Morris Robinson: Love Letter to Atlanta

Duration: 2:13
Composer: Mitch Leigh
Librettist: Joe Darion
Premiere Date: April 1966
Available: December 2020

Morris Robinson has a story to tell, and he has a musical Love Letter to share with his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

In the first of a series of twelve Love Letters to Atlanta, featuring the stellar Atlanta Opera Company Players, Robinson visits the historic Fox Theatre in Atlanta to sing and speak about a moment when he had an “Impossible Dream” to become a performer.

Each Love Letter includes a visually stunning capture of a song with great meaning to the singer in a space that has great meaning to Atlanta. Interviews with the artist complete the experience.

The first three Love Letters to Atlanta are exclusive to All-Access Pass Members for the month of December.

Morris Robinson, bass, sings “The Impossible Dream” in The Fox Theatre – available now.



Morris Robinson

Atlanta native Morris Robinson boasts a bass “so deep and assured it’s as if a vibration goes through the audience every time he opens his mouth” (Globe and Mail, Canada). Having made his Atlanta Opera debut in Aida, he returned to sing Sparafucile in Rigoletto and the male lead in Porgy and Bess, which was previously the vehicle for his acclaimed debut at La Scala. Also a familiar face at the Metropolitan Opera, he recently starred at the house as Sarastro in The Magic Flute.

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Rolando Salazar

Rolando Salazar was the assistant conductor, assistant chorus master, and the music administrator for the Atlanta Opera from 2017 through 2020. He has served as assistant conductor and pianist at The Bellingham Festival of Music, as assistant conductor at La Musica Lirica in Novafeltria, Italy, and as coach/conductor for the Harrower Opera Workshop.

About the Fox Theatre

In 1928, the Fox was originally conceived as a home for Atlanta’s Shriners organization. To create a headquarters befitting the group’s prominent social status, the Shriners looked to the ancient temples of the Far East to inspire a mosque-style structure befitting their stature. Storied architectural gems like the Alhambra in Spain and Egypt’s Temple of Kharnak heavily influenced the building’s elaborate and intensely ornate design. Bursting with soaring domes, minarets and sweeping archways, the exterior of the building gave way to stunning gold leaf details, sumptuous textiles and exquisite trompe l’oeil art (an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create optical illusions) inside.

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"The Impossible Dream"

After opening off-Broadway in 1965, Man of La Mancha transferred triumphantly to Broadway three years later, where it enjoyed a long run. The show’s most familiar musical number, “The Impossible Dream,” has been a vehicle for countless solo artists, among them Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis, and Jennifer Hudson.

The show’s protagonist, Miguel de Cervantes, is in prison, where the convicts surrounding him want to steal the contents of his trunk. He’ll yield to them if he’s defeated in a mock trial. Cervantes offers his own defense through a play of his own devising, impersonating the knight Don Quixote de la Mancha while the prisoners take on the other parts. One of those characters is Aldonza, a serving girl at an inn where Quixote stops on his adventures. The idealistic Quixote views Aldonza as his lady, calling her “Dulcinea.” He sings to her about his quest in a mesmerizing melody that begins quietly but gradually builds to a stupendous climax. The song reveals Quixote’s longing to right all wrongs, however difficult the odds against him may be.

Courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago

To dream the impossible dream,
To fight the unbeatable foe,
To bear with unbearable sorrow,
To run where the brave dare not go.
To right the unrightable wrong,
To love pure and chaste from afar,
To try when your arms are too weary,
To reach the unreachable star.
This is my quest,
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless,
No matter how far.
To fight for the right
Without question or pause,
To be willing to march
Into hell for a heavenly cause.
And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest.
And the world will be better for this,
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage.
To fight the unbeatable foe.
To reach the unreachable star.