Promised Land: an Adirondack Folk Opera

Promised Land: An Adirondack Folk Opera

In the 1850s, abolitionist Gerrit Smith (with John Brown, Frederick Douglass and others) gave away over 120,000 acres of Adirondack farmland to 3,000 free blacks in an attempt to fulfill New York State’s onerous property requirement necessary for blacks to vote. This opera brings this complex struggle to life with deeply emotional melodies, driving 19th century dance rhythms and the dramatic struggle for racial equality and inclusive democracy.

We seek support for writing the libretto (the script) and completing the musical score. This will take a team of writers, musicians and scholars. Once this is done, we  can proceed to the final phase of a fully-staged production!


Glenn McClure

Glenn McClure

“So many hearts beat out a rhythm so true…”

Helen Demong

“We find ourselves, through the mercy and the goodness, under our own vine and fig tree”
–Willis Augustus Hodges

“We ask for a country to call our home, that’s all we really need” –Glenn McClure

George Cordes, Kim Weems, and Jorell Williams

"Such a man as it takes ages to make..." –Henry David Thoreau

Northern Lights Choir


Johnna McDougall

“Those are the same stars that shine down above your brothers and sisters…” –Sojourner Truth

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”

“Behold the procession of the pines…” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Jorell Williams and the Northern Lights Choir

Harriet Tubman

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

Harriet Tubman
Northern Lights Choir

“So many voices flow through the pen in my hand…” –Glenn McClure

Gerritt Smith

Gerrit Smith

“Vote they will, cost what it will cost.”