It, regrettably, comes as a surprise to many, including highly informed and well-trained musicians that among the most important of the compositions of William Grant Still are his several operas. (NOTE: The Eileen Southern Biographical Dictionary of African American and African Musicians of 1982 lists six operas, but in fact there are nine). In addition to Highway One on this recording, there are also the operas: Blue Street, Troubled Island, A Bayou Legend, A Southern Interlude, Costaso, Mota, The Pillar, and Minette Fontaine. Judith Anne Still writes: “I will say this, my father had three loves in his life, in this order of importance: the Creator, his family, and the world of opera.
He wanted most of all to be known as a composer of operas of great merit. He worked towards this goal with all his heart and mind, from the age of 14 until he became ill in the early 1970′s, for 75 years. Most opera companies in the 20th century would not do the operas of William Grant Still because of his color. The fact that Still operas were not done, while Porgy was done, broke the composer’s heart. There is much to be accomplished by way of justification. I am grateful to my parent’s for dedicating this opera to me and my family, and to Louise Toppin, Philip Brunelle and VIDEMUS for putting their enormous talents and energies into this project. Bravo to the immortals who have opened the road to realizing the long-ago dream of a kind, noble and magnificently gifted man.”