Opera Parallèle & SFJAZZ to Stream Terence Blanchard’s ‘Champion’

By David Salazar

Opera Parallèle will team up with SFJAZZ to present an online broadcast of Terence Blanchard’s “Champion” on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020.

The broadcast presents the 2016 staging of the opera at SFJAZZ with a cast featuring baritone Arthur Woodley as Old Emile Griffith, mezzo-soprano Karen Slack as Emelda Griffith, Emile’s mother; baritone Robert Orth as Howie Albert, Emile’s trainer; and bass-baritone Ken Kellogg as the young Emile Griffith.

The production was directed by Brian Staufenbiel and conducted by Nicole Paiement.

“SFJAZZ is extremely excited for this unprecedented presentation with Terence Blanchard and Opera Parallèle,” SFJAZZ Founder and Executive Artistic Director Randall Kline stated in a press release. “Our Resident Artistic Director program of which Terence was a member, challenges artists to look forward, break rules, and present music that pushes the envelope. Terence embraced this concept and pushed it further than we could have imagined. The SFJAZZ Center was designed and built with productions like ‘Champion’ in mind.”

The broadcast will be available through Oct. 24, 2020.