Monday, January 23

Brown Bag: Screening Leaves of Greens

Center for the Study of Southern Culture Brown Bag Lunch and Lecture Series presents:

Leaves of Greens: A Collard Opera

A Screening and Conversation with Price Walden, Natalie Chanin, and Amanda Johnston
Wednesday, January 25, 12:00p.m.
Barnard Observatory, University of Mississippi

Last October, at the SFA's annual Southern Foodways Symposium, we witnessed the first (and only) performance of Leaves of Greens: A Collard Opera.

A short history of this opera:
Early in the year, we had this crazy--nay, brilliant--idea that an opera could be written using a collection of poems entitled Leaves of Greens: the Collard Poems, published in 1984 by the annual Ayden Collard Green Festival in North Carolina. So we asked University of Mississippi Assistant Professor Amanda Johnston what she thought. She not only agreed, but also suggested the perfect composer: a 19-year-old undergraduate student (and composing phenom) at the University of Mississippi, Price Walden. And he agreed to do write it. Professor Johnston produced a cast of undergraduate UM students to sing. Finally, we asked renowned clothing designer, Natalie Chanin, if she would design costumes for an opera about collard greens, which she did in a most breath-taking and extraordinary way.

All of that came together on a Sunday morning in Oxford, Mississippi, to the delight and awe of every seat in the house. Truly, it cannot be adequately described by words. Good thing we taped it.

On Wednesday, January 25 at noon, all of these parties will be on hand to talk about Leaves of Greens and to host a viewing of the performance. We hope you'll join us.