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Reviews, Stage Reviews

Lyric Opera of Chicago 2023-24 Review: Terence Blanchard’s ‘Champion’


(Photo: Michael Brosilow) Fresh from a Metropolitan Opera premiere last spring (and its subsequent Grammy Award victory), Terence Blanchard’s first opera in jazz, “Champion,” enjoyed its Lyric Opera of Chicago premiere in James Robinson’s vivid and effective staging, a co-production on January 27th, 2024. A dazzling cast led by Justin Austin as Emile Griffith made a powerful case for repeated {…}


Karen Slack & Will Liverman Headline ‘Absence,’ a Concert Honoring Terence Blanchard


On May 26, 2023, the Portland Opera will celebrate the work of Terence Blanchard with “Absence.” The one-night showcase will feature such artists as Karen Slack and Will Liverman. They will be joined by the Portland Opera Orchestra, the E-Collective, the Turtle Island Quartet, and conductor Damien Geter. “What an honor to share the stage with my dear friend the {…}


Met Opera and BroSis to Host Discussion with Terence Blanchard, Ryan Speedo Green & Michael Bentt


The Met Opera will partner with Harlem social justice and youth program, The Brotherhood Sister Sol (BroSis), to provide a behind-the-scenes look at Terence Blanchard’s “Champion” through a series of educational workshops beginning On Mar. 29, 2023, with a discussion “What Does It Take?” Participating in the discussion will be six-time Grammy Award-winning composer Blanchard, Grammy Award-winner Ryan Speedo Green, {…}


Lincoln Center to Host Year-Long Celebration of Terence Blanchard


This March, Lincoln Center is set to do its first cross-campus exploration of an artist. Entitled “See Me As I Am: Lincoln Center’s Year-Long Celebration of Terence Blanchard,” the event will see seven organizations, including Film at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Juilliard School, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic, and The New York Public Library {…}


Metropolitan Opera to Present Premiere of Terence Blanchard’s ‘Champion’


(Credit: Henry Adebonojo) The Metropolitan Opera has announced that it will stage Terence Blanchard and Michael Cristofer’s opera “Champion” in April 2023. The announcement comes on the heels of a very successful run of “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” which opened the company’s 2021-22 season. “Champion” is based on the life of African American boxer Emile Griffith. The opera {…}


Terence Blanchard to Discuss Latest Work on WQXR and Aria Code


On October 8, 2021, WQXR will present a special conversation between Aria Code’s Rhiannon Giddens and award-winning composer Terence Blanchard. They will discuss his latest work, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones,” and its historic premiere in September as the Metropolitan Opera’s first work from a Black composer; Blanchard’s writing process; the challenges of staging an opera during a pandemic; {…}

Artist of the Week, Special Features

Artist of the Week: Terence Blanchard


On Sept. 27, the Metropolitan Opera will make history presenting “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” It will be the first time the company presents an opera composed by a black composer – that composer is Terence Blanchard. Talking about the historical moment to the Washington Post the composer said, “It’s a bit overwhelming. Once you get into the rehearsal {…}


The Metropolitan Opera Announces Free Simulcast of the Opening Night Production of Terence Blanchard’s ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’ at Marcus Garvey Park


The Metropolitan Opera announced its free simulcast of the opening night and season- launching performance of Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” The simulcast will take place Monday, Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. ET in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park. There will be nearly 1,700 seats available at Marcus Garvey Park with approximately 2,000 seats also available in Times {…}


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


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 {…}