Tickets Now Available

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 Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and continuing through the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries with composers like Florence Price, George Bridgetower, William Grant Still, and Margaret Bonds, Dream Variation will feature the music of these composers and more in a program curated and sung by Dr. Derrell Acon, Dr. Darryl Taylor and other African American artists. 

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, rap and hip-hop selections from this century which reflect similar themes and emotional content. 

Following the program, the chairs will be cleared, drinks and food will be served, and a DJ will play a curated playlist that will echo the sentiments expressed in the recital. Dancing will be encouraged as well as the opportunity to connect and be photographed with the artists. One of the wings of the California African American Museum will be open to browse the current exhibition. Your $150 ticket will include the entire experience. 

 Interested in purchasing an ad or tribute to feature in our UnGala programs? Be sure to check out our press packages! Please email artwork and messages to by Friday, October 4th.

The performers: 

Dr. Derrell Acon is a successful opera performer, a scholar, and LBO's Director of Engagement and Equity. Darryl Taylor is a sought-after countertenor, a professor at UCI, and the founder and director of the African American Art Song Alliance. Other performers will be announced soon.

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

Contact Us

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


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

Share Our Event

Help us spread the word!