May 22, 2019

Mother of a Movement: This Little Light of Mine inspired by the life of Fannie Lou Hamer


"There is no distinction between art and life. Art is the way we express life and life is the way we express art. " ~Diana Solomon-Glover, librettist

Fannie Lou Hamer rose from humble beginnings in the Mississippi Delta to become one of the most important, passionate and powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movement. She became a leader in the efforts for greater economic opportunities for African-Americans.

Brandon talks with composer Chandler Carter and librettist Diana Solomon-Glover about translating the truth of Fannie Lou Hamer's life into opera.

"If we can attach ourselves to her story, hear her voice, and kind of vicariously feel what she was feeling, I think we make a connection -- or at least of the possibility of a connection." ~Chandler Carter, composer

This Little Light of Mine is slated to premiere in Fall of 2021.

Special music in this episode provided with permission by Chandler Carter.


Key Change is a production of The Santa Fe Opera in collaboration with Opera for All Voices.

Produced and edited by Andrea Klunder at The Creative Impostor Studios

Hosts: Andrea Fellows Walters and Brandon Neal

Audio Engineer: Kabby at Kabby Sound Studios in Santa Fe

Theme music by Rene Orth with Corrie Stallings, mezzo-soprano, and Joe Becktell, cello.

Cover art by David Tousley

Music curated by Brandon Neal with licensing from

Special thanks to The Relic Room for recording this session in New York.

OFAV Consortium Members:  Lyric Opera for Kansas City, Minnesota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, San Francisco Opera, Sarasota Opera and Seattle Opera.

This podcast is made possible due to the generous funding from the Melville Hankins Family Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and an OPERA America Innovation Grant, supported by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

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