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To fling my arms wide / In some place of the sun / To whirl and to dance 

Till the white day is done.

Then rest at cool evening / Beneath a tall tree / While night comes on gently, / Dark like me-

That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide / In the face of the sun, / Dance! Whirl! Whirl! / Till the quick day is done.

Rest at pale evening . . . / A tall, slim tree . . . / Night coming tenderly

Black like me.

Dream Variation by Langston Hughes, set to music by Margaret Bonds


Dream Variation: A Celebration! The event features performances of works by composers of African descent throughout history and some of opera's most exciting Black artists of today, followed by delicious pairings of upscale comfort foods and fine wines.


It's no secret that throughout history the classical music canon has featured discouragingly few composers of color. However, there have been Black composers since the time of Mozart who, despite marginalization and oppressive circumstances,  have left an important legacy of music and inspiration. 


Beginning as early as 1745 with Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and continuing through the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries with composers like Margaret Bonds, Anthony Davis, William Grant Still, and Florence Price, 'Dream Variation' will present from this body of glorious output, as LBO celebrates and uplifts Black musical culture in a dynamic evening led by Director of Engagement and Equity, Dr. Derrell Acon.


We will explore the expression of the Black experience from musicians in other centuries compared with those of today by pairing classical pieces with poetry, hip-hop, and soul selections from this century that reflect similar themes and emotional content. This will be a one-of-a-kind showcase of wonderful talent and rich history that is not to be missed!


Following the program, attendees will enjoy a live set of soul and R&B tunes by local singer/songwriter Isaiah Walker. Whether you want to hit the dance floor or just grab a plate and enjoy the music over dessert, this young star is sure to grab and keep your attention. Guests are also invited to connect and be photographed with the artists, as all close out the evening in fellowship.

The performers: 


This event is made possible with the generous support of:




Interested in becoming an UnGala Sponsor? Click below to discover all the fun perks sponsors receive!


Interested in purchasing tickets to more than one event? Click here!

All Tickets

Hosted By

Long Beach Opera
Questions? Please contact Hannah Waldman, Director of Development.


California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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