Joshua Glover Opera
Joshua Glover was a slave in St Louis who escaped and fled to Racine, Wisconsin around 1850. After 2 years in Racine he was betrayed and recaptured by his former slavemaster and placed in Milwaukee county jail to await a hearing. Before a judge could hear the case, abolitionists organized by Sherman Booth broke Glover out of jail and paraded around Milwaukee before putting Glover on the Underground Railroad. He arrived in Collingwood Ontario and made his way to West Toronto where he rented a cabin and land from Thomas Montgomery. Montgomery's Inn still stands today and is a Museum. Sherman Booth was hounded by the US Federal government, and lost everything. He finally received a Presidential pardon and went on to found the Republican party with Abraham Lincoln.
Composer Colin Mendez Morris and Arsmusica initially produced four opera scenes based on the life of Joshua Glover. It was performed at Montgomery’s Inn Museum in October and November 2018 and at Toronto City Hall and Scarborough Civic Centre in 2019.
Arsmusica has been awarded a second round of funding by the Toronto Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts to complete a full, 4 act, 3 hour opera. Wisconsin Poet Laureate Dasha Kelly Hamilton joins the project as librettist. The opera will be completed in early 2022.
Here are video selections from the original four scenes.