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Co-production with Diablo Symphony Orchestra

Tales from the Briar Patch

Composer: Nkeiru Okoye

Librettist: Carman Moore


April 2, 2023 - 2:00 PM

Hofmann Theatre 

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek


This short opera is family friendly and full of fun, while paying tribute to the African tradition of storytelling for all ages. Sister Sparrow, Sister Robin, and Madame Partridge retell the antics of Br’er Rabbit and his nemesis Br’er Fox. The music blends African American musical styles of jazz, blues, and gospel with contemporary concert music sounds.


The stories in Tales from the Briar Patch are derived from African folk tales. The character “Br’er Rabbit” is a parallel to the trickster, “Anansi the Spider,” of ancient Ghanaian folklore. While many people associate him and his friends with Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus stories, the stories predate Harris. The creators Okoye and Moore updated the language, using animals to portray the story, with a trio of spirited birds narrating.


Br’er Rabbit: Marcus J. Paige 

Br’er Fox: Omari Tau

Sister Sparrow: Shawnette Sulker 

Sister Robin: Aisha Campbell

Madame Partridge: Leberta Lorál

Conductor: Matilda Hofman

Director: Omari Tau

Co-production with Diablo Symphony Orchestra 

DSO Family Concert Program

Leonard Bernstein: Candide Overture

George Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue

    featuring pianist Minna Fu

Nkeiru Okoye: Briar Patch

Performed in English 

Running time: approximately 1 hours 45 minutes. 

Learn More

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