Washington National Opera To Present ‘Blue’

By Francisco Salazar

The Washington National Opera is set to present the D.C. premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s poignant new opera “Blue.”

The work is inspired by contemporary events and black literature, including Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me” and James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time.” Blue centers on the hopes and fears of a young black couple in Harlem as they raise a son in 21st-century America.

In a press statement Francesca Zambello, Artistic Director for the WNO said, “Our mission to be the nation’s opera company is rooted in our commitment to present stories that reflect the America of today. Blue is a story of America. Opera is the perfect medium for a story that explores the humanity we find at the intersection of heartache, redemption, and forgiveness.”

In preparation for this production, WNO formed a committee comprising local and national partners, the law enforcement community, public policy, the faith community, youth development, social justice, community foundations, art/culture, and other stakeholders to collaborate on events designed to foster dialogue about Blue.

Committee participants and partners include District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America, Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Justice Roundtable/ The Taifa Group, Alfred Street Baptist Church, HOPE Center at Carmody Hills, Beacon House, Shout Mouse Press, Teaching for Change, Ben’s Chili Bowl Foundation, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Anacostia Community Museum.

“Blue” is set to be performed from March 15–28, 2020, in the Eisenhower Theater.