Performers honor George Floyd with opera tribute

The tribute to George Floyd will premiere on Saturday. (FOX 9)

Some of the finest opera voices have teamed up for a special Twin Cities performance this weekend. The group introduced a brand new classical music anthem inspired by the death of George Floyd.

"It is a direct response to the murder of black citizens around the country," said Abe Hunter with the Lied Society.

Hunter is the founder of The Lied Society, a Twin Cities nonprofit performing arts group focused on finding diverse voices.

After the death of George Floyd, Hunter, a Native-American pianist, had an idea to amplify the fight for social justice through classical music and art song. He reached out to African-American and recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Anthony Davis to commission this anthem titled, "We Call the Roll."

"I think if you’re human, it will move you regardless of your background," said Hunter.

"Also to bring awareness to the fact that music is a unifying art form," said opera singer Marsha Thompson. "That music is what brings us together."

Thompson is a soprano originally from Louisiana. The rest of the artists on stage have also traveled to Minnesota to be a part of this unique pandemic-time project.

On Friday, just days before they debut the original work as part of a larger virtual concert, they visited the George Floyd memorial at 38th and Chicago - an experience that was both emotional and inspiring.

"This has been going on in our country for over 100 years, this kind of police terrorism," said Thompson. "That’s what it is and it doesn’t have to be that way."

This concert and the world premiere, Floyd inspired anthem will be held here at the Ordway Center, Sunday at 4 p.m. It will be live-streamed online. You can click here to view it when it airs.