Champion: An Opera In Jazz
CHAMPION: AN OPERA IN JAZZ
Co-presented w/ Opera Parallèle
(Recorded FEB 2016)
WED, OCT 21 · 6 PM PT (9 PM ET)
AVAILABLE ON DEMAND
NOW—SUN, OCT 25 · 11:59 PM PT
Running Time: 2 hours, 25 minutes, w/ a 3 minute intermission
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A groundbreaking work combining the disciplines of opera and jazz, Terence Blanchard’s Champion: An Opera in Jazz tells the real-life story of Emile Griffith, a world champion boxer who killed rival Benny Paret in their 1962 title match after Paret mocked him as a closeted homosexual. Following the fight, Griffith spent the rest of his life questioning himself and a society that would accept his accidental killing of a fellow athlete, but not his sexuality. Originally premiered during a two week sold-out run at the SFJAZZ Center in February 2016,The opera features a libretto by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer and features baritone Arthur Woodley, bass-baritone Kenneth Kellogg, 30-piece orchestra, chorus, dancers, elaborate staging, costumes, video projections, a jazz trio and more.
The opera moves back-and-forth through time from younger Emile (Kenneth Kellogg) as a World Champion boxer in the sixties to an older Emile (Arthur Woodley) who continues to be haunted by his past.
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