The Metropolitan Opera Will Have Its First Opera By A Black Composer In Its 136-Year History
Photo Credit: American trumpet player Terence Blanchard poses as a guest of PAPJAZZ, as part of the 13th edition of the Port-au-Prince Jazz Festival on January 19, 2019 in Port-au-Prince. - At a time when most of the world's jazz capitals are buried under the snow or shivering in negative temperatures, the Caribbean Port-au-Prince offers a week of outdoor concerts with the greatest international performers of the genre at the same time. (Photo by Pierre Michel Jean / AFP) (Photo credit should read PIERRE MICHEL JEAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Broadway , News

The Metropolitan Opera Will Have Its First Opera By A Black Composer In Its 136-Year History

The Metropolitan Opera is about to make history.

According to The New York Times, the Met will host its first opera by a Black composer in its 136-year history. The opera, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, is composed by jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard. The opera is based on New York Times opinion columnist Charles Blow’s memoir of the same name. The opera’s libretto was written by writer/director Kasi Lemmons.

Blanchard told The New York Times about his family connection to opera.

“I wish my father was alive,” he said. “He was an avid opera fanatic.”

This won’t be the Met’s only opera this year focusing on the African-American experience. The opera season will begin Monday with a new production of Porgy and Bess. What makes Porgy and Bess different than Fire Shut Up in My Bones is that the former was created by George and Ira Gershwin, based on the 1925 novel by DuBose Heyward, all white men. Coincidentally, the director of this new production of Porgy and Bess is James Robinson, the same person who directed the premiere of Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Opera Theater of St. Louis in June.

The Met’s general manager, Peter Gelb, called Blanchard “a brilliant composer” and hopes that “there will be many more African-American composers whose work we feature.”


‘Not Cool At All’: Audra McDonald Calls Out Audience Member Who Took Photo During Nude Scene In Her Broadway Show

‘Slave Play’: Off-Broadway Show On Sex Roleplaying, Interracial Couples Is Now Headed To Broadway




From Harlem to Hollywood, get the Black entertainment news you need in your inbox daily.

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2023 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.