@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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Campus Currents: UCSD Stories
Shelf Life: Books
Cliff Notes: Student life and sports
Class Notes: Alumni profiles
Campaign Update: Imagine the Future
Looking Back: Thoughts on UCSD
Credits: Staff and Contributors

Dr. Watson, I Presume
The Intimidata
Mao's China
Killer Tomatoes
On The Job: Critics

Making Waves
Bullet-Proof Teeth
Optical Origami
800-Eye Superfly
Not So Happy Feet
Wakonda's Dreamcatcher
Methane Monsters

Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Wakonda’s Dreamcatcher


In Anthony Davis’s new opera Wakonda’s Dream, a modern-day, young American Indian named Jason, “sees things, feels things, knows things.” What he sees is the spirit of Standing Bear, the long-dead chief of the Ponca tribe, from the Niobrara region of Nebraska. Standing Bear, along with 13 fellow tribal members, was detained without cause for returning to Nebraska following the government removal of the tribe to “Indian Territory” (Oklahoma) in 1877. The subsequent trial and the release of the Indians is the backdrop of this opera that premiered March 7, 2007 at Opera Omaha.

Davis, a professor in the UC San Diego department of music, is acclaimed for his stylistic versatility in such operas as X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X, Tanya, and Amistad.

“Generally, what I’m doing is a synthesis,” says Davis. “I have created something new from many diverse sources. My background draws on the African American tradition, jazz particularly. I developed my own voice as an opera composer that hopefully is not imitative or derivative.”

Contributors to Making Waves: Mario Aguilera, '89, Rex Graham, Raymond Hardie, Debra Kain, Daniel B. Kane, Kim McDonald


UCSD Department of Music

Anthony Davis's Faculty Profile