Viewpoints is a series of events programmed around each opera production designed to enrich, entertain, and educate. Most often in collaboration with other cultural organizations in Chicago, each Viewpoint is intended to stimulate conversation, enhance contextual and conceptual understanding, and further engage the curiosity of our audience.
Join us for this very special Viewpoint event and enjoy an incredible afternoon of conversation and exploration with our remarkable array of special guests, and featuring performances by our Queenie Pie cast. You will hear about the life of Madam CJ Walker, the first black millionairess on whom Duke Ellington based the character of Queenie Pie by Madam CJ Walker's great-great-granddaughter, author and journalist A'Lelia Bundles. You will get an intimate look into Duke Ellington's life and work through the stories of his granddaughter and Founding Artistic Director the Duke Ellington Center for the Arts, Mercedes Ellington. Joining both women is author of Black Theater is Black Life: An Oral History of Chicago Theater and Northwestern University Professor Harvey Young.
This all-star line-up of speakers are joined by COT's all-star line-up of singers who will perform excerpts from Ellington's Queenie Pie. To top it all off, the Newberry Library has opened it's special exhibit "Home Front: Daily Life in the Civil War North" for this Viewpoint event. The exhibit will be open to attendees one hour before and after the event.
Come enjoy amazing stories, hear incredible music, and see a wonderful exhibit!