Terence Blanchard at The Met!

Louisiana native Terence O. Blanchard is the first Black artist to debut an original Opera at the famous Metropolitan Opera House. “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” is based on the memoir of Charles M. Blow, another Black Louisianan. Blow is a Best-Selling Author, New York Times columnist, CNN Contributor, and the host of Prime with Charles M. Blow on the Black News Network. “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” tells about a young man’s journey to overcome a lifetime of trauma and hardship. The opera follows Charles through his adolescence and ultimately leads to a fateful moment: when he must decide whether to break free from his trauma and begin to rebuild his life. “Terence Blanchard’s ‘Fire Shut Up in My Bones’ is the first work by a Black composer to be presented at the Met. Based on Charles M. Blow’s moving memoir of the same name and featuring a libretto by Kasi Lemmons, the new staging is co-directed by James Robinson and Camille A. Brown. Brown, who is also the production’s choreographer, becomes the first Black director to create a mainstage Met production. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a stellar cast, led by Will Liverman as Charles, Angel Blue as Destiny/Loneliness/Greta, and Latonia Moore as Billie,” according to the Met’s press release. “I had no idea I was the first Black to have an opera at the Met,” Blanchard said in the “Creative Forces Behind Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” “It’s an overwhelming, huge honor, but I know I’m not the first qualified to do it,” Blanchard, a New Orleans native, adds. Blanchard, 59, began playing piano by the age of 5, switched to trumpet three years later, and played alongside childhood friend Wynton Marsalis in summer band camps. Blow marvels at the Met’s embrace of his memoir. “I’m still that little boy from a nowhere place in the world. For the Met to say it’s grand enough is truly an honor. Charles McRay Blow, 51,  is a native of Gibsland, Louisiana. Gibsland is a town of 563 residents in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The city is best known for […]

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