Terence Blanchard's Champion wins Grammy Award

Author: Clasart Classic

The Metropolitan Opera's recording of Champion, distributed by Clasart Classic, wins the renowned Award in the category Best Opera Recording.

  • Ryan Speedo Green as Young Emile Griffith in Terence Blanchard’s CHAMPION | Copyright: © Zenith Richards / Met Opera

    Ryan Speedo Green as Young Emile Griffith in Terence Blanchard’s CHAMPION © Zenith Richards / Met Opera

Terence Blanchard’s Champion, the first opera by the Grammy Award–winning composer, depicts the double-life of closeted boxer Emile Griffith, who killed his opponent in the ring and struggled with his sexuality and guilt for the rest of his life. The opera explores themes of identity, violence, forgiveness and redemption through a blend of jazz, blues and classical music. Blanchard’s score captures the emotions and conflicts of the characters, as well as the intensity and drama of the boxing scenes.

Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green stars as the closeted young hatmaker-turned-prizefighter, who rises from obscurity to become world champion and, in one of the great tragedies in sports history, kills his homophobic archrival in the ring. Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a stellar cast that also features bass-baritone Eric Owens as Griffith’s older self, haunted by the ghosts of his past. Soprano Latonia Moore is Emelda Griffith, the boxer’s estranged mother, alongside mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as gay-bar owner Kathy Hagen.

Director James Robinson – whose productions of Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones and the Gershwins’ Porgy And Bess at the Met have also won Grammy Awards – directs CHAMPION, as he did when the work had its world premiere in St. Louis a decade ago. In the creative team, Robinson is again joined by Camille A. Brown, who electrified audiences with her choreography in Porgy and Fire.

"Ryan Speedo Green and Eric Owens, in splendid voice, made a powerful team..." - The Wall Street Journal

"Truly moving!" - Financial Times

Production year 2023
Recording location The Metropolitan Opera
Duration 130min.
Production Company The Metropolitan Opera
Producer Peter Gelb
Distribution TV Clasart Classic
Composer Terence Blanchard
Orchestra / Band The Metropolitan Opera
Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Stage Director James Robinson
Choreography by Camille A. Brown
Soloist Ryan Speedo Green
Soloist Latonia Moore
Soloist Stephanie Blythe
Soloist Eric Owens



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