May 1-July 31, 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-defines the immersive and site-specific experience in Spring 2021 with The Road We Came, a new opera- and song-based project that explores 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 will use 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 will open windows to the past and re-frame the present. The Road We Came is 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 will be the featured soloist of the tours.

Each self-guided tour will be approximately a 90-to-120-minute immersive musical experience that patrons can access via a walking tour app and undertake at their own pace. The app will allow audiences to experience the tours in person and virtually. More info to come.

While we believe that the arc of all three tours in the suggested order tells a riveting and impactful story, each tour is designed to be enjoyed singularly or in any order.





Please note, once you purchase your tour or tour bundle, links to the mobile app and access code will be emailed to you within 1-2 business days. The app will be available from May 1-July 31, 2021.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, we are able to offer newly-reduced tour pricing:
Individual Tour – $25/each
Bundle of all 3 tours – $65

To ensure the safety of our artists, On Site Opera has created strict safety protocols that exceed 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


What happens after I place my order?
You will receive a link to access the walking tour(s) you purchased. You’ll need to download the PocketSights app to access the tours. Once you receive your link, you may begin your tour  whenever you like and continue enjoying them until July 31, 2021.

Do I need special software, apps, or devices?
Yes. Since these tours are self-guided, you will need to download a special app on your mobile device in order to open the tour link you receive with your purchase. Please note that this will utilize a small amount of your mobile device’s data, and may accrue related charges from your mobile carrier. Please contact your mobile carrier for any questions regarding you data plan and usage charges. App specifics and download information coming soon.

Do I need to live in New York to enjoy the tours?
No. The walking tour app allows users to enjoy the tours fully virtually if you are outside of New York or not able to go on the walks.

So what happens after I receive my tour link and I download the app?
At this point you have everything you need to begin experiencing The Road We Came. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and explore the rich history of NYC.

How do I get to the start location of each tour? Parking?
Each of the three tours begins and ends in a different location. We suggest looking at the tour route and deciding if it’s best for you to park near where the tour starts or where it ends or possibly somewhere in-between. If you’re taking public transportation, please check out the individual tour webpage for subway and bus stops near the start of each tour.

How do I listen to the music and historical narration?
The filmed musical performances as well as the historical narration are integrated into the walking tour app. We highly recommend bringing a pair of headphones with you on the tours in order to fully enjoy the audio/video portions.

How long is each tour?
Each tour lasts 90-120 minutes and you visit 5-6 locations.

Will I be able to go inside the buildings on the tours?
Due to COVID-19 safety protocols in place at many of the tour locations, audiences will not be able to enter any of the spaces. The tours are designed to be enjoyed outside of each location.

Are there restrooms available on the tour routes?
We are currently compiling a list of rest rooms and other services available along each tour route.

Can/should all three tours be completed in one day?
So that you can fully immerse yourself in each neighborhood before and after each tour, we recommend that you do not complete all three tours in one day.

Do I have to do all of the tours? Should they be done in the order On Site suggests?
While we believe that the arc of all three tours in the suggested order tells a riveting and impactful story, each tour is designed to be enjoyed singularly and in any order.

What if I want to give this experience to someone else as a gift?
There is an option in the ticket purchasing process that allows the tour link to be emailed to someone else. Be please sure to double check the gift information in your order.

Do you have additional questions?
Email us at



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!

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