Friday, March 4, 2022 at 7:30PM
Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 7:30PM
Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 2:00PM

A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts 

Standing Room Availability
A limited number of $15 standing room tickets have been made available for all performances and can be purchased at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to each performance.

SANCTUARY ROAD is generously underwritten by Florence and James Peacock.

Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, Elliott Davis, and Advance Auto Parts Foundation.

Harriet Tubman may be the best-known conductor of the Underground Railroad, but a new piece highlights another key figure: William Still, who helped nearly 800 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom in the years before the Civil War. Widely recognized for his efforts as an abolitionist, historian and conductor for the Underground Railroad, Still is the central figure of SANCTUARY ROAD, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec.

 After the success of his opera The Shining, award-winning composer Paul Moravec has once again collaborated with librettist Mark Campbell to create the second of his ‘American historical oratorios’. SANCTUARY ROAD draws on the astonishing stories found in William Still’s book The Underground Railroad Records, which documents the network of secret routes and safe houses used by African American slaves to escape into free states and Canada.

Of his process, Moravec says “Time is the medium of music and memory is the mediator. In its sublime, mysterious way, music remembers. Composing the music for this oratorio, I was guided by my intention to memorialize indelibly the spirit and events of this extraordinary chapter in American history. As William Still sings about the slaves he aided on their road to freedom, ‘Their testimony will never be forgotten.’”

William Henry Curry conducts and Dennis Whitehead Darling directs this new production; the cast features Benjamin Taylor, LaToya Lain, Taylor Raven, Norman Shankle, and Malcolm J. Merriweather.

SANCTUARY ROAD lasts approximately 60m, and is performed without an intermission. There will be NO late seating for this show.

Sung in English with English supertitles

Composer:     Paul Moravec

Librettist:        Mark Campbell

Premiere:       2018, Carnegie Hall, New York | Oratorio version

COVID-19 Health and Safety Updates

As of Oct. 1, 2021, the resident companies of the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, including North Carolina Opera, require proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test dated within the past 72 hours for entry for those older than 12. We ask that all guests continue to wear face masks while inside the building.

By purchasing a ticket to an upcoming event with North Carolina Opera, you agree to follow all health and safety guidelines in place at the time of the event.

More info.

Event Calendar

Friday, March 4 | 7:30PM

  • Opening Night

Saturday, March 5 | 7:30PM

  • HBCU Night in collaboration with Shaw University
  • After the curtain comes down we invite you to stick around for a community discussion with special guests, including composer Paul Moravec, Maestro William Henry Curry, and Earl Ijames, African American History Curator for the North Carolina Museum of History, and hosted by Dr. Valerie Johnson, Dean of the School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities at Shaw University. 

Sunday, March 6 | 2:00PM

  • Closing matinee performance

The Artists

William Still

Wesley Harris

Ellen Craft/Charlotte Giles

Harriet Eglan/Clarissa Davis

Henry “Box” Brown/Peter Still