A Malcolm X Opera Will Come to Season

It took 138 years for the Metropolitan Opera to present its first work by a Black composer: Terrence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”, which opens its season on September 27.

But the second will come in just two years, the company announced Thursday. Anthony Davis’ “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X”, which premiered in its full version A new production will be given by the Met in fall 2023, at the New York City Opera in 1986.

“We are committed to presenting the works of influential black musicians,” the company’s general manager Peter Gelb said in a statement. “It is high time the work of Anthony Davis be heard and seen on the stage of the Met. It is an opera of great power and glory.”

Since its premiere in 2006, “X” has only received one full revival at the Oakland Opera Theatre. new production, which will premiere at the Michigan Opera Theater In May, it will be directed by Robert O’Hara (“Slave Play”) and starring baritone Will Liverman, who plays the lead role in “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”. Kazem Abdullah will do it.

Since “X”, which has a libretto by Thulani Davies, Anthony Davies has written several more operas, including “Amistad” (1997) and “Central Park Five,” Which won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2020. For the new production of “X”, he would modify and strengthen the score, which combines a modernist musical language with the rhythms and textures of swing and free jazz; It will now run with one timeout instead of two.

“Malcolm X (al-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz) is an even more relevant figure today,” Davis said in a statement. “Her vision is as far-sighted today as it was in 1986. She is an inspiration for the Black Lives Matter and social justice movement. As a composer, I help make ‘X’ the opera for today.” Thrilled to do something that speaks to the future as well as the past.”

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