Terence Blanchard arrives at the Met Opera after the success of "Fire"

A so-called jazz opera, “Champion” created in 2013 at the Opera Theater of St. Louis, in a production by James Robinson heading to New Y...


A so-called jazz opera, “Champion” created in 2013 at the Opera Theater of St. Louis, in a production by James Robinson heading to New York. (This company also created “Fire” in 2019, and Robinson then co-directed it with Camille A. Brown at the Met.) It’s based on the life of locked-in gay boxer Emile Griffith, who was taunted by his insults homophobic. opponent Benny Paret before a title match in 1962 which led to Paret’s death. “I killed a man and the world forgives me,” says a line from Michael Cristofer’s libretto. “I love a man and the world wants to kill me.”

“Emile Griffith never wanted to be a world champion fighter,” Cristofer, a Tony Award-winning playwright, said in a statement. “He wanted to play baseball. He wanted to make hats. And above all, he wanted to sing. Bringing her forgiveness and redemption story to the Met, blackmailing her from that big stage, would have made her very, very happy.

The work depicts Griffith at different stages of his life. At the Met, her young self will be sung by Ryan Speedo Green, a star of “Fire” and other productions this fall; while Eric Owens will describe him as an older man. The cast will also include soprano Latonia Moore, another “Fire” star, as Griffith’s mother, with the role revised to suit her voice type. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the musical director of the Met who also directed “Fire”, will direct.

“Fire” was in many ways a triumph for the Met. It was warmly received by critics and sold his last four performances. Blanchard has already been asked to write a new opera for the company, but in the meantime, Gelb said, the accelerated production of “Champion” was conceived in “the sequel to the hit ‘Fire’.”

Between tours of St. Louis and New York, Blanchard revised “Fire” and continued to polish it during rehearsals as he learned the peculiarities of the sound of the huge Met auditorium. He plans to do the same for “Champion,” which was his first opera – “a lot of filming in the dark,” he said, adding that he had learned a lot more about writing for voice since. then and wanted to review the score with a post-“Fire” spirit. Cristofer’s libretto and Robinson’s productions will also undergo changes.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Terence Blanchard arrives at the Met Opera after the success of "Fire"
Terence Blanchard arrives at the Met Opera after the success of "Fire"
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