Fire Shut Up in My Bones
When Terence Blanchard's Fire Shut Up in My Bones opened The Metropolitan Opera's 2021-22 season, it marked the company's first performance of an opera by a Black composer. This adaptation of Charles M. Blow's memoir, which Blanchard describes as an "opera in jazz," takes audiences on a poignant, often melancholy, and affectingly orchestrated recollection of the author's life. Stay tuned for information about Fire Shut Up in My Bones tickets in New York.
The Fire Shut Up in My Bones opera takes Blow's autobiography of a young Louisiana boy growing up during segregation and puts it to jazz-heavy orchestrations. Blow as a child and as a 20-year-old is made into two separate characters, Char'es-Baby and Charles, to punctuate the different eras of his life. Char'es-Baby's childhood occurs in a riotous environment with a tough working mother, a libertine father, and five brothers, though the one singular event that comes to mark his young years is an incident of molestation. The 20-year-old Charles is left to grapple with tormented ideas of masculinity and lasting wounds from the incident that hinder his attempts to find love. The music, which includes influences of gospel, blues, and spoken word at parts, adds another layer of emotional punctuation to each moment.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones had its acclaimed world premiere in 2019 at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Following its run at The Met, the opera will be performed at Lyric Opera of Chicago in spring 2022. James Robinson and Camille A. Brown, who also created this season's production of Porgy and Bess at The Metropolitan Opera, will co-direct, and Brown will also choreograph the production.
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