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By Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels



November 5-21


Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels


Rhiannon Giddens


Starting at $26

Run Time

2 hours, 45 minutes including one intermission



Remember His Name.

Writing is the preservation of identity in the new opera Omar from Grammy award-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens and composer Michael Abels. A true story of an indomitable faith enshrined in a two-hundred-year-old autobiography in an opera acclaimed by The New York Times as a “sweeping achievement.”

In the early 1800s, Islamic scholar Omar Ibn Said is forcibly taken from his village in West Africa and sold into slavery in Charleston, South Carolina. Attempting to flee, he is imprisoned in Fayetteville and taken to the plantation of another slaveholder, eager to convert him to Christianity. There Omar records his story in Arabic, transforming his world into an expansive canvas of text and faith, profoundly realized in Kaneza Schaal’s transcendent production.

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The true story of a 19th century Islamic scholar from West Africa, enslaved in South Carolina, but finding identity and faith through the written word.

Read Complete Synopsis

Creative Team

Rhiannon Giddens

Composer and Librettist

Rhiannon Giddens

Michael Abels


Michael Abels


Kaneza Schaal *

Production Designer

Christopher Myers *

Set Designer

Amy Rubin *

Costume Designer

April M. Hickman *

Costume Designer

Micheline Russell-Brown *

Lighting Designer

Pablo Santiago *

Projection Designer

Joshua Higgason *

* San Francisco Opera Debut

November 5, 7, 11, 15, 17, 21, 2023

Co-commission and co-production by Spoleto Festival USA, Carolina Performing Arts at UNC Chapel Hill, LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago

Made Possible By

This production is made possible, in part, by Marcia Barinaga & Corey Goodman; Bob Ellis; Louise Gund; and Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem