March 25, 2021
The drip of broken pipes echoes in the empty hall. Plaster peels from the wall. And from down a marble staircase, yellowed from disuse, a man appears, dressed all in black.
He walks into the long shadows of Oakland’s 16th Street Station, a decaying Beaux-Arts thoroughfare, when his progress is stopped. In front of him sits what appears to be an empty chair. But for the man, baritone Joshua Hopkins, it symbolizes so much more. "Who was my sister?" Hopkins starts to sing in short, fractured lines: "Is now an empty chair. Is no longer there. She is now emptiness. She is now air."