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The Ritual of Breath is the Rite to Resist Showcased at Lincoln Center

Dartmouth-commissioned opera explores the intersection of arts and civic engagement

Ritual of Breath performance at the Hop

Jun 4, 2024

2 minute read

Arts and Culture

The Ritual of Breath Is the Rite to Resist, commissioned and produced by the Hopkins Center for the Arts in 2022, will be a featured production in the Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City series in New York City. 

The opera will be staged for free on July 19 in a 2,000-person outdoor amphitheater in Damrosch Park, adjacent to Lincoln Center Plaza. 

The Ritual of Breath performance in New York coincides with the 10-year commemoration of Eric Garner’s death, who was murdered by police in 2014. Born from the vibrant collaboration between composer Jonathan Berger, George Frederick Jewett Professor of Studio Art Enrico Riley ’95, and creative writing professor and poet/librettist Vievee Francis, the work responds to the murder and the ongoing theft of Black life. Music, text, visuals, and movement interweave in a story centered on Garner’s daughter, Erica. The opera will be uplifted by a 75-person choir of singers, directed by Dartmouth’s Gospel Choir Director Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson.



Going beyond the opera, The Ritual of Breath includes a series of community activations with civic partners across the five boroughs of New York City. Spanning five weeks, many of these events are anchored in Staten Island, where Eric Garner lived and died. Together, the opera and community events gather us together as co-conspirators—to call out the root causes of systemic injustice, to celebrate the sanctity of Black lives, and to keep breathing any way we can. Additional information about this series—encompassing music, dance, and wellness activities—is available on The Ritual of Breath website.

Hopkins Center Program Impact Fund

The Ritual of Breath is an example of the groundbreaking work conceived at the Hop, made possible through the generosity of arts supporters. Gifts to the Hopkins Center programming fund fosters experimentation, collaboration, and the kinds of creative exploration that are at the heart of the Dartmouth experience. 

Your gift to the Hopkins Center will support programming opportunities that can transform lives and transcend disciplines.