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Opera, Ballet, and the Divine Nine mix media at The Baby Grand

The exterior of the Grand Opera House in Wilmington
The Grand Opera House
The exterior of the Grand Opera House in Wilmington

A sold out event brings opera and ballet together in Delaware this week.

‘A Divine Night in Delaware: Opera, Ballet, and the Divine Nine’ comes to Wilmington’s Baby Grand Theater Thursday night.

Opera Delaware and First State Ballet join with The Divine Nine in presenting the evening of performances.

The Divine Nine is nine historically Black Greek-letter organizations known as the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC). Collectively, these nine organizations comprise nearly four million members.

And Opera Delaware’s Kerriann Otaño says this partnership is a great way to work across disciplines and reach new audiences.

"All the best ideas come from collaboration. The energy that’s in the room when it’s OperaDelaware and First State Ballet Theatre, and the National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Rich Raw and all those collaborations with all these artists here - it really highlights what’s so special about our community - the fact that we can make something like this happen.”

Otaño says the audience will be treated to selections from Opera’ Delaware’s upcoming production of Turandot and First State Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty.

She also promises some collaborative surprises from others, including Richard Raw and Jonathan Whitney. Singers Michelle Johnson and Brian Major are also on the bill.

The event seeks to encourage area members of the Divine Nine to take ownership of classical arts spaces. The evening includes opera, ballet, rap, and spoken word.

OperaDelaware’s Kerriann Otaño says the concept is innovative.

"You’re going to see these incredible collaborations and creativity where we just put an opera singer, a hip-hop artist and a drummer in a room, and we said ‘Make something amazing.’ It’s never happened before - it’s a first for Delaware and it’s going to be a first for the world!”

‘A Divine Night in Delaware: Opera, Ballet, and the Divine Nine’ is this Thursday night at the Baby Grand Theater in Wilmington.

The 6:30pm show is sold out.

Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

Karl Lengel has worked in the lively arts as an actor, announcer, manager, director, administrator and teacher. In broadcast, he has accumulated three decades of on-air experience, most recently in New Orleans as WWNO’s anchor for NPR’s “All Things Considered” and a host for the broadcast/podcast “Louisiana Considered”.