Golden motors

An evening-length opera/musical theater piece
with libretto by Wendy S. Walters


Golden Motors is an evening length music theatre piece set in 1980’s Detroit. At the heart of the drama, a tight-knit African-American family clings to its lifelong dreams, even as the city’s auto industry collapses. Long-time collaborators Wendy S. Walters (book and lyrics) and Derek Bermel (music) team up to relate a compelling original story in which the Lovings, a working-class family, slowly grasps that its own fate intertwines with the declining economy. Golden Motors traces one family’s challenges to reclaim what remains of their future; it is a uniquely American tale – of love and despair, violence and reconciliation, inaction and heroism – in an era of swiftly changing rules and expectations.

Bermel with librettist, Wendy S. Walters

Bermel with librettist, Wendy S. Walters

Golden Motors has received readings at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ and Reed College in Portland, OR. The Work received support from Opera America and the Cary Trust for workshops at the Flea Theatre and a concert performance of songs at Symphony Space NYC as part of New York City Opera’s VOX series.

Directed by Johanna McKeon, the cast for these readings included Chuck Cooper, Aisha and Darius DeHaas, Dan’yelle Williamson, Okieriete Onaodowan, and Lawrence Clayton.

Golden Motors was selected for a spring 2019 BRIClab residency. You can read more about the residency and performance here.