Toledo Opera to Present ‘Blue’

By Francisco Salazar

Toledo Opera will present Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s new opera “Blue.”

The work will be presented on August 26 and August 28 at 2 p.m. at the Valentine Theatre in Toledo, Ohio.

The work, which is influenced by gospel music and uses vivid flashbacks, places timely issues at the forefront of modern opera. Since its world premiere in 2019 at the Glimmerglass Festival, the work received the Music Critics Association of North America.

For Toledo Opera, the work will star Kenneth Kellogg, who originated the role of The Father at the Glimmerglass Festival, will once again sing the role alongside Aundi Marie Moore, who will sing the role of The Mother. The role of The Son will be played by Darius Gillard and baritone Gordon Hawkins will sing the role of The Reverand.

The cast will be rounded out by Kayla Hill Oderah (Girlfriend 2/Congregant 2), Kaswanna Kanyinda (Girlfriend 3/Congregant 3), Tyrese Byrd (Policeman 1/ Congregant 1), Ernest Jackson (Policeman 2/ Congregant 2), and Clayton Matthews (Policeman 3/Congregant 3).

In a statement, Toledo Opera’s Executive Director Suzanne Rorick said, “We are so pleased to finally present Blue to the Toledo community after. This project was begun in 2019 but was delayed by the pandemic in January of 2022. The themes of this story remain in the news and the hearts of the Toledo community. Our hope is to continue the conversation that this opera was meant to raise. We invite you to join us in late summer for this important, stunning, and award-winning opera.”