Americolor Opera Alliance is one of several smaller companies that help make Atlanta one of the country’s richest opera cities. Its founding director is Dr. Sharon J. Willis, certainly one of the most versatile and distinguished figures in modern American music. In addition to her organizational talents, Dr. Willis is a distinguished singer, college professor, lecturer, and poet. She has also composed numerous works, including several operas for which she does both music and libretti. She established Americolor to provide performing opportunities for African-American singers and other local artists. The company appears at several venues in the greater Atlanta area.
The works – by Willis and other composers – provide fascinating glimpses of the American experience, particularly the struggles faced by African-Americans. Recent productions include The Candlers of Callan (about three generations of the family of Coca-Cola founder Asa Griggs Candler), The Herndons (Alonzo Franklin Herndon, who rose from his birth as a slave to becoming the South’s first African-American millionaire), and 3 Kings and a Prince (the Nativity story). The company reaches out to younger audiences by offering mini-performances at inner-city schools.
Americolor Opera Alliance Information
- Public Transportation: Varies by venue
- Handicapped Accessibility: Depends on venue, but generally good
- Performances/Programs: Approximately 3–4 operas per season with multiple performances of each
- Ticket Prices: General Admission $20; Seniors (65+) $15; Children (under 10) $10
- Membership: Individual Levels: Lyric Circle ($25–$99); Mezzo Circle ($100–$499); Helden Circle ($500–$999); Basso Circle ($1,000–$4,999). Corporate Levels: Silver ($1,000–$4,999); Gold ($5,000–$9,999); Platinum ($10,000+). Individual member benefits include VIP seating at all performances; priority ticketing by mail; invitations to a champagne reception with the composer; and name recognition in the Souvenir Program Booklet.