May-July 2021

The Road We Came

Lower Manhattan, Midtown, Harlem

The Road We Came

Three musical walking tours exploring African Americans and Black music history in New York City

Musical performances by acclaimed baritone Kenneth Overton and pianist Kevin J. Miller
Historical narrative written and performed by award-winning author Eric K. Washington
Featuring world premiere arrangements by James Davis Jr. and Damien Geter

On Site Opera once again re-defined the immersive and site-specific experience in Spring 2021 with The Road We Came, a new opera- and song-based project that explored the composers, musicians and places that define the rich Black history of New York City through a series of self-guided, musical walking tours. Celebrating a collection of never-recorded and seemingly lost classical compositions by Black composers, The Road We Came used filmed musical performances and spoken narration to connect audiences to the musical timeline of Harlem, Midtown/Hell’s Kitchen and lower Manhattan. From the home and texts of the prolific poet Langston Hughes, to Lincoln Center, to the African Burial Ground National Monument, and beyond, The Road We Came opened windows to the past and re-framed the present. The Road We Came was a multi-media collaboration between On Site Opera, Ryan & Tonya McKinny’s Keep the Music Going Productions, award-winning biographer and Harlem historian Eric K. Washington, and critically acclaimed baritone, Kenneth Overton, who was the featured soloist of the tours.




To ensure the safety of our artists, On Site Opera created strict safety protocols that exceeded local, state, and federal recommendations for media production. To learn more about On Site Opera’s COVID-19 policies, click here.

Photo of Kenneth Overton by Suzanne Vinnick



This production is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


Your contribution today helps On Site Opera turn all of New York City into an opera house!

  • An ambitious project designed for abnormal times, the company has instead used music and technology to illuminate the rich history that is buried in familiar places

    The Wall Street Journal
  • I am excited people will take away information and a wonder about the things that were right in front of them all the time. – Eric K. Washington

    ABC 7 Here and Now
  • The climax—epic in impact—comes with a clip of the Silent Protest Parade of 1917, flowing down Fifth Avenue past the future site of Trump Tower. One hundred years and counting, the march goes on, silent no more.

    Air Mail
  • The music added an artistic dimension to the lives lived on these streets…

    Classical Voice North America

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