Miss America 2019 Nia Imani Franklin To Make Piedmont Opera Debut in

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., January 15, 2020 – Piedmont Opera and Arbor Acres announced today that Winston-Salem native Nia Imani Franklin will join the cast of the production of  Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I, that will be produced at the Stevens Center of the UNCSA in Winston-Salem, NC, March 20 (8:00 PM), 22 (2:00 PM) & 24 (7:30 PM), 2020. James Allbritten, General Manager and Artistic Director of Piedmont Opera said, “Nia will sing the role of Tuptim, whose character plays a pivotal role as a young, star-crossed lover who is caught between obligation to one man, and desire for another.”  “We Kiss in a Shadow” and “I Have Dreamed” are among the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs she will perform.

Nia Franklin was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and lived in the state through graduate school. She earned an undergraduate degree in composition from East Carolina University, and a master’s in fine arts from The University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Shortly after, Nia was awarded a Kenan Fellowship at New York’s Lincoln Center Education and made the move to New York City. She currently resides in Harlem.

Nia was crowned Miss Five Boroughs at the age of 24, and then went on to win Miss New York 2018. And was awarded the job of Miss America 2019 on September 9, 2018.

Miss Franklin has been a teacher and music mentor, and has written more 100 songs, including one she began performing at age five. (The lyrics begin: “Love, love, love, love, love is the only thing that matters to me…”).  For the Miss America 2019 competition, Franklin sang “Quando m’en Vo’” from Puccini’s La Boheme and wowed audiences and judges alike.

A limited number of interviews with Nia will be available. Please call the Marketing Director (Mariedith Appanaitis) for more information at 336.725.7101.

One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I boasts a score which features such beloved classics as Getting To Know You, Hello Young Lovers, Shall We Dance, I Have Dreamed, and Something Wonderful. Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher, whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Tickets to Piedmont Opera’s performances are available at 336.725.7101 or at PiedmontOpera.org. Group pricing is available.

Interesting Facts:

Nia told Opera News about the wonderful productions she witnessed at the Stevens Center of the UNCSA performed by Piedmont Opera! (Attached)

Nia has written an opera and another is in the works!  On January 10, 2020, Nia released her first mainstream single. “EarthSun” is available on all digital and streaming platforms now.

Nia will also be a social media influencer for Piedmont Opera. What is that? Request an interview for more details!