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Terence Blanchard’s FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES

Author: Clasart Classic

The Met’s first opera by a black composer offers moments of lyricism in a painful coming-of-age story

  • Will Liverman as Charles in FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES | Copyright: © Zenith Richards / Met Opera

    Will Liverman as Charles in FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES © Zenith Richards / Met Opera

Oscar-nominated and five-time Grammy-winning composer and jazz musician Terence Blanchard made history when his FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES became the first opera by a Black composer to be performed by the Metropolitan Opera.

Blanchard’s adaptation of New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow’s memoir features a libretto by filmmaker Kasi Lemmons, which marks her first foray into opera. The work tells a profound story about a young man’s journey to overcome a childhood of trauma and hardship. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown co-direct the opera, and Brown, who is also the production’s choreographer, is the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a stellar cast starring baritone Will Liverman, sopranos Angel Blue and Latonia Moore, and 13-year-old Walter Russell III, who made his Met debut in this production.

“A watershed moment for American opera … A defiant, tender, and vital work of art … A starting point for something new, a refresh of where opera can take us.” (The Washington Post)

“Will Liverman gives a breakthrough performance … Angel Blue brings her luminous soprano voice and unforced charisma.” (The New York Times)

Production year 2021
Duration 190 min.
Production Company The Metropolitan Opera
Distribution TV Clasart Classic
Composer Terence Blanchard
Libretto Kasi Lemmons
Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Orchestra / Band The Metropolitan Opera
Stage Director James Robinson
Stage Director Camille A. Brown
Soloist Angel Blue
Soloist Latonia Moore
Soloist Will Liverman
Soloist Walter Russell III

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