Skip to main content
decorative shadow image decorative shadow image
decorative shadow image decorative shadow image

Opera: Touch of Elegance

Saturday, Nov 16

7:00 PM–9:00 PM


A new ICA commissioned opera by Richard Kennedy titled Touch of Elegance about a small-town black hair salon and the neighboring 90s streetwear store “Shaw’s Apparel.” Kennedy’s mother was the receptionist at the salon and father the part-owner of the store transforming a biographical fiction into a live 50-minute opera.


Distribution of free tickets will begin at 6:00 pm in person at the ICA. Tickets are first come first served; no will call. Limit 2 tickets per person; party must be complete to be seated. Seating begins at 6:30 pm, and the performance starts at 7:00 pm.

About Richard Kennedy

Richard Kennedy (b. 1985, Long Beach, California) is an artist, experiential composer, and librettist originally from Middletown Ohio and currently living in Brooklyn, New York. Kennedy’s multi-disciplinary practice includes a focus on the disruption of traditions of Western Theatre, where the primary mode of engagement is through observation, in order to generate new, participatory modes of viewership. Kennedy works in painting, sculpture, installation, video, and performance in order to examine notions of the Queer African American experience. They received their MFA from the Milton Avery Institute at Bard College. Kennedy is a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow and recently completed residencies at Open Forum Berlin and Mana Contemporary. Their debut solo gallery exhibition (G)HOSTING opens in September 2019 at Peres Projects in Berlin, and their Collapsed Operetta “A Touch of Elegance” will premiere at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Virginia Commonwealth University in November 2019. Kennedy has recently presented performance works at MoMA, The Shed, The Kitchen, The Studio Museum Harlem, BOFFO Performance Festival and Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles.