2018 Grammy nomination. This season, Robertson makes his début at The Metropolitan Opera as St. Brioche (The Merry Widow) and performs the role of Benny Paret Jr. in Terrence Blanchard’s jazz opera, Champion, with New Orleans Opera, which he performed last season with Washington National Opera. Last season also saw Robertson reprise the role of Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera Coeur d’Alene, Toledo Opera, Opera Carolina, and Santa Cruz Symphony.

Additional Creative Staff
Douglas Tappin - Composer and librettist
Daniel Goldstein - Director
Carl Marsh - Music Director & Orchestrator
Keith Williams Associate Conductor
Byron Easley - Choreographer
James Meena - Producer
Kevin Depinet - Set Design
Lucy McKinnon - Video Design
Emilio Sosa - Costume Design
Michael Baumgarten - Lighting Design
Opera on Wheels
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