Buffalo Opera Unlimited presents the premiere of this full-length jazz opera by Buffalo native Darryl Glenn Nettles. Inspired by stories collected by Harlem Renaissance writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, the Stag Lee story is based on a true nineteenth century story of friends and rivals Stag Lee and Billy Lyons who found themselves in a fatal barroom scuffle. In the opera, "Stag" Lee Shelton is a political boss, pimp, and dealer in various nefarious enterprises.
From a musical standpoint, The Fall of Stag Lee consists of musical influences that have played an important role in composer Darryl Glenn Nettles' evolution as a composer. Numbered among them are Roger Quilter, Aaron Copland, J.S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, and Scott Joplin, as well as Spirituals, Jazz, Musical Theater, and American Opera genres.
A One Act version of the Stag Lee saga was premiered in 2014 with Buffalo Opera Unlimited, Inc. It was well received by the public and critics in the press. The success of that venture, coupled with the need to present a fuller picture of this character so indelible in the American Pop Culture, prompted the newly completed three act version of The Fall of Stag Lee. The three act version developed into a piece that has little in common with the original: a larger picture of Stag, many additional characters, a broader sense of the victim William Lyons, and a more complete picture of the social arena in St. Louis in the 1920s.
Sung in English with supertitles.