WCU Grad Turns Opera Into Form of Activism as Opera Philadelphia’s First Female Chorus Master 

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Opera Philadelphia chorus led by Elizabeth Braden
Image via Dominic Mercier, Opera Philadelphia.
Opera Philadelphia chorus led by Elizabeth Braden in Breaking Waves.

Elizabeth Braden, a West Chester University graduate and Opera Philadelphia’s first female chorus master, believes that in addition to being beautiful, music can be healing and unifying, writes Melissa Jacobs for Main Line Tonight

Braden has been sharing her views by turning opera into a form of social activism. She has already turned poetry created by Black Americans into operas as well as organized LGBTQ-themed operas. 

“As performers, we often cross genres and cultures,” she said. “We have something to say and we want to share it.” 

This year, she will get even more opportunities to share her vision as this fall marks the first full season of in-performances for Opera Philadelphia since the start of the pandemic. 

Additionally, Braden and six Opera Philadelphia members will make a special appearance at City Winery in Philadelphia at the Rajant World Music Benefit for UNICEF. Among other things, the group will perform Langston Hughes’ “Dreams,” a poem set to music. 

Braden won her job at Opera Philadelphia in 2004 after spending almost two decades as Wallingford Presbyterian Church musical director. 

Read more about Elizabeth Braden in Main Line Tonight

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