La Lentille de la Libération : une Odyssée Noire et Queer

Ending his Harriet Hale Woolley year, Khalid McGhee presents the concert La Lentille de la Libération: Une Odyssée Noire et Queer alongside Edwin Jhamal Davis.

La Lentille de la Libération: Une Odyssée Noire et Queer presents a musical exploration of the intricate intersectionality of Black-queer identity. The program revolves around Marques Garrett’s “A Love Cycle,” comprising four songs which represent the stages of love: happiness, heartbreak, hope, and healing. These stages structure the concert, with subsets of songs in each category varying in genres but corresponding to the respective stage.


This recital weaves together multiple genres to reflect the multifaceted nature of identity and the universal quest for love, acceptance, and self-expression. The concert includes spirituals and jazz standards, grounding the program in the rich traditions of Black American music. The inclusion of Italian, German, and French art song highlights universal themes of love, loss, and longing, binding the classical recital tradition to the overarching theme.


Through this curated program, La Lentille de la Libération: Une Odyssée Noire et Queer seeks to honor the complexity, beauty, and strength of Black- queer identity. It underscores the universal nature of love, struggle, and the search for belonging, inviting the audience to reflect on the shared landscape of human experience that connects us all.

Practical Information

Date Tuesday, July 2 | Time 7:30pm | Facebook Event

Free Reservation


Marcus L.A. Garrett  “A Love Cycle”
1. A Love Song – Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) from Lyrics of Love and Laughter
2. O del mio amato ben – Alberto Donaudy (1880-1941)
3. Herz, mein Herz, sei nicht beklommen – Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)
4. Adieu, jusque je vous revoye – Anonymous

A Love Song : H A P P I N E S S
Come Sunday
My Love

Tommaso Giordani (1730-1806)
O del mio amato ben : H E A R T B R E A K
Caro mio ben                                                         

Antonio Caldara (1670-1736)
Come raggio di sol                 

Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Herz, mein Herz, sei nicht beklommen : H O P E
Der Doppelgaenger (1828)
Ich grolle nicht (1840)                                                       
Du bist die Ruh’ (1823)
In der Ferne (1826)  

Adieu, jusque je vous revoye : H E A L I N G

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
Après un rêve (1878)
Le Secret (1882) 

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Romance (1883)

David Ragland
Ragland Spirituals

Artist in Residence

American pianist and collaborator, Khalid McGhee, is dedicated to exploring the convergence of musical genres. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, he received comprehensive training in classical piano and voice, while also covering genres like gospel, jazz, soul and musical theater. A Blue-Chip Full-tuition Scholar at the Northern Arizona University – Kitt School of Music, he received a Bachelor of Music with Distinction in Piano Performance. He continued his studies at the Institut für Musik der Hochschule Osnabrück in Lower-Saxony, Germany, winning prestigious awards such as the Deutschland Stipendium (twice) and a Fulbright grant. Parallel to his musical pursuits, Khalid’s deep-rooted passion for diverse cultures, human behavior, and cross-cultural communication is evident in his studies in pedagogy and linguistics, as well as his impactful work as an educator and collaborator. During his recent Fulbright experience, he actively explored the use of music as a tool to enhance language learning and promote social integration among school students with migrational backgrounds. He currently resides in Paris as an artist-in-residence and Harriet Hale Woolley Scholar at the Fondation des États-Unis, pursuing a Higher Diploma at the École Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot.

Guest Artist

Praised by opera critic Voce di Meche for his “juicy, booming and room-filling bass” accompanied by “mesmerizing, fully immersed acting,” basso profondo Edwin Jhamal Davis is quickly establishing himself as an artist on the rise to watch.

This season, Mr. Davis will make his house débuts in X: The Life & Times of Malcolm X with The Metropolitan Opera as Garvey Preacher and Seattle Opera as Bass 2, a performance he reprised last season with Opera Omaha. Last season he also joined Opera Grand Rapids as the King in Aida, performed as the bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah for Danbury Symphony, and was a Glynn Studio Artist with The Atlanta Opera, where he appeared in such roles as Masetto in Don Giovanni. He was previously a member of San Francisco Opera’s prestigious Merola Opera Program where he performed Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, as well as excerpts from Macbeth as Banquo. Previous engagements include Bass 2 in X: The Life & Times of Malcolm X for Detroit Opera, Sparafucile in Rigoletto for the Florentine Opera, the bass soloist in What Lies Beneath for On Site Opera, and Uncle Wesley in Night Trip for Portland Opera.

He toured with the American Spiritual Ensemble, sang the world premiere of Brother Nat: Rise, Revolt, Redemption in the role of Will at the Boston Paramount Theatre, and was a featured soloist in the symphonic premiere of Without Regard to Sex, Race or Color, a musical work inspired by the photographic artistry of Andrew Feiler and composed by Doug Hooker for the National Civil Rights Museum. Edwin also joined Portland Opera as a Resident Artist for the 2020-2021 season.

Edwin made his professional début with Opera Mississippi as Simone in Gianni Schicchi. He is an alumnus of Jackson State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology Pre-Medicine with dual minors in Chemistry and Music. He received his master’s degree from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music where he studied with acclaimed baritone Mark Oswald and performed such roles as Wurm in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, Osmin in Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Masetto in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and covered Reverend Olin Blitch in Susannah.

He has appeared as guest soloist at various national venues such as Pompano Beach Orchestra’s Messiah, Bronx Concert Singers’ winter and spring programs, and St. Mark’s presentation of Messiah.

Mr. Davis was the National First Place Winner of the Marian Anderson Vocal Arts Scholarship hosted by the National Association of Negro Musicians in its centennial celebration. He was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Eastern Region, and he became one of the first African Americans to claim one of the top two prizes in Opera Columbus’s Cooper-Bing Vocal Competition. Edwin is a proud native of Utica, MS.

We use cookies to give you the best experience.