When I Rise, an Alpheus Media Production. Directed by Mat Hames; Executive Producer, Don Carleton. Library Call Number: E185.93.T4W44 2011.This riveting documentary chronicles the extraordinary life of Barbara Smith Conrad, a world renowned operatic mezzo-soprano. In 1957, at the University of Texas-Austin, she was chosen to play the female lead in the opera Dido and Aeneas, opposite a white male singer. That decision caused turmoil throughout the state of Texas and culminated in the state Legislature passing a bill which barred her from performing. The young girl from East Texas was subjected to hatred and bigotry out of all proportion, yet continued on at the University, despite the humiliation heaped on her, and went on to become a premier performer in international opera. Revisiting that moment in the present day, Smith Conrad’s grace, poise and capacity for forgiveness reveal more than words can tell about the venality and petty hatreds of that sad era in American history. The film, selected for screening at numerous film festivals, won several awards for its inspirational story.
This video is shelved on the fith floor of the library.