ABOVE PHOTO: The members from Africa Enchants Me; first row, left to right; Hazelita Fauntroy-soprano, Cynthia Cozette Lee-composer, Evette Rose-soprano, Hazel Lee-poet; second row left to right- Albert El-USCT Reenactor, Richard Smith-Tenor, M. Barry Currington-Tenor, Joe Becton-Reenactor. (Photo by Perry Genovesi)
Africa Enchants Me concert, a Juneteenth Day celebration, sponsored by the Free Library of Philadelphia, Central Branch Music Department was held on June 6, 2016 in the Montgomery Auditorium at the Central Branch. The audience heard innovative musical compositions by the award winning contemporary classical music composer, Cynthia Cozette Lee. The program included opera excerpts from Cozette’s operas, Adea, and the Civil War opera, Partway To Freedom.
The audience was delighted to hear the stirring music and also the intriguing poems written by Dr. Hazel Ann Lee and Dr. Cynthia Cozette Lee. The beautiful melodic voices of dramatic soprano, Hazelita Fauntroy and lyric spinto soprano voice of Evette Rose and the illustrious tenor voices of Richard Smith and M. Barry Currington filled the auditorium with a highly emotional performance. The concert ended with a Question & Answer discussion session involving the United States Colored Troops Civil War reenactors, Mr. Albert El and Mr. Joe Becton. President Ashby of the Philadelphia African American Genealogy Group and other distinguished members of the audience participated in this informative session.
Cozette is completing her Civil War opera, Partway To Freedom, in collaboration with her sister, Dr. Hazel Ann Lee, the co-librettist. The two multi-talented sisters hope to have a world premiere of the fully staged version of Partway To Freedom in 2017. This opera is inspired by the life of their great-grandfather, Sergeant Warren Garner, who served in the United States Colored Troops 4th regiment during the American Civil War 1863-1865. Cynthia Cozette Lee can be followed on facebook at the URL https://www.facebook.com/cynthia-Cozette-Lee-1009734202455558/