Perle Noire: Meditations on Joséphine is a tour-de-force featuring soprano Julia Bullock, with original music and arrangements by Tyshawn Sorey. Texts by Claudia Rankine frame a portrait of the historic singer, played and sung by Bullock, in which several of Baker’s classic songs are reimagined and given new expressive depth. The New York Times calls Perle Noire “one of the most important works of art yet to emerge from the era of Black Lives Matter,” and one of the 2016’s best classical music concerts. Held on Presidents Day, the first Chicago performance of this work will celebrate Black History Month as well as the presidency of Barack Obama, just blocks away from the future location of the Obama Presidential Center and Library. Perle Noire: Meditations on Joséphine will be performed with members from International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).
This event is made possible by the generous support of The A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Family Foundation, as well as contributions from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.