Rhiannon Giddens Releases ‘Julie’s Aria’ Song From Debut Opera

The track also features Bill Frisell and Francesco Turrisi.

By Nate Todd May 19, 2022 12:12 pm PDT

Rhiannon Giddens shared a new song, “Julie’s Aria.” The release is the singer-songwriter’s own recording of the aria set to appear on her upcoming debut opera, Omar, premiering on Friday, May 27 in Charleston, South Carolina at the Spoleto Festival USA.

Giddens recently won a Grammy for her 2021 collaborative LP with Francesco Turrisi, They're Calling Me Home. For her next project, the singer-songwriter teamed with composer Michael Abels (Get Out, Us) to score Omar, “based on the life and autobiography of enslaved Muslim scholar Omar Ibn Said, who was forcefully brought to Charleston, SC from Africa in 1807,” as per a press release.

“My work as a whole is about excavating and shining a light on pieces of history that not only need to be seen and heard, but that can also add to the conversation about what’s going on now, “ Giddens said of her debut opera. “This is a story that hasn’t been represented in the operatic world—or in any world.” Read more from Giddens on Omar in a recent New York Times profile.

While she doesn’t perform in the opera itself, Rhiannon recorded her contribution, “Julie’s Aria,” with guitarist Bill Frisell and frequent collaborator Francesco Turrisi. Stream “Julie’s Aria” below:

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